Category: Learning & access

Linking as a navigational aid. Problem You need to let visitors move to neighboring pages. Solution In addition to the other navigational tools on the page, add previous and next links. Discussion For ease of navigation, add a small arrow, or a bracket, such as “>” or “».” These links should be obvious, and placed

Focusing on opportunities for interactivity. Problem You need to overcome the constraints of a web browser. Solution Expect to compromise and innovate. Discussion Browsers have limited screen space, limited navigational conventions, low resolution, and limited bandwidth. Content producers must massage the site’s content, appearance, pedagogy, and organization. Rather than be concerned with the shortcomings of

Organizing material for multiple navigation methods appeals to a variety of learning styles. Problem You need to organize the content of your web site. Solution Design the site so it can be navigated several different ways, but choose an overall organizational model that fits the subject. There are several approaches from which to choose: Organize

Repurposing material for a new medium. Problem You need to adapt a real experience into a virtual experience. Solution Rather than adapt the experience as a whole, instead plan on repurposing much of the material into a different structure. Discussion During the formative years of the Internet, print, radio, and television were quick to adapt

Encouraging epiphanies through interactive web content. Problem You need to choose what to put online. Solution Focus on topics that are hard to explain using words alone, but that come to life with interactivity and multimedia. Discussion Designing effective content is as much a matter of what you don’t say, as what you do say.

Integrating search concepts into web design enables visitors to find relevant information. Problem Visitors must wade through extraneous information to find relevant content, or your web site is not picked up by search engines. Solution In addition to making the content of your web site available through remote and local search engines, integrate central search

Asking questions of the visitor can trigger more personalized information. Problem Your web site needs to meet the needs of different users. For example, you need versions of the site for elementary kids, teens, adults, and teachers. Solution Direct the visitor to the appropriate information by employing the following techniques: Initial interview, or preferences: Ask

Adapting your web content to different audiences increases the effectiveness of your project. Problem You must meet the needs of multiple audiences, each needing a different version of the same information. For example, you may need Spanish and English versions of each page, or versions geared towards different education levels. Solution Adapt your site content

Defining the audience for your content is the first step in personalization. Tailoring meets the needs of the individual by defining the audience for each piece of educational material, collecting information from users, and cross-referencing content with user information. Problem While we have the ability to disseminate massive quantities of educational materials to the general

Tailoring information adds value to the user’s experience. Educational materials that attempt to meet the needs of everyone often meet the needs of no one in particular. Tailoring replaces the cookie cutter approach by personalizing content and increasing relevance. Many educational efforts suffer from a problem of relevance. For example, math teachers may struggle to