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Modules within Modules

Modules within Modules

(57)
As we move toward Personalized Learning we are beginning to feel boxed in by the linear design of Course Modules.  Many teachers would like the Course Modules to look more like the Course listing in the new UI (Tiles rather than lists) AND have the functionality to have Modules within Modules.  This would allow for MANY more options for student Voice, Choice and Pacing options!
 
Comments from Instructure
 
187 Comments
heather_kangas
Community Member

This is a fantastic idea! The teachers in my building are looking for this.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @kristi_levy ​, it sounds like what you are wanting is similar to the ability to add folders to Modules. This feature idea has come up a couple of times, starting with - (archived in September 2015) - and now this - (open for voting, but closing on February 3, 2016).

kristi_levy
Community Member

 @kona  Thank you for referencing those, but no, that is not what I am looking for. Our request is about much more than simply de-cluttering the interface. We want to offer course Modules with varying expectation about what is required, what must be sequential and also differentiate between what is Content knowledge vs what is a Competency. Right now that is VERY difficult to build and even more difficult for students to navigate within Canvas. It has been suggested to use this method ( ) But then you lose all of the functionality associated with Modules such as Prerequisites, Requirements and so forth, not to mention it is a lot of extra work for teachers to create it using this model.  Does that all make sense?

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Thanks for clarifying and what you want does sound different. It actually sounds pretty interesting, but I'm not sure if I fully understand what you're looking for - how would the Modules look and function that's different from how they are now?

kristi_levy
Community Member

 @kona  I would LOVE to see the Modules page look more like this. This is a de-cluttering issue and not dissimilar to what others have asked for. 162811_pastedImage_0.png

However, once you open one of those Modules, I would like the ability to have a structure like this. I realize you can do this as completely separate Modules, but that does not allow for the Complete One of the Following options and many other controls within the larger Module.

  • Unit 1: American Identity (Module 1)
    • Content Page
    • Content Page
    • Assignment
    • Discussion
    • Quiz
    • Content Page (Choose ONE of the following experiences for additional learning from below)
      • American Identity and Race Relations (Module 1.1)
        • Content Page
        • Content Page
        • Assignment
        • Discussion
      • American Identity and Poverty (Module 1.2)
        • Content Page
        • Content Page
        • Assignment
        • Discussion
      • American Identity and Gender (Module 1.3)
        • Content Page
        • Content Page
        • Assignment
        • Discussion
kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Thanks! This makes much more sense!!

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

 @kristi_levy ​, while this feature idea is working its way through the process, I'd invite you to have a look at some of the resources in the Instructional Designers​ group, notably my Creating an inviting course home page​ blog and  @clong ​'s awesome resource Home Sweet Homepages without Tables​. By using a module structure, but hiding the Modules tab from the course navigation, and creating image links to those modules on the course home page, you might be able to achieve a design that's very similar to what you've requested.

scottdennis
Community Team
Community Team

Hi Kristy,

Thank you for coming and posting this idea and then for following up with additional info.  This idea will open for vote with the next cohort next Wednesday.

jbrady2
Community Champion

 @kristi_levy ​ I am curious. Would this have a branched scenario feel to it? Meaning that, based upon which sub-module students choose in the first module, it would control where they would go in the following sub-modules based upon a predetermined curriculum structure?

kristi_levy
Community Member

I hadn't thought of that as an option, but I love the idea!! Our district is working toward both Personalized and Competency Based learning and, as our teachers push the boundaries of what Modules can do, features like these are becoming much, much more in demand.  We LOVE the features of Modules, we just want more of them Smiley Happy

klundstrum
Community Coach
Community Coach

Jeffrey - I really like this idea! I'm working on more student-directed learning options. While I have work-arounds, it would be great if this could be built in with Kristi's submission!

jordan
Community Champion

This idea has moved to the next stage and will be open for voting among the Canvas Community, from Wed. February 3, 2016 - Wed. May 4, 2016.

Check out this doc for additional details about how the voting process works! Smiley Wink

corey_jeffers
Community Participant

I'm glad this idea has been moved to the next stage. Canvas is a great tool for helping instructors personalized pathways of student learning, but this "modules within modules" idea is a feature Canvas is currently missing. I don't know of any programs offhand that do this, so if Canvas could get it going, it'd be another thing that sets it above the rest.

I really like where  @kristi_levy  and  @jbrady2 ​ are going with this. It would definitely benefit our teachers and students!

dcroswell
Community Member

Thanks for this Kristy!  We school students who learn at home and individualized, asynchronous learning is key.  Having modules allow choice AND the ability to still apply requirements would revolutionize this platform for us too!

behlert
Community Member

Just talked to the Canvas guys at NCCE 2016. We need the votes for this to happen. Tell all your friends and foes!!!

allison
Instructure
Instructure

I'm so glad that the community has hit on Modules as a really important area in Canvas that could use some rethinking, reimagining, and redesigning. I think when we come back around to this feature, we should dig deep into questions like:

for teachers,

      how should the authoring experience differ from the student view of modules?

      how should the authoring workflow support managing resources from large cartridges or folders of content or Commons content?
       how might the authoring workflow make duplication of objects in Canvas easier?

      how might the authoring experience incorporate the functionality of Conditional Release​ that we are working on now?

and for students,     
      what does a mobile-friendly content experience look like?
      how can we improve continuity of learning between visits to modules?

     what can we do to help students quickly see which areas of content need visiting or revisiting?

This will be a terrific project when the time comes. This isn't something we will be focused on during the next six months (I will archive), but voters on this thread are more than welcome to share your ideas in the meantime.

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Great considerations, Allison!

I would add that content accessibility and ease of navigation (which could be covered under your more global "student" points) must also be considered.

I worry about students getting lost in the sub-module, of a sub-module of a sub-module ad infinum and teachers ineffectively utilizing this feature to the disadvantage of of the disabled (or even enabled) student. This takes me back to the design nightmare of the brand X LMS we left for Canvas.

I can see where modules could use some restructuring, but I worry about over complicating both the student-use and instructor-creation experiences.

Agent K

scottdennis
Community Team
Community Team

I find it sometimes difficult to effectively convey to someone who didn't have to support that folders nested in folders in folders, linked into other silos of folders... how confusing it could be - not that modules as they are today are perfect, but there are always tradeoffs.

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Scott:

Yep, unless you have experienced it, it is hard to imagine. Intellectually, at first look, nested content makes sense. However, the reality is that it can, and usually does, become a navigation nightmare. At first I thought this capability was cool, but after supporting hundreds of lost students, and helping too many faculty manage lost content, I soon realized that nesting without adequate effective menus, was more trouble than useful. Even breadcrumbs could not help the messes created by nesting.

And this from a past advocate of nesting:smileyconfused:

KLM

corey_jeffers
Community Participant

I agree about keeping things simple; however, I don't think having one layer of sub-modules per module would be too complicated. Essentially this feature request seems that it would provide a slightly more customized path for students based around a central theme in a module. I think it would be beneficial to for Canvas to limit to one layer of sub-modules per module. Once there are too many, I agree,  @scottdennis ​, it becomes a nightmare for anyone who didn't design it.