Presenting material in an online course isn’t as simple as taking your face-to-face course content, putting it in digital format, and posting it to Sakai (or another website). It’s important to consider how students learning in an online class will interact with the content and to make sure content is presented in an optimal format for these students.
Online students have multiple challenges that students in face-to-face classes do not have. For one, all of the material they are consuming is presented on a computer screen; if you’ve ever worked several hours non-stop in front of your computer, you’ll probably know how tedious it can be to keep your attention focused on one task for a significant amount of time. It’s also important to add in factors relating to the environment in which the students are studying – students may be taking classes online because they work full time, or because they have children for which they need to care. There’s a rather large chance that your students are going to be in an environment in which distractions are plentiful, so it’s important to optimize the delivery of your materials so that students are able to stay focused on the content. Several ways to do this are to chunk the material you are presenting and to incorporate active learning techniques.