A few years ago with the help of an Instructional Designer who was not afraid to facilitate new things, I altered the presentation of my World Religions online course, to include new tools. My favourite is what is labelled a star field. I think I have posted on this before, but here goes anyway: This is a picture of the galaxy, with icons and labels for each of the religions covered in the course, arrayed in cultural clusters. Students can click on one of these and be taken directly to that section of the course, no matter what official week it is situated. I thought it a neat visual, but more importantly the religions are presented near to culturally and historically related others. Not only that, it breaks the tyranny of a linear presentation. A linear presentation in an online course is nonsense as students have the entire course laid out for them anyway – so why not imitate how they normally surf the net?
I tried this Summer to have this ported to my other course – but most of the Instructional Designers have left for greener pastures, and especially the very bright woman who worked with me on the restructuring of the World Religions’ course. The upshot was it was not approved. I understand how difficult it is to get approval for anything that is not the usual way of doing things. But it is frustrating.
I am thinking I will at some point design my own online course.