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How do I structure my course?

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An instructional video is included for this subject. This instructional video will provide a step-by-step explanation about creating (sub)modules. A written manual can be found below the video.

Brightspace allows you to create a course structure in the Content menu. In Content you can create a welcome page (Overview) and have the ability to organize your course through creating, editing, and structuring several (sub)modules and by putting said modules in an order that is logical for your course (table of contents). These modules can be filled with all your course materials like the syllabus, media files, documents or links to external web pages or Activities within Brightspace like Discussions or Quizzes. Use completion tracking to let students check off items, allowing them to track their progress. This way you can create a clear and easy to navigate course that will help students to quickly familiarize themselves with the course.  

  • Click Content in the nav bar of your course. You will now land on the Overview page.

Overview: creating a welcome page

The Overview page is the first page students will see when they access the Content in your course for the first time. You can use this page to:

  • welcome students to the course;
  • familiarize students with the content, goals, planning and learning material of the course;
  • explain the correlation between different (sub)modules;
  • share other relevant information like how to contact certain teachers.

1.  Click Overview.

2. ‘Add a welcome message (…)’ and type a welcome message in the HTML editor. It is also possible to add a short welcome video or audio message or a URL and click on Update.

3. Click Add Attachment if you want to upload a single file via drag-and-drop that will be embedded directly on the overview page (this is the only place where a file can be directly embedded) and select Update.

See the picture below for an example of a filled in Overview page.

Table of Contents: creating the layout of a course

The Table of Contents is an essential element in creating the layout of your course in Brightspace. Your course will be presented to students via an index format: a ranked list of modules (folders) and topics (course material). You can create a module for every week in a course (e.g.: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 etc) or for each theme (e.g.: Introduction, The Laws Applicable to Arbitration, The Agreement to Arbitrate, The Arbitral Tribunal etc).

Every module in the Table of Contents is ranked vertically on the left-hand side of the screen. This allows students to easily peruse the content of the course and get a general idea of its structure. Students can select a module to check the topics and whether it has any submodules. The numbers next to Table of Contents indicate whether you have any required topics.

Need some inspiration on how to create a layout for your course? Here are some examples of course layouts in Brightspace.

It is possible to create several submodules within a module. These submodules allow you to further organize your course by, for instance, placing related topics in one submodule. You can find these submodules in the table of contents by clicking on the module you placed them in. The picture above shows you that the module Collegeweek 2 contains three different submodules: Lezen en Doen, Alleen lezen/luisteren and Voorbereiding Collegeweek 3. You can subsequently place teaching materials, like mandatory literature or a link to a specific activity (e.g.: a quiz or an assignment) in the submodule.  

Adding submodules can be an easy way to organize topics within a submodule, but adding too many submodules or too many layers of submodules can impact the overall readability of the course in a negative way. If the topics are spread too thin between too many submodules, students can experience some difficulties with finding the correct topic.

Create (sub)modules

  • Click Add a Module below Table of Contents on the left-hand side.
  • Give the module a name.
  • Press Enter or click anywhere on the screen. The module has now been created and has appeared in the Table of Contents. You are now able to modify the module.
  1. Click on Add dates and restrictions if you want to create conditions for when and for who a module should be available. You can add a start and end date and/or create a release condition for this module.
  2. Add a short description of the module to Add a description...
  3. Click Upload/Create to add files and activities to a module.
  4. By default the newly created module will be set to Visible: the course content is visible to students. Click the eye symbol and then click the checkmark to make the module Hidden. The module is now no longer visible.
  5. Click Add a Submodule to create one or several submodule(s) in this module and follow the steps (similar to creating a module).

Edit a (sub)module

  1. Select the (sub)module you want to edit in the Table of Contents.
  2. Click on the fold-out arrow next to the name of the module and select:
    • Edit Title to change the name of the module;
    • Hide from Users to make the module invisible for students;
    • Set Default Path to change the folder where the files of this specific module are kept;
    • Set All Completion to alter if and how you want to track if students have viewed the topics within a module;
    • Move up/Move Down to change the position of the (sub)module in the table of contents (this is only possible if you have created multiple (sub)modules);
    • Move To to move the (sub)module a different module;
    • Delete Module to delete the (sub)module.

You can also move a (sub)module by placing your cursor on the three horizontal stripes on the left side of the name of the module in the Table of Contents, clicking on the stripes and keeping the mouse button down and subsequently dragging the module to a new location.

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