Overall Structure and Look
The course structure and overall theme of the site is dictated by site-wide settings. The structure of your course should follow an understandable pattern so that our learners can navigate easily and quickly through all courses and content. Remember our learners are coming to the site to participate in training and they have other tasks in their day just as we all do. Making their work pleasant can go a long way to making their experience positive.Since Totara handles the bulk of how the course looks and is structured, there are some overall standards we should discuss.
When developing your course, it may be a good idea to sketch it out on paper first to make sure it is structured well and will be easy for the user to understand.
Consider if your course has a massive amount of content and is intended to be taken over a few days or weeks, it may be best to actually build different courses instead of building one giant course.
Use topics to break up modules as well as separate pre-/post-work for the user. We can use restrictions on topics the same way that we do on activities to hide or reveal information as the user progresses through the course.
Topics can be easily recognized and diferientated from activities. A topic heading will not have a large activity icon to the left of the title. The topic title will always have a thin grey line directly above it marking the end of the previous and begining of the new topic.
Every course begins with a topic “0” that does not have a grey line at the top and this topic is the only one that cannot be moves as all the others can be. it is intended to be only for a title or course information that will always remain on the top of the course and never move.
Anytime you can break up content into digestible pieces the user will feel more comfortable. Allowing them to see the path in front of them and outlining or sharing how much time things will take and being consistent with that information can be very comforting to a user. Any way that we can make the experience more positive for the user the better, because that will gradually increase their motivation to come back to the site and feel as though there is value to the time that they spend there.