Online Education

A Division of the Office for the Advancement of Teaching & Learning

Chunking Your Content

  • Responding to and designing for the online environment requires you to think critically about the delivery of your course content. An easy metaphor for this re-vision is “chunking.”
  • Think of any lecture or classroom session that you run and I’ll bet it can be divided into sub topics or chunks. That’s all this is. It’s breaking down your material into a format that will be accessible.
  • The process of customizing your material for online delivery is complicated, time-consuming and idiosyncratic to your course, your discipline, your style, and your students.

To that end, I encourage you to seek one on one assistance from Brett or others on campus, from the numerous books available, and from online resources.

Chunking as a process

  • Logic is key (and subjective).
  • Work to make your logic, well, logical… and transparent.
  • You might need to explain to students how your course is organized.
  • My logic is not necessarily yours.
  • Information is key (and feels repetitive).
  • Chunking takes TIME (and doesn’t always feel intuitive).

Chunks (or modules, or lessons) should include:

(generally speaking, of course)

  • An introduction, possibly a road map to the content module.
    (This will feel redundant if you have provided a roadmap to the course. That’s fine.)
  • The learning objectives of the module
    (What you hope students will come away with after consuming the content and doing the activities).
  • What materials students should consume.(reading notes as well as readings as well as watching videos or listening to audio materials).
  • Don’t assume that because materials are chunked together, students will consume them.
    (Instructions and information are key).
  • Discussion/activity assignments (and due dates).  (Again, redundancy is good!)
  • Any other evaluative processes, such as comprehension quizzes, rubrics, etc.
  • A summary
Think Big We Do

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