Are there modules available for faculty use that are based on learning science research and, therefore, really do increase student learning? If so, how can faculty use them?

Page 10: Considerations for Application

IRIS STAR Legacy Module Cycle Although the STAR Legacy model was originally designed for use with students during class-time, IRIS Center Module developers have crafted the Modules so that they may also be used outside a structured classroom environment. Indeed, there are many ways to use IRIS Modules:

  1. Full In-Class Use: The Challenge and Initial Thoughts sections of a Module can be used to introduce a topic and initiate student discussion. You might then work through the Perspectives and Resources information during class. Next, go through the Assessment section to gauge the degree to which students’ thinking about the Challenge scenario has changed. Conclude with the Wrap Up.
  2. Partial In-Class Use: Introduce the Challenge in class to pique students’ interest, and allow them to share their Initial Thoughts with each other. You might then ask students to complete the Perspective and Resources section as homework and to turn in a brief essay outlining their answers to the questions found in the Assessment section. Or, as a class, work through the Assessment section to gauge the degree to which students’ thinking about the Challenge scenario has changed. Conclude with the Wrap Up.
  3. Homework: The Challenge, Initial Thoughts, and selected Perspectives and Resources may be assigned for homework. Then the Assessment and Wrap Up sections could be completed with about 15 minutes of discussion in class. This might be held with the entire class, or students could discuss in smaller groups.
  4. Sequence Modules Together: Some IRIS Modules and materials work well together and may be used to develop more complete units of instruction. For example, IRIS has created a set of Modules on behavior that can be used independently; however, content information is designed to build from simple concepts to more complicated techniques about behavior. Links to these Modules may be found on the online Module list under the Behavior topic. Faculty may lead their students through a sequenced program of study that deals with classroom behavioral issues. This sequence of Modules starts with the basics of comprehensive behavior management plans and progresses through the acting-out-cycle and behavioral interventions like choice-making, high-probability requests, and differential reinforcement.



Other resources available on the IRIS Website may be used in conjunction with the Modules. These include Case Studies, Activities, and information briefs.


Nancy HuntNancy Hunt, PhD
California State University-Los Angeles
School of Education

Listen to Nancy Hunt and Brenda Naimy, both from California State University-Los Angeles, as they describe how IRIS Modules have been implemented into their university courses for non-special education majors.

Brenda NaimyBrenda Naimy
California State University-Los Angeles
Adjunct Faculty
School of Education

1. Why should I use IRIS Modules in my course?

Although classroom presentations can consume a lot of time and may make some students uncomfortable, with the right set of norms in place, they can be an excellent way to raise the performance bar.

Nancy Hunt (time: 0:53)

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Brenda Naimy (time: 0:44)

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2. Should Modules be used during class or outside of class?

IRIS Modules may be presented in a variety of situations. Determining the method for use will depend on the course objectives, the syllabus, and the size of the class.

Nancy Hunt (time: 1:24)

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Brenda Naimy (time: 0:49)

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3. Are Initial Thoughts really that important?

Helping learners to make their own thinking visible is a critical step to helping them learn with understanding.

Nancy Hunt (time: 1:34)

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Brenda Naimy (time: 0:41)

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4. How do I discuss IRIS Modules in class? How do I introduce the Module topic?

There is seldom enough time to accomplish all that you would like. Nevertheless, even a brief discussion at the right time can help learners to make powerful connections.

Nancy Hunt (time: 1:43)

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Brenda Naimy (time: 0:38)

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5. How do I grade a Module?

Because IRIS Modules are not typical teaching components, determining the best way to be equitable in your grading may require some careful thinking.

Nancy Hunt (time: 1:07)

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Brenda Naimy (time: 0:35)

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