This document was created to serve as a pre-launch guide for instructors and TLS staff to check course readiness prior to making courses visible to students.

Course Home Page

The Course Home Page has widgets and a structure relevant to the course. (e.g. calendar, Teaching Team widget, etc).

→How to customize your course page

If Teaching Team widget is used, updated contact information and office hours are included.

Course announcement is part of the Course Home. It should be used once a week to convey weekly tasks, summary of previous weeks or urgent information about the course.

→How to post an announcement in Brightspace

A draft of the first announcement is prepared and contains important information regarding the course, such as a “Welcome to the course” message, information regarding how students should navigate the course, tasks to be completed for that week and information for any upcoming synchronous meeting and where students can find the link to it.

 

→How to post an announcement in Brightspace

✓ Banner image is clear

→How to change your course banner in Brightspace

If Visual Table of Content is used, images are clear and follow the recommended size: 1200 X 200-300 pixels

Course Organization (Content tab)

Course includes a Welcome/ Intro module where essential information is present. Essential information includes course syllabus, course schedule, an intro to the course video, instructor and TA contact information, forums for learners to interact with their peers and with the instructor (E.g. Ask the Instructor, Introduce yourself and Student Coffee Shop forums in asynchronous courses).

→How to add modules in Brightspace

A Student Support page containing important links is also part of the Welcome to the Course/Course Essentials Module.

Modules and sub-modules have meaningful titles.

→How to edit module or sub-module titles

Modules under the Table of Content are organized in a way that it is easy for students to navigate the course (they either contain Week 1, Week 2… and/or the date range they happen).

 

Sub-modules are used sparingly, essential information is contained within the module (aim at max 3 sub-modules).

Modules open and end dates and times are set. End date should be set after the course end date, so students can access them at all times and when using the Pulse app.

Documents and learning materials are easily found within modules and not only via the navbar. If something is to be retrieved ONLY via the navbar, it should be explained to learners.

Course structure and font size /type are consistent throughout modules.

Related content is organized together.

Course Design

Course goals and learning outcomes are clearly defined (in syllabus/welcome video/within modules).

→How to customize your course page

Learning activities and assessments align with stated learning outcomes.

Start and due dates and time are set for all activities.

→How to edit dates for Brightspace activities

The instructions to complete the assignments and evaluation criteria are clearly defined.

 

→How to post an announcement in Brightspace

Activities such as discussions, assignments and quizzes are placed within modules and not only accessed via Tools on the navbar).

 →How to track student participation in Brightspace

Grading policy are clearly stated (on syllabus).

✓ Instructor provides multiple opportunities for student feedback about the course, to continually improve course quality.

Grade book was properly set up via Setup Wizard.

 

Grade book adds to 100% if weighted grading was selected.

 

All activities have the correct percentage and points according to the course evaluation criteria.

 

Accessibility and Usability

Videos have closed captions and/or transcript files provided.

Lecture audio or other media are of acceptable quality and are clear/audible across all videos.

Images used in the course have alt-texts or image descriptions.

All hyperlinks work, are relevant, and text is meaningful and descriptive (avoid using “click here”).

The course provides alternative means of access to course materials in formats that meet the needs of diverse learners

There is enough contrast between course content and background color (use the accessibility checker on HTML Editor areas).

Course content is well written without grammatical and spelling errors (use the spell checker on HTML Editor areas).

Texts are formatted with titles and headings to enhance readability (use the accessibility checker on HTML Editor areas).

 

Activity Settings

Any graded activities are connected to Grades.

Any discussions are available to students/settings are consistent with assignment goals.

All quiz settings are aligned with assessment restrictions (time restrictions, pagination).

Any start, end or due dates and content restrictions align with course syllabus.

Learner Support

A clear backup plan is established and included for technology failures and outages. (This should include a plan for any synchronous web conferencing sessions and for any online tests.)

Student Support information is included in the course and the location of Student Support information is indicated to students in the syllabus and in the first announcement sent to students.

Resources supporting course content are included.

Resources to support different learning abilities are available.

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