In short:

Similar to a folder system, modules help organize a Canvas course site. Instructors can determine whether the modules are defined thematically, by week, or by course component (e.g. lab, lectures, homework). Within each module you can add different types of course resources like readings, assignments, discussions, and external tools.

Goals: Why Use Modules?

  • To create a student friendly course structure.
  • To direct students to important content and activities.
  • To make it easier for instructors to copy over content to future courses.


Key Considerations

  • Work backwards. Consider the goal for using modular structure, then determine the content and activities to add to each module.
  • Release times. You may wish to lock modules to release a content sequentially, or publish all your materials at once. You can also set up a conditional release structure, where students have to complete one module before the next is made available.
  • Provide an overview. Consider starting each module with an explanation of its content and how you expect students to interact with it.
  • Nesting activities. In addition to course material, you can include assignments, discussions and other activities which allow students to engage, practice, and synthesize their understanding.
  • Create modules for additional resources. You might post lecture slides, recordings and notes after class has ended. To improve accessibility, consider offering optional resources in different formats (text, video, podcast, etc.).



Modules. Field Guide to Canvas at Princeton.

Updated 8/22/21