Lead-up and Lead-away Modules

From E-Learning Faculty Modules


Contents

Module Summary

“Lead-up modules” and “lead-away modules” in an online learning course or learning sequence are elements created for cognitive scaffolding of learning. They acclimate and prepare learners for the forthcoming learning, and they help learners transition from a learning sequence into follow-on learning (beyond that controlled designed learning). This module addresses the objectives of “lead-up” and “lead-away” modules…necessary elements in these two types of modules…and effective design strategies for both.

Takeaways

Learners will...

  • explore what a “lead-up module” is and what a “lead-away module” is
  • consider requisite objectives of a lead-up module and necessary elements
  • consider requisite objectives of a lead-away module and necessary elements
  • consider effective design strategies for a “lead-up module”
  • consider effective design strategies for a “lead-away module”


Module Pretest

1. What is a “lead-up module”? What is a “lead-away module”?

2. What are requisite objectives of a lead-up module and necessary elements in a lead-up module?

3. What are requisite objectives of a lead-away module and necessary elements in a lead-away module?

4. What are some effective design strategies for a “lead-up module”?

5. What are some effective design strategies for a “lead-away module”?


Main Contents

1. What is a “lead-up module”? What is a “lead-away module”?

To begin, a “module” is a stand-alone unit of learning that may / may not be part of a larger sequence of learning. A “lead-up” module is one that primes learners to engage in a follow-on sequence of online learning, such as an online course. A “lead-away” module is one that transitions learners from a learning sequence and into potential extra-learning beyond the initial designed learning sequence.


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2. What are requisite objectives of a lead-up module and necessary elements in a lead-up module?

Lead-up modules may be built around a number of different objectives. They may include the following objectives for learners:

  • review important knowledge to fill potential prerequisite knowledge gaps of learners
  • practice important or relevant skills for the follow-on learning
  • acculturate into a learning domain or field
  • find relevant resources
  • set clear learning expectations
  • help learners connect with the professor and other learners
  • understand the learning philosophy, the learning design, the necessary technologies, and the sequence of the follow-on learning

The idea is that a lead-up module helps prepare learners for the follow-on learning.

What goes into a priming module will vary. Often, these may include slideshows, videos, simulations, and other digital contents. These may include downloadables with notes and resource references. These may include pre- and post-tests.

For online learning, there is often early access to a course, some two weeks before the official start-of-term. That is an important time to help learners acclimate and engage.


3. What are requisite objectives of a lead-away module and necessary elements in a lead-away module?

Lead-away modules may be built around some basic objectives. They include the following: Learners will…

  • identify some possible paths forward to augment their current learning with additional quality learning
  • connect with online learning communities that will expose the learner to professionals in the field along with other co-learners
  • identify possible learning resources on the Web and Internet


4. What are some effective design strategies for a “lead-up module”?

Lead-up modules are generally automated, so they should be easily findable. There should be clear naming protocols for all the files and objects inside this module. The LMS should maintain a “memory” of what a learner has already covered in a lead-up module, so they can have context-sensitive support when they return to the module.

There should be a logical developmental sequence to the objects in the lead-up module.

The lead-up module should be available all term in case a learner needs to return to refresh on a particular topic.

If possible, if the online professor and graduate teaching assistants can be available in this lead-up period, that would be helpful for the learners.


5. What are some effective design strategies for a “lead-away module”?

Lead-away modules have to be designed with a clear awareness of the general learning sequence for learners after a formal course or course sequence. In a higher education context, there will be a likely sequence of courses with desired / required learning outcomes.

However, for open-source learning objects, the next steps may not be so clear, particularly if the provisioning organization or platform does not have follow-on modules or digital learning objects. In this latter case, it is important to point to other trustworthy resources…and online learning communities…that may benefit the learners.

(The learners are assumed to be highly divergent in an online learning contexts, so the recommendations have to be for novice learners, amateur learners, and expert learners, to cover the range. “Novice” learners are those who are beginners in a field, but they aim to be expert and professional one day. “Amateur” learners are those that do not aspire to professional knowledge at some point in the future but are only wanting to learn a domain to a particular level of knowledge for some other application. “Professional” or “expert” learners are those who are educated / trained practitioners in a field…who may be taking an online course to update knowledge or to see how well the learning is designed, etc.)

Examples

How To

Possible Pitfalls

Module Post-Test

1. What is a “lead-up module”? What is a “lead-away module”?

2. What are requisite objectives of a lead-up module and necessary elements in a lead-up module?

3. What are requisite objectives of a lead-away module and necessary elements in a lead-away module?

4. What are some effective design strategies for a “lead-up module”?

5. What are some effective design strategies for a “lead-away module”?


References

Extra Resources