Educator Courses

Designing for Online Learning: Wayfinding

      Stay tuned for additional dates for this course.

      Course Description

      Designing for Online Learning: Wayfinding is a one-week course for educators who want to learn how to build engaging, navigable, and student-centered online learning experiences. Based on one module from our Designing for Online Learning course, this course will guide participants through a deeper dive into design principles that support high-quality online learning.

      Wayfinding is the practice of designing pathways and cues that help a person navigate a complex system on their own. When content and material is organized in a way that minimizes distractions, communicates learning goals and tasks effectively, and anticipates student needs, online learning experiences can empower students to drive their own learning. This course is an opportunity to practice those skills.

      The course has three main learning outcomes:

      • Participants will understand the relationship between cognitive load theory and instructional design.
      • Participants will use principles of backwards design to plan a multimodal online unit or module that includes synchronous and asynchronous elements.
      • Participants will practice making essential ingredients of high-quality online learning experiences, including pacing guides, basic videos, and module/page architecture.

      The course has four modules:

      1. Introduction: How to define wayfinding for in-person and online spaces.
      2. Making Goal-Driven Decisions: How to plan module design around transparent learning goals, foundational assessments, and key content.
      3. Pacing and Navigation: How to organize content and assessments in a way that empowers students to lead their own learning.
      4. Instructions and Page Design: How to communicate intention and expectations in a way that is clear, helpful, and supportive of student learning.

      This is a hands-on online course. Participants who bring an existing unit (or idea of one) to this course will benefit the most, as each module asks them to begin the work of building that unit online. Participants will have the opportunity to share their work and discuss it with colleagues in the course.

      The design skills participants learn in this course can be applied to Learning Management Systems (LMS), collaborative documents (like Google Docs), or websites and wikipages. Participants should have access to at least one of these tools.

      Key Assumptions this Course Makes

      • Participants and their students have regular, reliable access to the internet in order to learn online.
      • Participants and their students have regular, reliable access to computers on which they can learn online.
      • Participants are willing to design a unit that is at least 50% asynchronous (where students can learn on their own time).

      What to expect

      Click on our short video below to hear us address some of the frequently asked questions and learn what to expect if you are taking a course with us this summer.


      What to Expect When Taking a GOA Professional Learning Course: Summer 2020


      How much time should I expect to spend in the course?

      We anticipate 45-60 minutes each day of the course, Monday through Friday, or about 3-5 hours. We will keep the course open after the course ends so that educators can continue to use the resources.

      When should I register?

      Now. Registration will close once we are full. We expect high demand and will offer the course again if necessary. Please do not delay in registering. If you register and then CANNOT attend, let us know, and we can then offer your place to another educator.

      What technological requirements does this course have?

      This course will take place in GOA’s Canvas instance. It’s very likely your existing set-up has all of the specifications you need to participate. For a precise list see here. Also, please note as of March 2020, Canvas is not supported in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the region of Crimea.

      What additional resources for school closure and online learning are available?

      Please see GOA's COVID-19 Resource page for the most up to date resources.

      Have additional questions? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more specifically about how our courses work and what to expect. You may also email and we will try to respond to you as quickly as we are able.

      To sign up for additional professional learning opportunities, check out all of our educator courses.

      Follow along with us as we share insights, ideas, and updates about this course on Twitter @GOALearning and using #GOALearning.

      Be a part of what's next.
      Let's talk.

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