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How To: Organize Your BFCA Education Portal Course Page
Careful planning and design of your BFCA Education Portal course is essential for creating a positive and effective learning experience for your students. Before you begin to design your course online, review your current teaching strategies, the course learning outcomes and the learning activities used to assess the outcomes. There are a number of ways to add structure and visual interest to your BFCA Education Portal course page. The less cluttered and better organized you make your course page the easier it will be for your students to use.
Customize Course Image
Add a custom header image at the top of your BFCA Education Portal course page. You can use this to make it easier to recognize your courses and add personality.
- On your course page, select Course Management. The Course Management panel will open.
- On the Course Management panel, under Course settings, select Edit course settings. The Edit course settings page will open.
- On the Edit course settings page, under the Course Summary locate the Course image file upload block. Drag and drop your image file into the upload block. Note: Alternatively, you can also select the file icon. The File picker will open. Select Browse…and select your file and click Open. Select Upload this file.
- Select Save and display (bottom of page). Your Course page will refresh and the header image will appear.
Avoid unnecessary content on your course page
Avoid long paragraphs of text, embedded videos, or large images on your course page.
- Provide instructions in an activity or resource Descriptions, and avoid displaying Descriptions on the course page unless they are very brief.
- Embed media in Descriptions for activities such as Assignments or Forums rather than on the main course page.
- Use a Page resource to deliver video or large images on a separate page.
Customize section names
Sections in BFCA Education Portal courses are named “Section 1,” “Section 2,” “Section 3,” etc. To help orient students and encourage engagement with the material, provide a descriptive Section name.
- On your course page, select Turn editing on. Editing links will appear.
- Next to the Section name, select the Pencil icon. The name will become highlighted.
- Enter a new Section name and press enter/return to save your changes (or esc to cancel).
Note: You can change the format of sections from the default collapsed topics to, for example, weekly topics, or single activity format on your BFCA Education Portal course settings.
Provide summary text for course sections
It may be helpful to add a sentence or two at the top of each section summarizing the goals for the week or topic. The Summary will show at the top of a Section (under the Section name).
- On your course page, click Turn editing on. Editing links will appear.
- Locate the Section of the Edspora course you wish to edit select Edit (at the top right of Section). A drop-down list will open. From the list, select Edit Section. The Summary page will open.
- To add a custom Section name, on the Summary page select the Custom checkbox (to right of Section name, in General settings). Type a new name in the small textbox.
- To add a Section summary, in the Summary textbox, enter text and/or add images to display below the Section name.
- Click Save changes.
Note: If using the Collapsed Topics format you can choose whether or not to show Section summaries when sections are collapsed on the Edit course settings page.
Add text in a label
Use Labels to add subheadings and make your course content easy to find. For example, you might create subheadings within each section for Readings, Discussion, Assignments, Quizzes, etc.
- On your course page, click Turn editing on.
- Locate the Section of your Edspora course where you wish to add text and click + Add an activity or resource. The Activity chooser will open.
- In the Activity chooser, scroll down and under the Resources heading select Label. The Settings page for the label will open.
- On the Settings page, for Label text, enter and format your text.
Important! To accommodate accessibility for all students, use Paragraph styles. For example, Heading (medium) could be used to format subheadings rather than choosing bold and larger text.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save and return to course.
- New items always appear at the bottom of the section. Use the Move icon to drag the label upwards or downwards into the desired position.
Indent items in course sections to create an outline form
Indenting content in your BFCA Education Portal course is a way of making it easier to read and more user-friendly (much like a “skimmable” outline).
- On your course page, click Turn editing on.
- Locate the item you wish to indent and click Edit associated with the item to indent (located below most activities, labels, and resources), and in the Edit drop-down menu, click Move right, or to move back, Move left.
Add an image to a label or section summary
Images in Section summaries or Labels provide landmarks and can create visual engagement, but a little goes a long way. Large images or videos take up space on the page, cause extra scrolling, and cause pages to load slowly.
You can add images in Section summaries or in Labels using the Insert image button on the BFCA Education Portal Editor toolbar. Be sure to keep images small in dimension and to provide brief “Alternative text” to make your course page accessible to all students.
Note: BFCA Education Portal will automatically make large images fit in the available area of the page, but the full-sized image file still downloads to browsers. Pages load faster if you resize images before uploading them to your course.
Reorder sections or items
The Move Icons
Note: The Gradebook will always show the Basic move icon.
Use Drag and Drop to move items within your course
- Click Turn Editing On (green pencil icon, top right). Editing icons will appear.
- To move Activities or Resources
- Click and drag the Move icon at the left of the item link. As you drag, the BFCA Education Portal will dim the items under the item you are dragging. Release the mouse to drop the item into a new location.
- Note: If you are using the Collapsed topics format, open the closed section, by clicking on the Section name to move an item into the Section.
- To move a Section
- Click and drag the Move icon at top left of the Section. As you drag over other Sections they will dim. Release the mouse to drop the Section into a new location.
- If you are using the default Collapsed topics format, it may be convenient to click Close All (above top Section), then drag Section into a new order. This makes it easier to see what you’re doing.
- Note: You cannot move the top (General) section.
Use the Basic Move Icon to Move Items in Your Course
- Click Turn Editing On (top right). Editing icons will appear.
- Click the move icon for the item you wish to move. BFCA Education Portal uses Move to here boxes to let you place items in a new location:
- For Activities and Resources, the BFCA Education Portal will highlight the available move locations with an arrow and box.
- For Sections, click the Move Up or Move Down arrow on the right.
- Click the Move to here box that appears at the location where you want the item to relocate.