We are excited to share initial steps around course navigation improvements that our team is working on at the moment. We expect the first wave of changes to arrive in about three weeks, with additional changes a few weeks after that. The following post is a summary of the improvements, as well as some details on how to preview these changes and provide any additional feedback you may have. 

Course Navigation Today

Today, a learner’s course experience centers around a single primary view under the Course tab. In this area learners see the section and subsection navigation on the left, and the learning sequence bar across the top of each page. In testing we uncovered a number of opportunities to improve this workflow for learners to support their understanding of where they are in a course while also allowing them to immerse themselves in the learning content. 

A visual of the current course navigation and content experience

Initial Course Content Experience Changes  (~ Early October) 

Our initial improvements are focused on the usability and clarity of the course content area. The image below highlights the main areas of the experience that will change. The sequence bar has been cleaned up visually to help learners understand where they are, including updated icons, colors, and labels for the previous and next actions. Additionally, while testing we learned that unit page titles helped learners stay oriented as they moved through a course. The bookmarking action is now visually associated with this unit page title area. 

A screenshot highlighting the visual changes to the sequence bar including the added unit page.

In user testing, we observed many learners scroll to the bottom of a unit page to use the next and previous buttons found there. We’ve improved these by making them more visually obvious and will be adding the name of the next/previous unit pages as well. 

A visual of the changes to the previous / next actions items at the bottom of unit pages.

New Course Outline View  (~November)

After this initial set of improvements to the course content areas, we will be working toward the goal of helping learners understand at a glance where there are in a course. In the coming months this will yield improvements to how we visualize course progress and assignment grades, but our first effort focuses on helping learners see the entire course outline. 

A representation of the upcoming changes to the course navigation, reflecting the new full width course outline page.

As part of this change to having a dedicated course outline view, we will be able to expand the learning content area for learners and provide a more immersive content experience as shown below. In addition to a wider learning area, there will be an easy way to get back to the Course Outline from the breadcrumb above the sequence bar. 

A visual highlighting the full width course content experience, including the new action that takes learners back to the Course Outline.

Share your feedback

The following effort is the culmination of a considerable amount of research, testing, and review of various course navigation concepts.  To help you form targeted questions, we invite you to interact with a clickable prototype of the changes. , You can review or comment within this prototype: https://invis.io/JW8G21BQV.