Structure, content and style: Common-sense approaches for inclusive Canvas course design

by | Aug 11, 2017 | Canvas tips, Course design and development

Why inclusive design?

The University of Auckland is committed to being a safe, inclusive and equitable place to study and work.

Inclusive course design is an equity area that you can play a role in and make a positive difference for our diverse community of students.

The approaches

Structure. Establish a clear, concise and consistent course structure with systematic use of Canvas course components.

  • Course navigation. Conform to user expectations by using the Canvas left-hand course navigation menu.
  • Modules. Provide linear direction through the course with clearly labelled and sorted modules and module items.
  • Syllabus/Home page. Offer a sense of purpose and paths to frequently viewed information with the syllabus as home page.

Content. Develop clear, concise and consistent course content with established communication conventions.

  • Language. Support understanding with plain, concrete and descriptive language.
  • Editing. Aid efficiency with chunked content.
  • Formats. Offer choice by presenting information multiple ways.

Style. Maintain a clear, concise and consistent page style with established design conventions.

  • Layout. Aid efficiency with simple and consistent page layouts.
  • Typography. Ensure accessibility through the consistent use of the default Canvas text editor styles, including heading styles.
  • Files. Measure inclusiveness with inbuilt accessibility checkers and save time with styles.

Adopt the approaches

Read the full guide, complete with a handy checklist, found in Course design and development: Accessibility.

About the approaches

The approaches outlined here draw on Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and the work of the University of Auckland learning design community. In particular, the course structure approaches draw on the work of Nabeel Albashiry, Professional Teaching Fellow from ILT (Business School), with some modification.