Creating Consistency and Flexibility in Courses

Concurrent Session 4
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Creating consistency across courses is important to help students become familiar with their learning space. It can be frustrating to students if a course is hard to navigate. Find out how our team uses HTML templates to encourage best practices in course design and enhance the user experience of students.


Elyssa Naval is a Senior Web Site Designer/Developer from Digital Learning at the University of Arizona. In her role, she is responsible for developing and managing multiple websites in Drupal. She also creates responsive HTML templates and page layouts that instructors and instructional designers use in the learning management system. In her web projects, she actively looks for ways to improve accessibility and user experience. Naval holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a minor in Information Science, Technology, and Arts from the University of Arizona. In her spare time, she loves to sing, listen to music and podcasts, take photos, and travel with family.

Extended Abstract

The Learning Management Systems (LMS) that are used to deliver online course content serve as "virtual" classrooms for students. In a physical classroom, students typically find the whiteboard in front of the room. But, what if the next day, they find that the whiteboard is in the back of the room? Students can become confused and disoriented. In an online environment, it can be challenging for students to find course materials if there is no clear organizational structure in a course. Assignments can become buried inside modules and cause students to miss deadlines. As designers of the course in the LMS, we have to decorate and organize the online classroom in a way that can make our learners feel at home. At the same time, we want to make the courses engaging, easy to navigate, and visually appealing. 

In this presentation, we will dive deep into how we use HTML templates to create consistency across courses. Creating HTML templates for LMS platforms provide a unique challenge. We will walk through those challenges and discuss ways to make the templates flexible and easy to use for instructors.

To make this session interactive, there will be a “Walk-a-Mile” immersion activity where attendees will get to experience first hand what it is like to look at a course from the students’ lenses.