all the week pages look the same. There’s a Notes, Instructional Objectives, Reading, Lessons, and Assignments headings on every week page. So students can anticipate that each week they will have all of these elements to attend to. This is where my philosophy differs from the above mentioned presenter. Students are trained from years of reading textbook to go to the major headings on a page, so I provide that for them here. Click the images to make bigger.

Week 5a

Week 5b

One additional element I added this semester is time estimates. Many students have unrealistic expectations of how much time they should be spending each week in the online class. So I’m very clear up front about what my expectations are for them. I tell them to expect anywhere from 6-11 hours of work per week ( 3 hours for class + 2.5-3 per credit hour for homework = 10.5-12 hours). Some weeks are lighter than others. To help them manage this time (they still don’t believe me), I post estimates on the weekly page for every activity for the week. You can see these estimates in bold on the images above. Students can use the weekly page, just like the non-module-believing presenter’s students, to see clear instructions for what is due that week. But my students have an option to click the links on the page to access the material or click the Next button at the bottom to advance to the next activity.

I also find that giving students something to do each week makes it easier to keep them engaged in the class. It makes it easier to keep track of attendance, as well. If I just give them reading to do or extended time to work on projects with nothing to turn in, I can’t tell when a student is just out there doing nothing for 2-3 weeks or actively participating in the course. So I’m a big fan of modules because of the consistency it forces me to follow. And I hope it helps my students develop a pattern of study for my class and gets them to consistently show up and get the work done.


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