Module Roadmaps and Weekly Plans
Module roadmaps provide a conceptual overview for your students about how their module will be delivered. They provide a helpful ‘snapshot’ of what the module will look like in blended mode.
Weekly plans complement module roadmaps by providing a more detailed and scaffolded guide for students once the module is underway. They help students steer a clear path through the mix of activities and materials each week. By providing these, your students will know what they should be doing and when it should be completed.
Module Roadmaps, containing an overview for your students about how their module will be delivered, must continue to be provided at the beginning of the module. Students must also be informed on a weekly basis of what they are expected to do in the coming week. For 2021/22 staff can provide their weekly learning plans in several ways, such as using the Weekly Plan template, an equivalent document, or posting a Blackboard announcement.
Experience during 2020-21 has shown that students find this approach helpful. During 2021-22 students will receive a weekly reminder to check their weekly plans and/or Blackboard courses for up-to-date information about learning activities for the coming week.
Benefits for students
On campus learning for students is shaped by their timetable which helps them to structure their time. In blended learning the timetable does not play its usual role informing your students where they should be and what they should be doing during any given week. Adopting a blended approach means that Blackboard becomes the main hub for learning. This can be disorientating for students and they may find it challenging to manage their time. It is essential we help our students navigate their way through the blend of learning activities and resources and provide clarity about what is expected of them. Using templates with consistent use of headings and icons will help students to establish confidence and to manage their learning.
Benefits for tutors
The Module Roadmap and Weekly Plan templates can also act as a helpful design tool for you when planning your modules. Like your students, you also need clarity about how the module will look overall and what to expect of your students. For example, how you will divide up topics, how contact hours will be delivered, what tasks you need students to complete and how you will monitor their learning.
Weekly plans also help to maintain a programme level overview of learning and teaching activity week by week across multiple modules. This oversight can help to avoid a situation for either students or tutors where there’s ‘bunching’ of activity, such as many hours of asynchronous activities for students to engage with online.
Using Module Roadmaps
A module roadmap providing an outline of how the module will be delivered must be provided for each module and uploaded to Blackboard. In line with University policy on inclusive practice, the module roadmap should be available for students to see on Blackboard at least 48 hours in advance of the first taught session.
You must use the module roadmap template provided; however it can be adapted if:
- there is agreement at Programme/ Departmental/ School level (and between ‘home’ and ‘partner’ Schools for Combined programmes) to ensure a consistent layout and experience.
- recognisable key terms are used to provide the information under the compulsory sections
Download Example Module Roadmap (this will be updated soon using the updated template)
You must provide your students on a weekly basis with an outline of the learning and activities they are expected to complete each week. For 2021/22 staff can provide their weekly learning plans in several ways, such as using the Weekly Plan template, an equivalent document, or via a content item in Blackboard.
It is good practice to provide students with weekly plans that:
- help students navigate the blended learning environment each week
- follow a regular pattern of timely release, alongside associated learning materials and activities
- are regarded as ‘live’ plans which can be adjusted where necessary.
Download Example Weekly Plan (this will be updated soon using the updated template)
You will be aware of the potential for some learning material to trigger unwelcome and distressing memories or thoughts. The University has guidance relating to warnings on course content so that staff can alert students in advance about sensitive content. Where appropriate, include 'trigger warnings' as part of your Module Roadmap.
To help students make conceptual links between Module Roadmaps, Weekly Plans and their Blackboard content:
- Use recognisable key terms when adding content to Blackboard, such as “core content” or “learning activities”
- Use terms with consistency across Module roadmaps, Weekly Plans and Blackboard content.
- Download Module Roadmap/Weekly Plan Icons to accompany roadmap/weekly plan terminology in uploaded content and Blackboard content items
- Make use of the MS Icons to give additional visual cues that reinforce recognisable phrasing from the Roadmap.