Lately I’ve been seeing several collections of resources and web links come in from faculty for their online courses. I thought I’d write a few tips on how to make these collections web-friendly and easy for students to use.
First, think about why you are giving these web links to students. What do you expect them to do with them?
- Are they supplemental resources?
- Are students expected to complete an assignment after visiting the links? Is there a concept or principle they should be looking for as they peruse your resource list?
- Should they read some of them? how should they choose?
- Is it for extra practice? How would students know if they need extra practice?
Think this through, then make it clear in the instructions provided with the links.
Second: Link Specific Words
Note the difference between these:
How to make a web link in Word: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Create-or-edit-a-hyperlink-5d8c0804-f998-4143-86b1-1199735e07bf
Click this link to learn how to make a web link in Word
Which one is easier to read? I hope you chose the latter!
- Write specific words. Either the reason to click the link. Or the title of the website. Something specific. Avoid “click here”!
- Link the words. Find the URL/web address and copy it. After you’ve written the specific words, then highlight the words, select the link tool, and paste the URL. Voila!
Tips for Links
- Ctrl K works in many places to jump directly to making a link. In Word, in WordPress, probably in your Learning Management System.
- Word and PDFs. If you are putting Word files or PDFs in your course, make sure all the links are set up like this before you upload. When you save from Word to PDF, usually your PDF writer will make the links active.
- Find the URL/web address and copy it.
- Write specific words.
- Highlight the words.
- Select the link tool, and paste the URL.
- Discussion, Annoucements, Labels. In your Learning Management System, you have multiple opportunities to write content. In all of these places, you can add links. Make a good linking habit. Write specific words. Link the words. Don’t just paste the long and ugly URL!
- Moodle “Page” In your Learning Management System, there is probably a tool that lets you create content. In this tool, you can also, write specific words, link the words.
Write Specific Words. Link the Words.
Got it? Your LMS helpdesk can probably assist you with this if you need additional help. It’s a simple thing, but it will make your online content look much more professional. It will also increase the likelihood that your students will actually click the links!