1. Robb, Meigan PhD, RN

Article Content

Navigating online courses can be a frustrating process for students. Students may become overwhelmed each week when they cannot identify what materials they need to read, what activities they need to complete, or when assignments are due. The negative emotional responses often result in unfavorable learning experiences for both the student and the course instructor. However, use of a digital checklist in an online course can create a positive learning atmosphere. A digital checklist is a tool that most learning management systems offer that allows the course instructor to provide a list of required activities in which students can "check off" once completed. A well-designed checklist visually displays week-specific course materials and due dates in a structured and meaningful way. For example, consider developing weekly checklists that organize activities by categories. Then, after each activity, provide a clear description of required actions, where required materials are located in the course, and the associated due dates. Students are then able to understand the framework for the week, take responsibility for their learning by becoming organized, stay motivated by checking off items completed, and be productive by staying on track in the course. Students have provided favorable comments how using a digital checklist in an online course has "helped me stay on track," "allowed me to be better organized and manage my time better," and "provided me a better understanding of the focus of the week."