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Designing Web-Based Training: How to Teach Anyone Anything Anywhere Anytime by William Horton

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4.8. ADD ACCESS MECHANISMS

Few WBT designers think they can force-march a whole class of learners down a narrow path of the designer's devising. Most freely acknowledge the need to let at least some learners find their own way. Hence, WBT courses are sprouting the same access mechanisms common in online Help and multimedia CD-ROMs.

4.8.1. Menu and tables of contents

The menu is a hierarchical organization of the Web pages that make up a course. A menu is sometimes called the Table of Contents or just Contents, especially in courses organized as a book.

4.8.1.1. What does the menu do for learners?

The menu lets learners click their way to any individual page. Learners accustomed to navigating the hierarchical file systems in Windows and Macintosh systems readily adapt to such drill-down menus within WBT courses.

The menu previews the contents of the course. It shows what the course or lesson covers, reveals how it is organized, and suggests how much time it will require. Good menus organize the entire course into a few levels with a few choices at each level. They thus simplify the task of finding individual pages.

4.8.1.2. Several kinds of menus are possible

Designers of WBT courses can choose from a variety of different menu types.

4.8.1.2.1. Menus as layered pages of subtopics

For handcrafted courses, the menus often consist of a top page listing sub-menus. Clicking on an entry jumps to another Web page listing either another layer of sub-menus or the actual pages themselves. ...

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