During the process of creating your online course, it is important to consider what type of learning navigation you want to incorporate into the course structure. There are two different learning navigation possibilities, linear navigation and non-linear navigation.
This is the more flexible option of the two; it allows the learner to take the course at the pace that works best for their schedule. People who have taken online classes usually lean more towards this type of learning navigation because they have more experience with online courses and are able to navigate the course better than the student taking their first online course.
Linear navigation is good for students who need more structure while taking an online course. This means that the student must complete specific elements before being allowed to move forward and complete the course. This is a good option for students taking their first online class, because it walks them through the course step-by-step, giving clear instructions on what needs to be done to finish the course.
With either option, you still help to create a clear path for your students that keeps them on a steady path to complete the course. It also helps the student by allowing them to see what their progress is in the course and what needs to be done to complete the course – this keeps them from going around in circles trying to figure out what needs to be done to finish or improve their grade.