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What is a Module?

A module, or lesson, is the strategic breakdown of content into digestible pieces that build structure and consistency for instruction.

Getting Started Module

A getting started or introductory module includes all of the key components that help a student become acclimated to the course. Think of this as a freestanding “first day of class” meeting that students can refer back to for important information.

Getting Started modules typically consist of the following pages:

  • Course Syllabus
  • Course Calendar
  • Meet Your Professor
  • Introduction Discussion
  • General Course Q&A

Instructional Module

An instructional module contains the following pedagogical elements:

  • Introduction – a short overview of what your students will be learning and the reason for which they will be learning it. The introduction should be pedagogical in nature, focusing on recall of prior knowledge, stimulating interest in the topic, and/or providing thought-provoking questions for consideration. The introduction page may also contain learning goals.
  • Objectives – observable and measurable expectations for the unit. What will the student be able to do upon the conclusion of this module as a result of your instruction? These are your objectives.
  • Content Pages – these pages are the “meat and potatoes” of your instruction and should be equivalent in rigor and breadth to the instruction that you would deliver in a face-to-face classroom. Additionally, faculty members will also want to include framework and clarification for any textbook readings. A conversational tone, analogies, examples, and personal stories are great tools for capturing attention and connecting real-life to learning.
    • Important Note: PowerPoint files can serve as an incredibly beneficial supplement to content pages; however, their use or inclusion is not a substitute for instruction or content.
  • Activities – great ways to allow students the opportunity to show to what degree to which they are meeting the module objectives. Activities can include quizzes, discussions, assignments (dropbox items), etc. Activities may be interwoven with content pages or may appear after the conclusion page.
    • Important Note: When building assessments, it’s often helpful to refer students back to content within the module, thus discouraging the act of jumping directly to assignments without reading the content.
  • Summary – a great tool to summarize content before module activities. Based on the structure of your content, this need may be met by a module conclusion and therefore may be unnecessary.
  • Conclusion – concludes the module by reiterating important items learned as well as providing a transitional statement for the next module.
  • Checklist – Brightspace’s Checklist tool provides a great opportunity for students to review and complete each item within the module.

Helpful tips about the information above are explained in our Course Design Blueprint.