Communicate a Learning Journey to Your Students

What is a Learning Journey?

A learning journey provides your students with a clear pathway through their learning to:

  • give students a familiar and consistent experience across modules
  • help students feel confident in knowing what they need to do and at what time
  • set expectations for students’ engagement and partnership
  • Enable students to develop and self-regulate their learning

This guide suggests three simple examples you can adapt to ensure that your students understand their learning journey.

Accessibility and inclusivity

When you create a plan for students to download, it can be tempting to add elaborate colour coding and symbols to explain your learning journey. These can present numerous challenges to students with accessibility needs. When designing a plan:

  • avoid using colour alone to convey meaning (use titles and colours in combination)
  • remember codes or symbols may have different meanings across cultures (if essential, use as few symbols as possible and include a key)
  • minimise the number of abbreviations and explain them on their first use
  • Use accessible file formats
  • Use consistent language between your plan and teaching content

Apply the University’s accessibility recommendations for written content when communicating your learning journey to students as well.

Timetable, module map or plan

A top-level timetable, map or plan of your module is an ideal way to communicate a learning journey quickly and accessibly.

Information to include in your plan could contain:

  • Day or week during which activities should be completed
  • The titles of activities, workshops or lectures
  • Whether activities are synchronous (live) or asynchronous (not live)
  • Names of staff delivering sessions
  • How long students should spend on an activity and how long a session will last

The plan should also show links between activities and sessions. If you are running a module for many students, you may need to have live sessions at different times throughout the week (this can also help students with planning).

How to share a Learning Journey document on Minerva

  1. Use an accessible document to record your plan.
  2. Use a single central copy of your plan to avoid inconsistencies.
  3. Add your plan to the Minerva content collection.
  4. Link to your plan on a welcome page or starting point for the module.

Making sure that all staff teaching on your module has access to the plan will help them communicate it.

If you update your plan, replace the file on the Minerva content collection so all your links will then link to the new file without you having to change them.

Guidance:

Announcements

Giving students regular reminders about deadlines and progress will help them keep on track.  Announcements are most effective when clear, unambiguous and relevant to all students. Announcements can be a valuable way of reflecting on key learning or events, you can consider including:

  • Welcome messages at the start of a module to prompt them to engage and explain where to begin.
  • Responses to questions or issues raised by individual students that are relevant to the whole cohort.
  • Recaps of a discussion that has taken place in webinars or forums.

Guidance:

Welcome page

A Welcome page on Minerva makes it clear to students where to begin. It also means that you can write instructions for navigating the course in one place.

Students will be able to return to the welcome page if they get lost or need to check something.

What to include on a welcome page:

  • A short introduction to the course. This is a good stage to inspire your students with the wider issues or questions your module approaches.
  • The course structure and how students should approach the material.
  • Special requirements for the module, such as software or types of activity.
  • Learning objectives or outcomes and a link to a syllabus.
  • Link to download a timetable, map or plan of your learning journey.
  • Relevant contact details for help, such as Student Education Service.

A welcome page can be created using an item in Minerva. The Minerva Support guide for how to add content provides more detail on this. You can also add attachments to your items, such as a link to the module map of the content collection.

Links