myCourses is a site used by Rochester Institute of Technology to facilitate students’ progression through their coursework. It is the main interface through which professors and students work with assignments. Professors may post course material and grades for students to look over, as well as receive assignments through a dropbox feature.
The site covers basic needs, but its design could be improved to increase efficiency and better support students in their coursework. Establishing a better hierarchy will enhance the experience of using myCourses by promoting helpful features that often go unnoticed. Streamlining actions and improving the overall organization will also allow students to save time that can be spent working on assignments.
Number of visits a week
At least once a day
Approximate time per visit
Percent of courses that use each feature
Dropboxes are labeled with a deadline and can be closed at that time
An application for students to submit their assignments
Message boards opened by the professor for anyone to post and respond to messages
Shows grades on dropbox submissions or in-class assignments
Comments on features
“The dropdown list for courses shows old courses that clog it up.”
“It would be convenient to be able to read content while still [having] a navigation to open the other content sources.”
This feature does exist but it is hard to notice.
When I surveyed 12 RIT students, I found that most students log on daily for short 5 to 10 minute sessions. This would mean that students typically go on myCourses to complete a specific task.
From the regular use of each feature, students seem to be satisfied with the primary functions of the site. However, some features have poor organization or affordance.
- Home Page
- Submit Assignment
- Course Page
I took inspiration from dashboard interfaces because they are designed to organize and clarify large amounts of data. As students typically log on to myCourses in short sessions throughout the day, they should be able to quickly complete their task and log off to work on their assignments.
Clicking on the submit button of an assignment will open a Dropbox modal for students to submit a project without leaving the current page. This allows students to efficiently submit and go on to other tasks without disrupting their flow.
Students should be able to generally find what they need from the home page. However, course pages will contain additional material specific to a course.
Hover over a highlighted area for more details
Early Alerts notify a student if they are failing a course. These are placed at the top of the page so the student will notice them.
Updates and Due Dates are placed above the fold for immediate access, as these features are used most often.
The current semester will always be expanded in the navbar and display courses the student is currently taking.
Courses from past semesters are accessible in the navbar. Each semester can be expanded to navigate to its courses.
Students can save links to related sites to navigate to.
Students can see what is due for the week. They can also navigate to see the original assignment post or submit their work directly from the home page.
News posts are generally not pressing, but students will see notifications when they are posted and can read them here if they are interested.
Students can submit to other projects by navigating through the Project Browser.
If they want to see the posted content related to the project, students can click here to review content.
Submitted projects are shown with a score if the professor has already graded it.
Submitted projects that have not been graded yet can be edited or resubmitted.
To submit a project using a file browser, students can choose whether to find the file on their computer, their myCourses locker, or their myCourses Groups locker.
Students can add comments with each submission. When added, each comment can be removed or edited. Professors can also comment on submissions, and students can reply.
Secondary Navbar links to pages relating to the course.
Grades are shown at the top of the page to give the student an idea of how they are doing in the course. Any missing assignments are also shown here to ensure the student knows they need to submit these.
Information about the course instructor and their office hours are displayed here for quick reference. Students can also click on the instructor's name to email them directly.
Course news posts are less prominent here because they are not used very often and usually do not contain much content. Students will still see notifications when they are posted and see them here if they are interested.
Students can see the most recently posted content here or open the content browser. Course Outlines and Sources will be default folders and will always be visible.
School policies must be shown on all course pages to make certain that students know of them.
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