Reconfigure your overall course schedule and structure around modules that depend upon different needs and delivery formats. Chunk content, assignments, and experiences around themes that work coherently.
Techniques and Activities to help you explore this practice.
Create Modules around Topics/Themes
Consider the way the content and work of your course is organized. Does it lend itself to being “chunked” into modules around specific themes/ideas/topics that are important to the course subject? If you don’t currently use themes in your course, can you introduce some that will help make organizational sense of your course in ways you haven’t considered before?
Create Modules around Major Assignments.
If the work of your course and the rhythm of your semester is usually defined by major projects or assignments, consider creating modules around them. Group other activities, content, and classwork according to the major assignment they are related to. Use modules to create clear boundaries about when major projects/assignments are completed.
Create Modules around Modalities
Think about the work of your course and the kind of learning modalities it demands at different times during the term. Are there some assignments/activities that you really think need to be completed face-to-face? Are there others that could be more easily done remotely/individually? Create modules that are organized around modality requirements — perhaps two weeks that focus on field trips; in-class, in-person activities; particular lab work.
This approach may mean rethinking the overall sequencing of your course and require you to “unbundle” content/assignments that have previously been taught together. While this will present certain challenges, are there ways you can make sense of the new organization that works to your students’ advantage? Perhaps those face-to-face activities embody some kind of overall skills, knowledge, or techniques that are also important to your course but that you’ve never taught explicitly before.
Create a Module
- Define the specific things you want students to be able to do as a result of their work in this module. For ideas about strong verbs to use when creating learning objectives, check out the Depth of Knowledge Wheel.
- Create the assessments that you will use to measure student’s success. These can be tests, projects, self-evaluations, etc. You’re not limited to one big assessment; you can include smaller, lower-stakes assessments as part of your plan. Make sure your assessments align with the objectives you’ve identified.
- Create or locate resources that will help your students get from the learning objective to successful completion of the assessment(s).
- Put your module in a coherent sequence. Think about the path you want students to take through the content, work, and assessments.
Based on Hunter College’s Creating an Online Module Guide.
Online reading and resources to help dive deeper into this practice.
- Step-by-Step Guide to Creating an Online Module, Hunter College
- Using a Modular Approach to Course Design, Boise State University
- How to design effective teaching modules, UACES
A larger community of teachers and learners interested in this practice.
Discuss on Twitter
If you are active on Twitter, we encourage you to share your thought and ideas using the #ACEFramework hashtag and the #modular hashtag to talk about this practice, in particular.
Join a Meeting
If you are interested in talking to people about the Adaptability value (for which Module-Based Schedule is an ACE-informed practice), we invite you to our hosted Zoom chats. Chats are scheduled this summer on the following dates:
- Thursday, June 18 from 1:00PM-2:00PM (EDT): Overview of the ACE Framework
- Thursday, June 25 from 1:00PM-2:00PM (EDT): Adaptability Practices
Submit Your Ideas
If you find yourself working this summer on a project or approach that uses Module-Based Schedule, we invite you to share what you’ve found or created, via the Submit Something button below. If you choose to publicly share your submission, it will immediately become available on this page in the Revisit section. (For particularly compelling submissions, we may also add this to the Explore section of this page.)
Hypothesize with Us
The online annotation tool, Hypothesis, is built into this Web site. Feel free to annotate this (or any page in the ACE Framework) with your own thoughts, critiques, questions, or ideas. You can easily get started with a Hypothesis account (which is free) and learn more about how to use the tool.
Join Our Team
Plymouth State University community members are invited to join our Teams site for the ACE Framework. Feel free to use our discussion channel to ask questions, give suggestions, and point to new resources.
A space for user-submitted ideas, resources, and links related to this practice.