Tips From the Pros: Improve Learning with Purposeful Redundancy

Online course content should be challenging, but the course itself should be straightforward and include “purposeful redundancy” to aid navigation and provide multiple ways to learn, says Michelle Manganaro, who teaches online education and communications courses at several institutions, including Massasoit Community College. In terms of course navigation, purposeful redundancy entails careful use of icons and coding (by color or location) to designate what is a priority and providing students with more than one way to…

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Online course content should be challenging, but the course itself should be straightforward and include “purposeful redundancy” to aid navigation and provide multiple ways to learn, says Michelle Manganaro, who teaches online education and communications courses at several institutions, including Massasoit Community College.

In terms of course navigation, purposeful redundancy entails careful use of icons and coding (by color or location) to designate what is a priority and providing students with more than one way to access course elements.

In terms of content, purposeful redundancy means addressing a single learning outcome in a variety of ways. “If students didn't read the lecture or comprehend it, I'm going to [present the content] again in a discussion question, show it in a video, or put it in a current event situation. The content is the same. It's just offered a lot of different ways,” Manganaro says.