I’ve been playing around with the layout of my course home page on ItsLearning, and I’ve come up with a new look that I like, both for aesthetics and functionality.

There is a ‘Change Course Layout’ button at upper right that gives three options: two columns, one column, and wide left. I never quite knew what wide left was (or never bothered to consider it) but I checked it out today and I like it a lot. It gives one wide column (about 2/3s of the screen) on the left and a narrow column on the right. I suppose this appeals to my photographer sensibilities (rule of thirds) and my disdain for the symmetry of the two column approach that is so common.

I now have four content blocks in two rows (and remember, the left one is wide and the right one is narrow). Top row: embedded GoogleCalendar and embedded Twitter feed. Bottom row: course intro / overview (what was my one column last year) and bulletins.

I’ll write more about the GoogleCalendar and Twitter but a nice feature for the calendar (and what sold me on the wide left format) is, if you set the week-beginning day to Monday, the wide left column fits exactly five days, so the students see Monday to Friday only (and can scroll over for Saturday & Sunday but there shouldn’t be any / much calendar traffic on the weekend).

Wide left (not a field goal attempt). Give it a try and tell me what you think.

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