Why Organization Is Important

Logical organization of course content is key to student success. Students need to easily navigate a course to locate materials and assignments in order to interact with them.

WashU student survey data boasts a Canvas-approval rating of over 80% (an average rating of 4 out of 5). But, a consistent theme among student respondents has been the need for better and more consistent organization of content across WashU courses.

Put simply, students want to quickly and easily find materials in courses.

Canvas Webinars

Canvas webinars offer a structured approach to thinking about course organization and design. The following one-hour, interactive webinars are available.

Dates and times vary. View a schedule in the Training Portal. Sign in is required. Create an account using your @wustl.edu email address.

How Do I Organize My Content?

Course organization, at its core, is about design. Because it’s about design, there’s no right or wrong way to set up a course. However, there are best practices that are more intuitive than others and lead to improved student experience.

Consider the following as you choose how to organize your course:

  • How do you chunk your course content? By unit, topic, chronology (e.g., week), content type?
  • How should students advance through the course? Is the learning progression linear, requiring completion of certain topics or tasks before proceeding? Or, can the progression be open, allowing students to choose what to do next? Is there a preferred order of learning activities?
  • Is prerequisite knowledge needed for other content?

Canvas offers many options; choose what works best for your course and circumstances. Use the resources provided below to become familiar with each tool so you can organize your course to meet the your needs and the needs of your students. Be sure to start with modules, Canvas’ main tool for course organization.

Modules | Pages| Files | Course Home Page