How Customizing Your Online Courses Provides a Better Student Experience

by | May 12, 2021 | Learning Design

​TEL courses are designed to be a turnkey solution for institutions looking for a high-quality, online option for their general education and dual-credit courses. But while schools appreciate simple program management, reflecting the school’s brand and mission is important, too.

By adding their own perspective and details to the course, partner institutions can provide a seamless, branded learning experience for their students. TEL offers several ways for institutions to customize courses and maintain their unique identity throughout the student experience.

Providing a Clear Introduction

Students are accustomed to going to different platforms to access course content. From Learning Management Systems to individual courseware products, students log in to many different platforms each term. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, it’s always comforting for students to get confirmation that they are in the right place when starting a new course.

Here are a few ways schools can make sure students’ first interactions with the TEL platform and curriculum go smoothly.

Customizable Home Page

If you integrate the TEL courses directly into your LMS, the student experience will be seamless. Students will jump directly into the course from the institutional LMS. But if you don’t have the LTI integration with TEL, or would prefer not to use it, you can still create a smooth experience for your students by customizing the institutional home page.

Screenshot of TEL Platform Custom Login Page Example

The institutional home page is the log-in screen for your students. You can brand this page with your logo and colors, visually signaling to your students that they are in the right place. You can also include school events, your social media feed, and other announcements that might be helpful to this group of students.

FAQs and Institutional Policies

Address frequently asked questions and highlight important school policies directly in the TEL platform. This information can easily be added to the course home page and can be linked in an additional tab in the course.

Emails and flyers

Students are busy and sometimes a little unorganized. On occasion, they need a nudge in order to remember where they need to go. TEL can provide customized flyers and sample emails to provide your students with the information they need to get enrolled and be successful in the course.

Reflecting Your Mission

Your students choose your institution for a reason. They appreciate your mission and outlook. Those values shouldn’t stop because students are using third-party course content. There are several ways to customize your TEL courses to better reflect the mission of your institution.

Customizable Course Pages

When students log in, they will see the different courses they are taking on the TEL platform. Schools can customize the individual course pages to provide additional context and information for the student. This is a great place to include specific course objectives that align with your mission as well as text introductions to help students make connections to the broader program. If your institution or department has a branded syllabus template with institutional policies and resources, TEL can integrate course information into your templates. Schools can even include their mission statement or a video introduction on each course.

Customizable Course Titles and Descriptions

As part of our course design, we create titles and descriptions that accurately reflect the content of the course. But those titles and descriptions are flexible based on what makes the most sense for your departments. For example, you can change Introduction to Communication to Public Speaking if that is what that course is called at your institution. You can add a line to the description to help students understand where this course fits in the broader program.

Customizable Module Pages

Digging into the content, your department may have additional resources they’d like all students to have as part of the discipline. Schools can add videos and other resources directly to the module pages. These resources can help students correlate specific course sections to the mission of the department and the school.

Creating a Quality Online Experience

The customizations mentioned so far are included with the TEL partnership. There is no additional cost for customizing the login page or course titles and descriptions. But some schools want to take the next step and customize the actual course content.

At TEL, our curriculum team focuses on creating high-quality courses that are online first. They incorporate real-world skills and competencies, helping students to build knowledge while giving them the experience they can use as part of their career journey. Instead of spending the time and resources building general education courses from scratch, partners take what we’ve built at TEL and customize the course content to more closely match the rest of their course catalog.

For an additional fee, schools can add lessons, include different readings, or change assignments. Many institutions have program-level rubrics and general-education-specific assignments for accreditation and consistency purposes. Our curriculum team will work with you and your faculty to use your rubrics and verify that they align with the course assignments, or make modifications to ensure strong alignment between your program rubrics, the assignments, and the course content.

Our curriculum team works with the school’s course designers and faculty to get the information for the changes and makes sure it adheres to the rigorous standards for our curriculum design. If you are interested in custom coursework, your school’s point-of-contact will first meet with the curriculum team lead to review the process for customization work as well as all of the options available for customization. Every institution has different needs, so this process is customized based on your mission and goals.

If you are interested in learning more about TEL’s courses or customization options, reach out for a platform demonstration or to talk with our curriculum team.

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