Pedagogy in Action > Pedagogic Service > Creating Activities and Modules > Creating a Module

Creating a Module

If you are interested in creating a module, please contact Sean Fox (sfox at carleton.edu).

The Parts of a Module

The goal of a module is to provide the full range of information that a faculty member needs to successfully implement a teaching method. We use a structured format for modules to make it easy for faculty to browse across multiple methods. Each module has these parts:
  • An overview page: The overview pages serves as a table of contents to the module. Users browse this page to decide if they want to look further. More on creating an overview page
  • A What page: This page describes the teaching method and its distinguishing features. More on creating a What page
  • A Why page: This page describes when and why the method is particularly effective using the educational literature. More on creating a Why page
  • A How page: This page, the most popular destination describes how to use the method effectively with tips for the instructor. More on creating a How page
  • A collection of examples: The examples, drawn from the discipline or school of interest to the target audience bridges between the module content and the teaching experience of the user. Examples make the module relevant and understandable while providing ideas for ways in which the instructor can use the method. Each module should have at least 10 activities associated with it More on creating activities
  • A Reference Page: This page lists all references used in the module. If references are web pages or articles that are available online, please create links. For journal articles that require a subscription, link to the free abstract rather than the article itself.
  • Peer Review: Once your module is ready to be published, it will be peer-reviewed. For more information, see the Module Review page.

Tips for Authors

In addition to the suggestions for content provided in the links above, there are a few good ideas to keep in mind across the module.

Not just your opinion

Pedagogic modules are pieces of scholarly work not opinion pieces. Assertions must be backed up with references or qualified as "in my experience". Links to the literature are the mechanism we use to move from anecdote to scholarship. Reviewers are instructed to look for unsubstantiated claims and missing references.

Each page is the first page

Most users enter from Google or come from an example page. They are unlikely to see your top page first and may read only one page or the pages in a random order. Make sure that a reader can tell what your page is about at a glance, can make an informed decision as to whether to read it, and can find other related pages that may be of interest.

Tired of Being Told

Consider your module as a persuasive essay. Faculty do not respond very well to "should" statements and are more likely to use your module if it works to engage and inform them rather than to direct them.

More about Module Parts

Overview of teaching method X

This page contains:

  • Brief 1 to 3 sentence definition of method which may include a relevant quote. The
    context tag may be used to provide a box encompassing the text.
  • One sentence summary of each of the remaining 5 organizing elements (what is, why use, how to, examples, and references) and include links to each one of these elements

What is X

This page contains description of teaching method that answers question such as:

  • What differentiates this teaching method?
  • What is the preferred class size?
  • What is the preferred environment?
  • Are there any required resources or technology (or other traits of a logistical nature)?

Why use X?

This page provides answers to questions such as:

  • What are potential learning outcomes?
  • What is potential for assessment?
  • What does current research say in relation to this method?

How to use X?

This section can be very prescriptive and include things such as:

  • Step-by-step instructions
  • List of challenges
  • Tips for first time use
  • Classroom management
  • Suggestions for types of content best suited for this method

Activities using X

Ideally, each teaching method should have 10 activities or examples that give a range of ideas for using the method for the given discipline. Use the example template within the CMS mini-collection to ensure that the activities and examples can be found by users through the search engine. Each field within the template should be complete even if the content is redundant with associated Word and PDF files. The user should be able, at a glance, to get the idea of the activity and how easily it will be for them to adapt to their own class.

The example should contain all materials needed to execute the activity (e.g. handouts - but not wet chemicals). In addition, all the instruction the faculty member needs to execute the activity well should either be provided or referenced. So for example, if the activity includes a think pair share, link to information on how to do a think pair share well. In some examples, you may need to include information on how to lead the discussion. If the example requires knowing something special that is specific to the example to execute it with success, include it as part of the example pages, e.g. typical errors, places discussion often goes astray, and so on. Read more about creating activities.