Creating Modules in Canvas

Teaching Online, 101: A Guide for History Department Instructors 
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One of the particular challenges of online teaching is that the number and complexity of the digital course components (lectures, media, discussions, readings, assessments, etc.) that students must juggle is higher, while opportunities for in-person clarification are lower.

Given those issues, we suggest that you try using modules to organize online course components into manageable, logical, cohesive chunks. The way to do that in Canvas is with modules. Modules are entirely optional, and many faculty have not had reason to use them in the past. But they may be of greater relevance in the coming quarter.

Simply put, modules allow you to organize all of your different types of course content in one place within Canvas. This can help your students know what items they need to focus on for a particular week in the quarter, such as watching lecture video 1 and taking a quiz.

1. To start creating modules within your Canvas course, click on the Modules link located in the menu on the left-side and then click the +Module box

2. A new box will pop up where you can name your new module, and then click the Add Module button

You can choose how you want to break things down. The expectation is that students will progress from module to module, and that each module will contain various types of content that share a connection. But there are many organizing principles you might choose to follow: creating modules for specific course topics, for example, or simply by the weeks of the quarter.  

3. Once you've created a module, you can add various types of course content into it.

To add items onto your new Module just click the + symbol that shows up on the right-side of your new Module

4. Select the item you want to add to your Module and click Add Item

5. Keep adding modules, and adding content to them, until you have fleshed out the pedagogical architecture for your course. Note that if you want to add Panopto lecture recordings to your module, you can find instructions here.

As you continue to add additional content to the course, you can add those content items to the existing modules also.

You can also drag modules up and down to change their ordering, so that it matches how you want students to progress through them.

Finally, if you have defined modules for your course, then you may want to make the Modules page the home page for your course. Our tutorial for setting up your Canvas Syllabus page contains instructions for making the Syllabus your home page, but following those same steps, you can choose Modules instead if you wish.