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Organizing Content with Modules and Topics

iCollege content is organized into modules using the Content Tool. Content within the modules is called a topic. Modules can contain multiple topics and can even be broken down further into one or more sub-modules. Each iCollege course will likely have several modules.  As a rule, a module should contain at least 2 topics.  If you find that you are adding only one topic to each module, consider a better way of organizing your content.

There are several ways to organize your content. As a best practice, we recommend you organize your content by topics or weeks and not as types of content such as PowerPoint presentations, videos, assignments, etc. Organizing your content by topic makes it easier for students to locate information within the course and stay on task. It also makes it easier for you (the instructor) to adapt to changes.

To add content to iCollege, you will first need to create a module.  When adding modules or topics, you can publish them for immediate visibility or place them in hidden mode. If modules or topics are hidden, they can still be viewed by you, but they cannot be seen by your students.

Create a Module

  1. From the course navigation bar, click Content.
  2. Click inside the Add a Module box.
  3. Type a name for your module and click <Enter> or <Return> on your keyboard.
    Add a Module 

To learn more about creating modules, view the video below.

What Goes in a Content Module?

Your content may include some or all of the following:

  • Text material: Lectures, notes, study guides, etc.
  • Multimedia: images, audio, video, simulations, animations, etc.
  • External Resources: Links to relevant websites, embedded YouTube (or other) videos.

Generally, your course will have multiple modules.  At least one those modules should be  a welcome module which includes the syllabus and roll verification activity, modules that contain the content, activities, and assessments, and a wrap-up module that concludes the course and solicits student feedback on the course to assist you with future iterations of the course.

Each module in the course should follow a similar format and structure which includes some variation of the following:

  1. Pretest
  2. Introduction/Overview
  3. Learning Objectives/Outcomes
  4. Checklist
  5. Content
  6. Reflection
  7. Assignments
  8. Post-test
  9. Conclusion/Content Wrapper/Next Steps

Using a consistent structure to your modules helps students learn the flow of the course and can help them with time management. 

Each module that you create can include the following types of content, activities, and assessments:

  • Files that are used to present content such as lecture notes and study guides. HTML and PDF files are preferred over Word documents or PowerPoint presentations
  • Multimedia content in the form of short video lectures (3-5 minutes), animations, simulations, audio recordings, and images
  • Discussions
  • Assignments
  • Quizzes
  • Links to websites
  • Integrated iCollege tools such as VoiceThread, Peermark, Publisher content, etc.
Note: For those working with course templates, be sure to discuss any content changes that you’d like to make with the program or department chair before revising the content.

Setting Release Conditions

Modules and topics can be released (made visible) based on conditions set by the instructor.  For example, in your content you may have Module 1 that includes a quiz  and an assignment and Module 2.  You can choose to apply a release condition to the quiz (content topic) that makes it visible after a student submits the assignment.  Likewise, you can apply a release condition to Module 2 (content module) that makes it visible after the student completes the Module 1 quiz.  You can also use dates to restrict the visibility of content modules and topics.

The video below details how create release conditions for content modules and topics.

Best Practices
  • Organize your content with the student in mind by considering the overall experience you want your students to have when interacting with the course.
  • Ensure that learning activities are grouped with the content they support.