This article will go over general best practices for titling activities within a course in the NovoEd platform.
Why use activity titles in learning design?
When creating activities in the NovoEd Platform, you have the opportunity to give each activity a title. Giving your activities unique titles can save you a lot of time and frustration later when you need to distinguish one activity from another without seeing which lesson page each one is on.
For some activity types (discussions, video practice activities, and live events), the platform asks for a title as you create the activity itself. That makes it easy to remember to customize the title. However, for many activity types, the title defaults to just listing the activity type:
On the surface, this looks fine! But if you take the time to give each activity a unique name it can help you later on.
The first situation where unique activity names are important is when you are looking at your course data. If your activities all have the default names you won’t be able to tell them apart on the Analytics page or when you go to set up reports on the Data Downloads page:
The same concept applies if you use Prerequisites in your course. Prerequisites require learners to complete a specific activity or page before another page unlocks. As with setting up your Data Downloads reports, you need to be able to tell your activities apart to set up the Prerequisite conditions correctly:
7 tips for naming activities in NovoEd
Let’s look at some tips for activity titles in the NovoEd platform.
- Unique activity titles.
Each activity should have a different name so you can tell them apart when running reports.
- Activity titles should be different from the page titles.
This one is important if you’re going to use Prerequisites. If an activity has the same name as a page, you won’t be able to tell which is which when setting up Prerequisite conditions.
- Consider including the module number in the activity titles.
If you think you might want reports organized by module (a report on all activities in module 1, etc.), include the module number in the title. “Module 1 Radical Candor Quiz.” Then it’s easier to spot all of the M1 activities when you’re setting up the report:
- Otherwise, avoid numbering activities
While it might be useful to include the module number in the activity title, you might want to avoid numbering activities within the modules. (Quiz 1, Quiz 2, etc.) If you add or remove an activity later on, you may need to update the numbering throughout the course. This can be annoying, and if you are trying to compare results between cohorts, it could be tricky to line up matching activities in the different courses.
- Keep the names reasonably short.
When running reports, the names will appear with extra information, like “[Title] Submit Status” or “[Title] No of Submission Comments Received.” Quizzes/Timed Exams/Surveys will show “[Title] [Question stem] Submitted Answers” and get even longer. See example below:
- Know your audience.
Think about how your learners will react to the titles. Will “Assignment” or “Quiz” cause them to react negatively? Will “Challenge” or “Knowledge Check” be more acceptable to them?
- Create a test report to check your activity titles.
Go into Data Downloads and create a report (or at least start creating one) so you can see all of the activity names. Even if you cancel out of it without actually creating the report, this is a great way to double-check that you don’t have 20 assignments called “Assignment.”
- Use a separate title bar for standard titles.
If you want a standard title or call to action that you repeat throughout the course, add a separate title bar just over the actual activity for that standard phrasing:
Wrapping It All Up
Activity titles are one of those “little things” that can make a big difference. It’s easy to get caught up in creating the perfect instructions for your activities and miss customizing the activity titles. If you take just a little extra time to name each activity as you create it, it will make things much easier for you later!
Do you have any questions?
Submit a request or email the NovoEd Support Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.