Faculty: Using Modules

What is a Module?

Canvas uses modules to organize course content to help organize the flow of the course, which can be by weeks, units, or a different organizational structure. Modules essentially create a one-directional linear flow of what students should do in a course.

Modules button in left navigation in Canvas
  • Each module can contain different types of items, such as files, discussions, assignments, quizzes, and other learning materials.
  • Course content can be added to multiple modules or iterated several times throughout an individual module.
  • Modules can be easily organized using the drag and drop feature.
  • Elements within the modules can also be reorganized by dragging and dropping.

Instructors can use Canvas Modules to:

  • Create prerequisite activities that students must complete before moving on in the course.
  • Track student progress through a sequence of learning activities.
  • Organize course content by unit, day, week, topic or Outcome.

Why use Modules?

Using a clear, predictable, and well-marked module structure helps provide a learning path for students to follow. By using modules in a course, you can

  1. Organize course by content, assessment and time.
  2. Sequence content and activities.
  3. Transition students from one activity to another.
  4. For course redesign and improvement, it allows for better evaluation and more focused revision and improvement.

How do I use Modules?

Course modules can be identified by content, by time frame (day/week), or by steps in a process,

  • Sequence your modules appropriately within the content section (for example, Module 1, 2, 3…).
  • Name your modules and content module pages appropriately in the Canvas content section.

In general, a module includes:

  • An introduction to the module’s objectives, its rationale or purpose, and context.
  • Activities that provide ways for students to engage with each other in discussion and with the information and concepts.
  • Opportunities to practice, apply, analyze or synthesize new information.
  • Chances to reflect and articulate students’ acquired knowledge.
  • Possibly additional resources for students to extend their learning through enriching activities and evaluation.
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