By: Kayla Jutzi
As an Instructional Designer, I spend my days working with faculty to design optimal learning experiences for Columbia College Chicago Online. They provide the content, and I help transform it into structured activities and multimedia forms.
What you’ll learn, and how you’ll learn it: those are the basics of what I do. Another critical part of instructional design is the student experience. My goal is to create intuitive learning environments that match learning objectives. That’s why I rely on user experience (UX) principles.
Despite its techy origins, UX isn’t just for your iPhone, it’s every digital interaction you have—including the courses that you’ll take at Columbia Online. Every decision that goes into building a course can have a positive or negative effect on how you experience the material.
In short: better UX means a more engaging educational experience.
Check out three ways that UX impacts every Columbia Online course.
Imagine if you logged into a course for the first time, and the links and buttons were diagonal across the page, or even worse you went to play a video but couldn’t find the play button? Navigation, text and media placement are critical components of UX, because it means you’ll spend less time searching for what you need and more time learning.
The Columbia Online instructional design team has created an interactive, user-friendly learning environment for each course, so that anytime you log in, you know exactly where to find everything—from the syllabus to your assignments. With UX in mind, we can create a consistent, simplified experience.
High Quality Learning
As an occasional online student and designer of online courses, I’ve experienced first-hand how UX affects quality.
Columbia Online prides itself on working with experienced faculty to bring creative courses to the web. We work collaboratively with one another to make sure that each course is visually appealing, easy to navigate and streamlined.
To design a course structure that offers the highest quality learning experience.
For example, in our American Sign Language 101 course, you utilize video throughout your assignments—so it’s our responsibility to make sure you can easily access and upload your video. Our Canvas learning management system also allows us to group content in ways that make your coursework more accessible.
Engagement and Connection
An intuitive user experience can also help you connect with your peers and professors and remain engaged during the course.
When the course is easy to navigate, visually appealing, and interactive, you are more likely to log in to complete the work each week, and succeed throughout the entire term.
At Columbia Online, we want you to grow as a professional—and to walk away with the tangible tools and skills to polish your resume and pursue your career goals.