DELTA announces a new ‘Quick Start’ course shell for Moodle. The shell, developed by the Course Quality Program at NC State, benefits instructors by providing a quick and easy framework to design an online course and benefits students by offering clear navigation and consistent course design.
The Quick Start course shell was developed with quality online learning in mind. The shell applies several of the guiding principles and standards of the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric, 6th Edition, which is supported by the latest research and literature for online learning. Quality Matters (QM) is the leading quality assurance organization for assessing online course design.
Preparing for Success
Setting students up for success upon entry to an online environment is paramount. The framework of the Quick Start course shell streamlines instructor course preparation before the students begin work. There are four main components to the course shell: a Start Here topic area, a Student Services block, a Meet the Instructor block, and an Instructor Resources and Support block. These key components guide students as they explore the course site, indicate what to do first, establish a connection with the instructor, and provide access to institutional support services that are essential to student success.
Start Here Topic Area
- Shows students clearly where to begin
- Includes placeholders for course syllabus and other important course materials
- Displays learning outcomes
Student Services Block
- Provides access to academic, student and technology support services
- Maintained and updated by DELTA
Meet the Instructor Block
- Provides social presence, a welcoming environment and prominent contact information
- Encourages student-to-teacher interaction
- Explicitly states communication preference
Accessing the Quick Start Course Shell
The Quick Start Course Shell is available as part of the Moodle Course Copier process. The Quick Start Course Shell User Guide outlines easy instructions on accessing the course shell.
Information on how to use the course shell is also provided for instructors and is located within the shell.
Quality Begins with Consistency
Providing our students with consistency and a clear structure in online learning environments is now more important than ever. The ways in which students are expected to learn and succeed has shifted dramatically over the last few weeks. The course shell provides a solid framework for getting students in a course and learning quickly while allowing the flexibility and freedom to design the course content, activities and assessments that are unique to you as an instructor.