A module can be defined in several ways depending upon the context, if I were a NASA engineer it would be part of a spacecraft or if I were a scientist it might be a unit of measurement. A file on the other hand is best described as either a set of papers or data points usually found within folders. Seems quite simple really.
However, I was recently in a town hall-style faculty meeting with my colleagues at our public high school in which we were diving deeper into our new LMS of Canvas. And since we had not been properly using our old LMS, the question came up several times throughout the day...What exactly is a file vs. a module?
And as I wanted to fire back with a direct response like a heat seeking missile, I fell short for a moment as I myself pondered what the heck a module was in this educational context. And then it hit me, a module is a learning opportunity. Now that could be the opportunity to gain knowledge through notes or information from the web or even from a textbook or video clip. It could also be an opportunity to show or demonstrate learning such as in a discussion posts, blog entries or even cat memes with inspirational Latin phrases and it can also be an opportunity to assess learning in a long or short term setting such as quizzes, tests, midterms and finals.
So although a file can be a module, a module certainly is not just a file, but so much more. It's an opportunity to know more than you did before you showed up! And that is something worth investing in for our students as well as for ourselves!