Do your students need access to key information for the life of their course?
Do you have students collaborating on a multidisciplinary project?
Do your students have important information distributed in multiple topics so stop taking notice of it?
Do your first years need help orientating themselves to your discipline or would your final year students benefit from help entering your industry?
Would you like to ask your students for feedback on the course as a whole?
These are all great reasons to provide a central place your students can access: a course site.
Course sites are like any other FLO site, allowing you to share information and create interaction, except they’re not controlled by the timetable. This allows you to determine who has access and for how long. They can be used to facilitate the sharing of information and collaboration between groups residing outside of a single topic.
How do I grant my students access?
Your local eLearning team can help grant access to your students. This can be done with individuals through to large groups. Online learning and teaching (OLT) can create special groups, called cohorts, containing all students enrolled in a single course code. Once created, one or more cohorts can be added to a course site. Adding students in this way is quick and easy and ensures no students have been missed.
How will my students know the course site exists?
Your course site will appear in the My Topics area for students who have been given access. You can also refer to it from each topic within the course either within the orientation to the topic, by adding a block of key links to each topic or by adding button-like key links to the top of module 0:
Whichever way you decide to go, it’s best to use the same method in all topics referring to the course site for consistency. This makes it very easy for students to know exactly how they can access the site and develop good habits for using the information you’re providing them with.
Can I separate my students into study years?
If you would like to provide information for specific year levels as well as general information for all students enrolled within your course, you can create groups for each year level. Restrictions can be added to modules or individual activities or paragraphs of text depending on how much or how little you want to personalise the student experience. You could use a spreadsheet (.CSV file) and upload to the course site to create groups, or you could use the group self-selection tool and ask students to nominate which year of study they are in.
Do I need a new course site each year?
It is possible to keep the same course site and rotate students through this site using the cohorts mentioned above. It is also possible to create a new FLO site each year and add the required student cohorts in each year, if you want to keep an archive of the year’s activity.
As a rule, it would be preferable to create a new site each year if you use lots of interactive tools (e.g. discussion forums, wikis, etc). This will keep the collected data for each year nicely separated. If it’s just one or two discussion forums, it’s easier to duplicate the activity and keep it within the same FLO site. If you’re linking from each topic to your course site, it would be strongly recommended to keep the same FLO site each year to avoid having to annually update the links from every topic to the new course site.
If you would like advice on how to set up a course site, please contact your local eLearning support team and they will help you work through the options.