E-Learning Blog: Quality Course Design – Tip #1


— Designing Effective Modules —

by Carlos Montoya, M.Ed


In an online course, modules play an essential role in student learning. Research has found that modules bring structure and consistency, two factors that improve online learning. The following are just a few tips to consider when building your modules.

  • Outline your session: Students need to know what the major tasks are for the course. The more they are emphasized, the easier it will be for them to remember to complete. Try to include an introduction for each module and a summary. They could be in the form of a pre-test and a post-test.
  • Create sections for major steps in the process: Effective modules also have emphasis on the major steps of the lesson or activities.  In canvas you can do this by adding a text header.

Canvas Modules Sections Example

  • Make your introductions clear:  In the introduction, establish the framework for your students. It is a good idea to begin with the learning objective for that module and then explain the content in the module that will assist in achieving the target objective.
  • Reinforce the learning in each section: Reinforce the target learning objective with assignments that will assist the students see different scenarios and applications of the concept.
  • Wrap it up nice and neat with a summary: Research has found that summaries are a great way to review and reinforce learning. When summarizing the module include the objectives targeted, the content and the context of the module and how they all systematically worked to achieve the desired learning objective.

Want to share module strategies that you use in your course that aren’t listed here? Have questions about how to get started using modules or how modules differ from syllabi? Contact us!