John Buchner

Best Pedagogy and Practices When Using "Modules"

Discussion created by John Buchner on Apr 28, 2017
Latest reply on Jul 1, 2020 by Susan Day

I teach a 300+ person a semester traditional* microbiology class. I originally designed my course with many interlinked pages, thinking that students would naturally be inquisitive about the information that would be contained within, particularly because the contents of the pages should be helping them derive solutions to the quizzes and written assignments they need to complete. I think I overestimated my ability to create stimulating content, and their inquisitiveness. I'm thinking about "forcing" them to get through the content in a particular order.


Is there strong pedagogical evidence that this improves student learning?


What's the best practices that you see when working with Modules in your classes to get the highest learning gains? I could see myself creating a "gate," a short quiz or survey, before every new page, but I don't want to grind the students down with too many small assignments. (Right now there are 2-3 small assignments to complete per week.) So, how do you use balance the use of modules to give the students direction, and make sure they are staying on target?


*Students register for lecture and lab concurrently, lecture is in a pit, but with many stops for think pair share activities, discussion of homework, and a growing list of activities completed in class. Labs focus on basic microbiology lab skills such as aseptic technique, reading and interpreting results. We use three case studies (fictional but plausible scenarios) to facilitate learning. The culmination of the case studies is written reports and posters. My student population is non-microbiology majors, but many want to go into the health profession, and this course is required for public health majors.