What Is an Educational Module?

Modules typically provide more practical student experiences than traditional learning systems.
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In education, the term "module" refers to an instructional unit that focuses on a particular topic. Although the details and activities vary according to the specific context, such as course and student level, most educational modules include information about the topic, focus on student-centered learning activities and culminate in a project for students to demonstrate understanding.

1 Examples and Rationale

Modules generally begin with a research question to focus student thinking, such as, "How do tornadoes form?" Students then gain basic information through reading or videos followed by exploratory activities, such as laboratory experiments that help them learn the concepts involved. At the end of the module, students often develop a project to illustrate what they have learned, such as creating a tornado chamber. Modules may involve the study of any topic, such as computer animation, engineering concepts, general electronics and global warming. Since modules use active rather than passive learning experiences, students may be more engaged, understand real-world applications of the concepts and further develop higher-order cognitive abilities.

Kristie Sweet has been writing professionally since 1982, most recently publishing for various websites on topics like health and wellness, and education. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Northern Colorado.