About learning modules

You can use learning modules in your course as containers for organized collections of content. Modules let students navigate from one content item to the next without distractions or extra clicks. A learning module helps immerse students in the lesson or concept you're teaching. If you use a textbook or other materials as the basis for your course curriculum, modules are an effective and logical way to group content to match the pace of these materials.

Use a learning module to support a course objective, concept, or theme. For example, use a learning module to present the concept of magnets' fields before you describe how speakers and microphones work. Understanding the first concept is dependent on understanding the second concept.

You can also force a content sequence to make sure students know which content to access and in what order.

Alternatively, you can allow students to explore the content in a learning module in any order and at their own pace. For example, use a learning module to present a series of images and descriptions of various animals in a genus. Students can view the images and descriptions in any order as no order is required for understanding the whole.

Topics on this page include:

Create a learning module and add content

Add learning modules directly on the Course Content page. Drag existing content into modules or use the plus icon to add new content directly.

You can add these items to a learning module:

  • Documents
  • Files
  • Tests and assignments
  • Folders
  • Multimedia
  • Links to websites, discussions, and journals

Select the plus sign wherever you want to add a learning module. In the menu, select Create to open the Create Item panel. Select Learning module.

Learning modules appear in new courses. If you don't see an option to add a learning module, your course was created before this feature became available.

Image of the Course Content page, with the Create menu open and the Learning Module option highlighted

Type a name, optional description, and select the module's visibility.

To select whether students will view the learning module's content in sequence, select Conditional availability in the module's visibility menu.

More on releasing module content in sequence

In addition to content items, files, and assessments, you can add activities and tools that promote interactive learning and collaboration.

For example, you can add assignments or group projects to give students an opportunity to apply what they've studied in a learning module. You can also add collaboration tools such as discussions where students can brainstorm and share their ideas about the topics presented.

More on adding content

More on the types of content you can add

Customize your learning module's appearance

You can choose to add an image to your learning module. Select the three dots to the right of the learning module on your course content page. Select Edit to bring up the learning module editing panel.

Image of learning module, with the three dot menu opened to display the Edit option

1. Choose an appealing and meaningful image for your learning module. Adding an image to your learning module provides a visual identity for your course and helps your students locate the learning module.

2. Select the image icon in the edit panel. You can now upload an image. JPEG and PNG formats are supported.

Image of the panel for editing a learning module, highlighting the image option in the middle

3. A preview of the image appears. Select Next to continue. You can select the trash icon if you want to cancel the upload instead.

Image of the panel to insert an image, showing a preview of the astronaut in the image

4. Position the image. You can adjust the zoom of the image using a slider and select and drag what parts of the image become the learning module image. Select Save to continue.

Image of the zoom slider beneath a grid on the image preview on the insert image panel

5. The image is uploaded to your learning module. The image might take a few seconds to load, depending on your internet connection.

6. Learning module images are automatically marked as decorative, which hides the banner for students using assistive technologies. If you want all students to know the content of the image, uncheck Mark the image as decorative. Enter a description of the image in the Alternative text field.

7. Select Save to turn on the image for your learning module.

Navigate learning modules

Image of a learning module, showing visibility options and the Edit menu
  • Edit the module title and description. Hover over the title or description and select to edit. Add an engaging description so students know what they'll learn in this module.
  • Change module visibility. You can show or hide the module for students. You can also select conditional availability. You can set the module availability on a certain date, as students achieve a chosen grade, or in a content sequence.
  • Add and create module content. Drag content from the Course Content page into the module or create content directly within it.
  • View and organize content. Select the arrow to expand the module and view all content. Reorder content in the order you want students to access it. Want to enforce the order? You can force a content sequence. If you delete a learning module with content, the content is also removed from the Course Content page.
  • Change content visibility or add conditions. You can select visibility for individual items within the learning module. You can also add conditions for when the content becomes available.

You can navigate within the learning module just like you can in the main part of the Course Content page. Select the arrow to the right of the learning module on your Course Content page to expand or collapse the module’s content.

Image of a learning module, highlighting the arrow to expand a learning module's content

You can create new items within the learning module by selecting the plus button that appears over blank areas in the module. Items created will appear in the location that you created them in.

Image of a learning module, with the plus button highlighted between two assignments

You can drag and drop items that you have already created outside of the learning module. Select the item that you want to move, then drag the item to the learning module.

Image of an assignment being dragged to a different position in the learning module

You can also add release conditions to content items within your learning module.

More on content release conditions

If you delete a learning module with content, all of the content is also removed from the Course Content page.

Add folders to learning modules

You can add folders to a learning module to organize content. Folders in learning modules can only contain content items, not other folders.

Students navigate through content in folders the same as any other content in the module. However, you can force a content sequence. Students need to access and complete content within the folder before they move on to the next content item within the module.

Student views of learning modules

When a module is visible, students can also view all visible content within the module, including due dates. Students can open and access the content in any order.

If you force a content sequence, a message appears. Students are told that they need to open and complete the content in order, along with other conditions you set.

After students open a content item, they can navigate through the module with the arrows at the top of the browser window. When students are required to access the content in order, a lock appears next to the arrow.

Students can exit the module before completion. When students return, icons appear next to the module content if the sequence is enforced. The icons show which content is complete, in process, and not started, so students can pick up where they left off.

Image of a learning module from the student's point of view, showing progress through the module

A green circle with a check mark means that content is complete. A partially filled black circle means the content is in process. An empty circle means that the content hasn't been started. Visit the Progress Tracking topic for more information about tracking your students' progress.