Sample Module Outline

Once you’ve created your syllabus, you’ll need to create a module-based course outline that details all course components, activities, and learning objectives.  This will organize your course into modules that you can later set up within Moodle. We recommend that each module contain a module overview, is 1-2 weeks in length, and begins on the same weekday. These guidelines will help make your course clear and easy to navigate. A sample module outline taken from an introductory course in Two-Dimensional Design by Susan Lambert appears below. Adapt it to your needs to create an outline for each major topic in your course. For additional guidance, please contact x4221.


Title: Taking a zen Approach: The Negative Space Problem

Dates active: 10/06-10/20

Module Overview:

“The usefulness of a bowl is in its emptiness.”

– This idea is attributable to Buddhist and Taoist traditions.

How is ’emptiness’ made useful by artists? How can empty or negative space produce ambiguity, nurture curiosity and add to the richness of an image?  How can it lead viewers to take an active role in completing the image? How can focusing on “what is not there” open up new ways of thinking, feeling and perceiving? And how can we use the boundaries of the frame to “activate” negative space – making it an equal partner to the objects represented? 

In this two-week module, you will read about the design principles that artists use to accomplish these things. I’ll show you examples from Art History and you will find examples of images on your own that evidence these principles. You will then use Photoshop to design images that make creative use of negative space.  Finally, we will participate in a group critique of your completed projects via Voicethread.

Module Objectives:
After completing this module, students will:

  • Identify how the following design principles affect our perceptions of two-dimensional images:
    • Gestalt Principle of Closure
    • Negative Space
    • Framal Reference
  • Apply Photoshop tools to create original images that make creative use of negative space.
  • Articulate how these principles work in fine art images and in each others’ solutions to the Negative Space Problem.

Lectures, Readings:


  • Discussion Forum
  • Negative Space Project
  • Voicethread Critique


  • Firefox Web Browser
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Voicethread

All assessments are due by 11:59 PM on 10/20/08.


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Faculty Center for Professional Excellence (FCPE)
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