Mod(u)le the Way

One of my favorite things about designing trainings within a learning management system is the ability to break the learning process down in modular form. In my previous post, I wrote about instructional design, but now, I am going to show you a little bit of what I put together.

This is the first module that student will see. This module explains the why and some of the features of Roompact and the learning outcomes of this training.

Start with the WHY and Begin with the End in Mind

As a professional working in student affairs, these two prompts are what I am consistently trying to do with everything item I work with. Similarly, in the Instructional Design world, the are the most helpful paths when working on a project: why am I doing this and what do I want the end result to be. In my project of creating a training tool for student staff members, the why (to fill a training need for student staff) and the end (to have them be able to successful navigate this new software) were the two things I kept in my mind as I tried to figure out the best way to fulfill both needs.

Building the module

In Canvas, IU’s learning management system, I thought about what would be the most engaging elements for this group of students. Sure, I could have done a powerpoint in a lecture setting, but that’s the way they’ve always done it here, and we all know I just simply couldn’t do that. So, I decided to create engagement tools to scaffold as student go through the training module. In my modules, there are typically several elements: a video, a do it yourself in test mode, and a short reflection or activity that they need to upload. I also programmed the module so that students MUST complete module 1 before moving onto the next.


Accountability is my favorite word in student affairs land and luckily, Canvas already comes with that piece. When a supervisor (this case, a Residence Life Coordinator) logs on to this Canvas site, they will be able to ”grade” modules and offer feedback to the student staff member who submitted their assignments. They can also see who has accessed the assignment and who did not.


  1. Write out your modules in story-board form. This really helps to capture the whole “begin with the end in mind” concept. For this module, I wrote out an outline/storyboard and it helped me to visualize my outcomes.

  2. Make the activities in this module as engaging as possible and try to be creative. I needed to create several videos using Adobe Spark and Kaltura (both courtesy of IU) because I needed to walk student through how to complete a task. In one of the modules, I requested that students practice facilitating a roommate contract in trios and then uploading that video as an assignment.

Have you created a module for training? Share some awesome ideas that you’ve done to make your trainings more engaging!