One of the components of the QEP is the implementation of online learning modules. These modules are interactive online applications that focus on discrete ideas and introduce a topic or a basic skill to students. Each module addresses a maximum of two or three specific measurable learning outcomes and is designed to be completed within an hour or less without faculty supervision. These modules engage students in tasks or actions that will guide them to the module’s learning outcomes, which are assessed by multiple choice or short answer questions. The knowledge and skills gained from these modules will be applied and reinforced in course assignments designed by the instructor. Thus, modules allow faculty to incorporate the introduction of critical content and skills into courses without taking away from class time. Modules also allow faculty to flag students who may need additional help from academic support centers.
Over a three-year period, the plan envisions the creation of at least twelve modules distributed among the three skills areas: researching, writing, and speaking. Follow the links below for more details on the modules in each of these key areas.
- Checking for CRAAP — The CRAAP module helps teach students how to differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate sources for their research by assessing five categories: Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose.
- Deconstructing Citations — This module teaches students how to use the information found in citations to find the sources for their own research.
- Finding a Topic — This module walks students through the process of finding a topic for their research papers.
- What to Type in Search Boxes — This module teaches students how to effectively search databases for academic sources.
- The Writing Process — This module from the Writing Center focuses on the general writing process and outlines steps to follow for successful writing.
- Punctuation: Commas and Semicolons Made Easy — This module targets students who struggle with comma and semicolon usage, addressing the bulk of common mistakes made with these punctuation marks.
- Introductory and Concluding Paragraphs — This module introduces students to the purpose of introductory and concluding paragraphs and gives students tips for writing each.
- Editing and Revision — This module teaches students about the process of editing and revising a paper and where they should focus their attention throughout each process.
- Communication Apprehension — More than 1/3 of incoming students at UMW experience communication apprehension. This module outlines strategies for dealing with communication apprehension and will help students prepare for discussions and presentations.
- Effective Visual Aids — Visuals can make or break a presentation—this module helps students enhance their presentations by explaining the purpose of visual aids and outlining effective design and use of these aids.
- Class Discussions — Discussions are a critical component of college courses—this module introduces students to students’ and professors’ perceptions of class discussion. It then gives students a guide to help them become successful participants.
- Communication Theory — This module introduces students to basic ideas of communication theory, including miscommunication or modes of persuasion.
Activating the Modules
All currently available QEP modules will come pre-loaded into your FSEM’s Canvas course, and you will have the ability to activate the modules of your choosing. We ask that for assessment purposes, you use at least three modules from each skill area in your fall 2017 course. Everyone must use the Communication Theory module.
To activate a module, go to the Canvas home page for your FSEM and click on “Modules” in the left menu. You should see a list of all available modules (12 in total). On the right-hand side of each module and its content, a small cloud icon indicates whether or not the module and its pieces have been published. To activate a module:
1. Click on its corresponding gray cloud, and most of the content will change to a published status.
2. The module summary files (either PDF or Word documents) will not change to a published status, so you will have to publish them manually by clicking the gray cloud icon next to the file.
Note that if you decide to unpublish a module, you will have to do each piece individually (i.e., the almost-bulk publishing of Step 1 does not work for unpublishing.)