Course Modules that have overlapping sections?

I am designing a new course (instructor-led and e-learning)

It has 5 main modules covering around 20 content sections

However, some of content sections overlap. E.g. Module 1 has content which is covered by Module 3 and Module 5 has content which is covered by Module 4.

Inevitably, I will get potential clients looking at this, getting confused and maybe going elsewhere.

So how do I design a course without overlapping content or is this normal in courses these days?




5 Replies
David Goodman

Peter - I agree with Rowhan - your problem description is a little confusing and hard to discern. When you say that Module 1 has a content topic that is also covered in Module 3, is the content broken-up and what is shown in Module 1 a small subset of what is more fully covered in Module 3 or is the content the exact same in Mod 1 and Mod 3? Why did you design it in this manner - did you have a strong reason for this approach? You may also be concerned about duplicating content because you will need to revise content in two locations. Do you also intend to have the same Knowledge Checks and assessment questions in two locations? Can you give us more info on the content (same or different), any requirements that we might not know about that caused this design, etc. If everything needs to follow your design, would it be possible to put the content from Module 1that is replicated in Module 3 under a visible button layer that also will look different from Module 3. You may need a brief statement in Module 3 that states "some of the information in this module was also introduced in Module 1....

Peter Collins

Thanks Rowhan and David for your input.

The modules on offer cover data privacy.

Module 1 - Putting Privacy into Context

Module 2 - Dealing with sensitive files securely 

Module 3 - Email privacy

Module 4 -  Privacy on the internet

Module 5 - Privacy and Compliance


The reason I have 5 modules is that I want to give potential customers choice. In the same way a university course might offer 5 different modules on a course like marketing,  - I am offering 5 different modules. My rationale is that some organizations might be just concerned about "email privacy" for example - rather than buying a whole course.  But as I've said there is some overlap between modules.

I've also included a module (Module 1) called "Putting Privacy in Context" - this is to incite curiosity for learners (into what is perceived as a boring topic) and should hopefully make the other modules "stick" better with them.

Does this structure sound right or could it be improved?

Peter Collins
Dan Sy

I wonder if you could create the 20 sections separately. And then have the 5 modules as standard sets of some of those sections. Basically you could have customizable elearning modules, with the 5 as a starting point for set packages.


Not a bad idea Dan.  A kind of "build your own" course?

BTW, this will be instructor-led and will use elearning.