Why use a Getting Started Module?
The simple answer: to help students engage with a course.
The Getting Started Module is an entry point for students in the course–whether hybrid or online. I developed a Getting Started Module template for Canvas courses while working at Bellevue College. This template contains placeholders for course-specific information that you, the instructor, can easily change and modify to include your information. What the Getting Started Module does is encourage students to work in your course and discover the content that is necessary for success. Think of it as a way to introduce the course syllabus, assignment and reading guidelines, instructor information, and other information vital to your course in a regular manner that students will easily receive because of the repetition of information and order of the content.
The use of a Getting Started Module is very important when considering best practices for learning and design. Students need a way to be introduced to the course and content–especially if the course is fully online. Although the example I’m presenting is in Canvas, the pedagogy is applicable across any LMS as it is a learning-support idea. How I approached creating this particular template was by taking a look at the Bellevue College syllabus template to see what the college was requiring as syllabus content. I then parsed this content as it applied to my course and added additional support pages to adhere to best practices in design–such as including a professor bio with clear contact information. Of course, because this particular example was designed as a template, I included examples from different disciplines and courses that would clearly show the way the content should be presented.
The Getting Started Module is published and is public if you would like to visit it.