Getting Familiar with the Online Course Platform
Most people can generally figure things out as they go—this was designed to be intuitive. But for the purpose of completeness, I am including this section. This will also help chop away at the learning curve. For a much more detailed how to, enroll in the course, “How to Create a Course Using VirversitY”.
Different access, different features and options
Depending on if you are logged in or not, if you are an instructor or student, and what option student account you have, the course page will look a little different. As an instructor, it is good to understand these differences. Most importantly, is the main menu and the content directly below it.
When a guest or "future learner" is not logged in, this is what the course menu will look like, along with the registration and login message.
The student (both options) has a few extra menu items, and a message in the header reminding them that they are a student for the course.
The instructor has all the items the student does, but also has the "Instructor Tools" menu, which contains several sub menu items.
The top menu
- Course home. This home icon takes the user to the course homepage.
- Your Courses. This is show to all those who are logged in. This is where students can navigate to all their courses, and instructors to navigate to all the courses for which they are listed as an instructor.
- Questions & Answers. This is the public forum where you as the instructor would want to post the most common questions along with the answers. It is also where students can ask questions. This can optionally be redirected to an outside URL (if you already have a support site), then this can be used a "Student Lounge" instead.
- Updates. This is a separate tool from the online course software where the instructor can post regular updates and announcements in a blog-like format. Posts are seen my students when they login via a removable overlay at the top of their screen. These messages can easily be "dismissed". The posts can also be e-mailed via a daily or weekly digest.
- Lessons. This is shown only when in the course tool, and only to students and instructors.
- Instructor Tools. This item links to several sub menu items that is only available to the instructors.
- Your Profile. This is where students or instructors go to complete their profile.
- Logout. The opposite of login.
This web-based software is mobile-friendly, which means it looks and works great on all mobile platforms.