Consistency is hugely important when it comes to online/blended teaching and learning.
It is important to be consistent in several ways such as
- visually consistent: Items such as navigation principles and visual cues should be uniform across a programme. For example blackboard sites for all modules on a programme should be laid out in a similar fashion with menus and background colours all being the same. The reason consistency is so important is that we want activities such as navigation and slide appearance to melt into the background if they are inconsistent it can cause confusion and in turn be a distraction from the actual learning. A very simple way to keep layout consistent is to decide on a template before you start and to stick with it. For slides, powerpoint has a slide master which can be very useful for creating a basic template
- having a consistent structure and consistent terminology: similar to keeping a consistent layout, using a consistent terminology can also help to avoid confusion.
By its nature, online learning lacks some of the feedback that exists in a classroom, so it is even more important that instructions and expectations are clear. Keeping items such as layout, structure and terminology consistent helps to limit potential sources of confusion, and keeps the focus on the core content.