Coffee CourseIntroduction to TEL

Designing Online Learning Environments

A well-designed course can foster positive learning outcomes, enhance student experience and reduce student anxiety and stress.

In this coffee course, we will focus on one aspect of course design: the delivery of course materials online. Every interaction within a course forms part of a learner’s experience – including their interactions with course sites.

What makes a good course site? This coffee course will unpack a range of visual design and learner experience principles to help guide you in creating purposeful sites for your students.

Course Dates

This course ran from Monday, 9 July to Thursday, 12 July 2018 through this blog but is accessible online to anyone interested. There are 4 blog posts that will take about 10-15 minutes to work through.



Day 1 – Back to basics: What makes a good course site? 

When discussing what makes a good course site, we immediately think about visual appeal. However, visual appeal is only one of the many considerations we have when designing a course site. In this post, we will discuss the principles of learner and user experience guiding the creation of course sites.

Day 2 – From chaos to order: Dealing with information overload

We often come across courses that are content heavy. How can we apply course design principles to avoid information overload? Day two will provide some tools to help you plan and map your content – an essential step before you begin to design a course site.

Day 3 – 5 ways to improve the visual design of your sites

What are some of the ways you can improve the visual design of your sites? We have picked out five simple design principles which you can easily apply to your course sites to improve learner experience.

Day 4 – Planning for the future: How can we be sustainable?

Are beautiful sites sustainable? In this post, we will discuss the importance of sustainability and how we can try to mitigate problems of maintenance in the future.


Jill Lyall Jill Lyall has a background in social sciences, community services, and adult education.  Jill has worked for many years in Vocational Education and Training in a TAFE environment in Western Australia.  During that time she developed an interest in technology for learning, and developed her skills for online learning. Since early 2015, Jill has been working with ANU Online, creating online materials for post-graduate courses and support and training resources in technology enhanced learning for academics at ANU.



Rebecca Ng is a Learning Technologist with the ANU Online team. She describes herself as a “partial cyborg” as she believes that technology has changed the way she thinks and approaches her daily life. More importantly, it has changed the way we perceive and learn. Hence, she is interested in researching new pedagogical approaches that can effectively integrate different technologies to support higher education.



Thao photo Thao Tran joined ANU online as a Learning Technologist, moving from Course Support Officer at ANU College of Law. Thao has more than 7 years’ experience working in Teaching and Learning support role in the high education environment, design and develop the Wattle online course sites. Thao also has experience with a variety of learning management systems and other multimedia tools which are used to support educational activities in the university. Thao is passionate about the innovation of technology in education, especially in higher education contexts and it impacts on the learner.


Technology-Enhanced Learning in Higher Education Certificate

Go here to learn more on getting recognised for your participation in coffee courses (ANU Staff only).

All are welcome

We welcome all staff, including tutors, demonstrators, professional staff, and academics at the Australian National University and beyond to join us for this course.


Please feel free to contact with any questions.