The most salient principle when redesigning the website is the 80/20 Rule, also known as the Pareto rule. It basically says that people use only 20% of the functions 80% of the time.So instead of overwhelming the users with a long-long list of possible functions, I suggest only four functions: Content Management, Grades, Communication, and Other. The most frequently used functions are the first three listed above, and the less frequently uses ones are available under “Other”. Another big change I am proposing is an onboarding video, along with a contextual help function on each page.
This is the web page an instructor will see after logging in to the course website. The onboarding video (which can be easily skipped for more-advanced users) provides guidance for the first steps.
Compare that to the current website, which gives no clues to the user how to proceed
The following wireframe shows the main functionalities of the site. Instructors can manage a variety of content (files, folders, links, assessments, surveys) through the content button. Grades can be edited and viewed under “Grades”, and the third most frequently used function such as emailing and announcements can be managed through communication. The primary navigation does not overwhelm the user with only four buttons (see Hick’s Law).