One simple rule to follow when working on the web is that if we can increase the ease of access to something, we can automatically increase its use. Building on this idea, we can make the learning environment even easier for our students to participate in and succeed.
In the course Communications, Technology, and Convergence, we embed a webpage directly within a discussion page. Originally, the design of the activity required the students to open another browser window or tab, download a pdf reader, and toggle between pages to participate. All of this took away time and interfered with the students’ ability to seamlessly progress through the activity.
By embedding the page within a discussion webpage, students can refer to the paper instantly without leaving the activity. This allows the students to focus wholly on the content of the article, and how it relates to the questions proposed in their discussion section. And, with one click, they can print and/or view the paper in full screen mode.