ANU students working together

Tips for a student-oriented Wattle course environment

Drawing on student feedback and with a focus on the student experience, Bhavani Kannan ensures that the Wattle course for DIPL2000 Diplomacy and Leadership is simple and easy to navigate, with clear organisation of materials and minimal scrolling required by students.

Bhavani explains her philosophy & conceptual frameworks for planning and designing online courses and the importance of clear navigation.

Some of the tools and methods Bhavani uses to ensure students have a stress-free environment for navigating her Wattle (or Moodle) site are:

  • Using the Topics setting for the course page so that students see one section and can easily jump between sections which avoids a long scroll on the main page.
  • Hyperlinks within the site to make it easier to navigate
  • Activity and Resource tools such as Books and Folders, to organise content, and to avoid long scrolls or a hunt through the course site to find resources
  • Hiding activities that are no longer relevant to avoid confusing clutter
Bhavani explains more practical tips in the video above.

Bhavani has found that a few minutes paying attention to these aspects of the Wattle environment saves the students a great deal of time in navigating their way through the content and can vastly improve the student experience.

This is reflected in the positive feedback Bhavani has received from her students, and also in their academic performance:

“Thank you so much for another engaging tutorial and really comprehensive admin info – I think students really appreciate the dedication the team is showing to our learning – this course has been a real stand out for the smooth transition!”

“Can honestly say that these tutes were probably the best I have had throughout my 5 years at ANU. They were the perfect combination of fun, interesting and interactive (even over zoom)!”

Mid-Semester Survey – Responses to switching to online teaching and learning:

“In relation to my other classes, you guys have killed it with the online transition. Thank you so much for all the work you have put into that.”

“This course is the example of best practice”

“Online learning is hard regardless but DIPL2000 has made it much easier than my other courses”

Useful resources

December 2020

Jill Lyall is an Education Designer in the Education Design (ED) team – one of three teams within the ANU Centre for Learning and Teaching (CLT).

Bhavani Kannan is a PhD Candidate and Senior Tutor in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific