Designing an Educational Website

Focus on teaching

An educational website should be constructed in such a way that it’s main focus is teaching. It should focus on high quality content to enrich the learning experience of visitors. Your website should be centered on educational quality, not the quantity of pages (or text) and the look of your site.

If you keep your website interesting, clear and focussed your can presume that your visitors will appreciate your efforts and that they will respond positively. The following outline will present the general guidelines for the construction of an educational website.

Avoid using animations. – Having said that, there are occasions when an animation will aid in the presentation of certain ideas. But, in most cases animations are a distraction to your visitors and the information that you are trying to convey.

Use a white background. – Various background colors have been tested for visitor appeal and when it comes to serious reading, website visitors prefer black text on a white background.

Consistent use of fonts, colors and page layout. All of your webpages should have a common layout and theme. Mixing up text fonts, using too much color variation, and being inconsistent with your page layouts will not do.

Keep individual pages clean and simple. – Anything added should have a purpose (yes esthetics and humour also have purpose, but not of highest importance for this task).

Streamline the site to the busy visitor. – People are in a hurry these days so it is important that your visitors can find what they are looking for quickly. Navigation through your website should be simple and user friendly.

Note: In general, subjective comments, humorous remarks, other entertaining items (e.g. animations) may be provided but should be separate from the core subject being taught.

Organization and Structure

Learning is more likely to occur if there is a logical and sequential organization of information. Learning is maximized when there is a definite structure to learning activities such as a step-by-step tutorial. Tutorials are one of the hallmarks of the internet and find their best use when teaching a subject, idea and/or method of doing something.

Organize your website around your core subject. The website should be structured in such a way that the emphasis is always upon what you are trying to teach. Don’t digress, stay on your topic and be as clear and simple as possible.

Structure your subject matter into short concise statements and paragraphs. Don’t be frivolous or try to impress your visitors with your knowledge. The object of any educational website is to impart some lasting knowledge to people who are seeking a better understanding of what you are teaching.

Wants, Needs, and Aspirations

Learning occurs more easily when the content matches the wants, needs, or aspirations of your visitors. Relate the information taught to how it affects them or how it will help them accomplish their goals. Visitors must see the relevance of the information to themselves and their lives.

Summary

Everyone is busy. Some people are under-informed and may need more info on particular items. Other people know most of the content you offer and want to find out particular points quickly without having to search through unneeded info.Try to cater to all of your visitors. This can be difficult, but keep in mind the educational website is for the visitors convenience not principally a self expression area.

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