uMeddle (Thoughts on Course Design)

When planning, designing, building, or remodeling a course, it is important to keep every aspect of the architecture in mind. Small changes anywhere can have big effects everywhere, so you want to make sure when you meddle with your course, you keep all the outcomes in mind.

One way to remember all the moving parts involved, is to consider how when you work on your course, you meddle (umeddle) with it by making it useable, memorable, effective, desirable, delightful, learnable, and efficient.

When you build or remodel a site or course, ask yourself if it is:

  • Useable—Can students with little or no online ability or experience use it?
  • Memorable—Do they have to relearn it each time they visit a new part of it?
  • Effective—Does your site or course accomplish the goals you’ve established?
  • Desirable—Do students want to use it? Does it accomplish the goals they’ve established?
  • Delightful—Do students enjoy using it?
  • Learnable—Can students learn how to use it without outside or additional intervention?
  • Efficient—Does your course achieve its goals in the appropriate amount of time with the appropriate amount of effort?

A quality site or course is one that encourages student engagement and interaction with the least resistance or interruption possible. It is also one students want to use and can access and navigate without having to turn to outside resources, including the teacher, for assistance. When you meddle with your course, remember uMeddle for the good of all involved.

Or, as one of my esteemed colleagues has remarked, “uMeddle, iMeddle, we all meddle for uMeddle!”

*This post was adapted from a discussion of “usability” in Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug (Third Edition, New Riders 2014).

Brian Bergen-Aurand is an Instructional Designer in Interactive eLearning and Faculty in Arts & Humanities. He specialized in questions of Quality Standards (QOI, QM).

Last Updated June 11, 2024