By: Alfie P. Sarmiento, MSCrim

“Most of the significant learning is self-planned and rewarded by self-satisfaction” - Anne Davis Toppins


A learning module is otherwise known as a self-learning kit (SLK). It consists of systematic sequenced materials for learning. (F. Hidago, 1994) The teaching-learning module in a vast variety of subjects was proven effective as an instructional tool. This is an innovation in the education of new generation of learners who are described as self-directed learners. The significance of learning modules is based on the groundwork that college students may learn through different methods. Classroom discussion may turn to be effective but may omit essential part of learning and understanding. Planning on how students may learn still suggests that there is no single methodology in their learning process. Significant learning should be self-initiated and teachers should be there to guide and to supervise progress. We should let students discover what they would like to discover in the subject being introduced and give more responsibility to them.

Toppins conceptualized that active classroom learning in college is most effective if the teacher carefully plans what the learner should learn and how he or she may best learn it. In other words, competency-based programs in education derived their rationale from concepts of the nature of what is to be learned and from a model of a system most likely to enhance the acquisition of learning. (Henson, 1995) Learning modules are becoming popular education tools in schools today. The teaching-learning module is an effective instructional material, which is student-centered and is geared towards the development of the skill of “learning to learn.”(Henson, 1995) As an instructional tool and as a self-instructional material, the learning module is an innovation in curriculum and instruction, which is extensively used by pragmatic institutions, and even trainers in valid training programs. (M. Wiske) The learning process used most often is practicing, closely followed by reading. Modules are learning tasks that are so organized, sequenced and clearly stated, in such a way that it provides sufficient direction and guidance to students without the teacher present all the time. This type of instruction is called modularized instruction. Educators can teach students to teach themselves because students are self-directed learners and students can also plan their next learning adventures.

For this cause, learning modules in criminal justice education must be readily available for the Criminology learners. Passionately interested in the study include students who are preparing themselves to be good practitioners in law enforcement and public safety. Before facing their careers, they should learn many things in school through their mentors and through materials they provide. One of the alternatives of learning nowadays is what they call modular study. This is the essence of good teaching. Teaching the students how to teach themselves is a manifestation of a good learning experience on the part of the student and teacher as well. The teacher planning alone on how the lesson objectives will be attained will only be attributed to teacher centeredness and will not encourage student participation. Self-directed learning will contribute to a broader category of learning and that is to change attitude and behavior, which is often not known by the learner.

What is the importance of Self-learning Kits?

The following considerations bring forth the relevance and importance of Learning Modules. Instructional package presented in modular forms is one great way of imparting knowledge to students. Instructional modules involve students in planning their future learning process.

1. The need of instructional material in modularized form is immediate and intense for the reason that people value time and effort. Students nowadays need to finish a course the soonest time possible for economic reasons. Students as well need to finish a task or a course in the most convenient and easy way without sacrificing the quality of work.

2. There is a need to change the attitude of students in as much as innovations in the learning of students are needed. There is a need to redirect them in a way that they may maximize their participation in their learning endeavor, which will make them even proud of their active involvement in their education without much help from their instructors. Deviating from the traditional way to accomplish a work using lesser effort and time will yield to better result. This could be construed that this constructive change in the system is another milestone in education.

3. Through the creation of learning materials, student-learning will be made easier for the reason that all important topics and lessons they need are already put into one material making it possible for students to conserve time, effort, mobility and financial resources.

4. Another important reason why teachers must embark on module making is the scarcity of books, materials or references that is almost complete. Modules prepared may give solution to student’s difficulty in looking for materials needed in their study. The offshoot of modular instruction will benefit students taking up Criminology by enriching their knowledge by creating avenues through easy access to information.

5. Including students in planning how to meet the objectives, which are outlined in the syllabus, is one of the best experiences an educator may have. Modifying the design to build their knowledge of the subject and to fit student’s needs should be the goal of every teacher to deviate the passive and dependent learning attitudes of students as an effect of traditional academic teaching.

6. Furthermore, modules reduce dependency and passiveness in the education process.

Suggestions and Recommendations in Modular Study Program:

1. Instructional materials are subject to continuing assessment and revisions to input relevant, up-to-date information and innovations in the academe.

2. These instructional materials are recommended for use by the faculty and students of Criminal Justice Education.

3. Colloquium for teachers should be launched, spearheaded by the Dean of the College to orient them on how to teach their students through the modularized study method.

4. It is further recommended that teachers must revolutionized their methods of teaching by involving students in their learning process by giving them some autonomy on how to handle their lessons with minimal intervention but with sufficient guidance from the instructors. It is timely that instructors must adhere to their duty, which is to instruct and not to teach. College students should not be treated, as they were elementary pupils.

So, as an advocate of the modular system of study, I therefore recommend the employment of some methods of teaching suitable for college students such as the introduction of buzz groups, peer study method, brainstorming, simulations and other methodologies that increases the involvement of students, thereby, reducing dependency and passiveness in the education process. Nonetheless, the introduction of these systems, teachers should not completely abandoned the traditional methods of teaching nor should it be a substitute but rather a means to reinforce the education process.

5. It is also highly recommended that other instructors, handling other Criminology subjects should embark on the creation of modules to be used in their profession as educators.

6. One way of imparting knowledge to students is to provide them with instructional package presented in modular forms. Students should be given part in deciding what to learn and freedom to attain the objectives in some practical ways without much interference of the teacher. Involve the students in planning their future learning process. The students playing a part on deciding what is to be taught and how it is taught should also be encouraged to reduce dependency and passiveness in the education process.

The Philippines' Online Criminology Enthusiasts Community is an online Philippine Criminology portal designed purposely to promote a culture of innovative criminology study in the Philippines. It's advocacy includes self-learning motivation in Public Safety Administration, Crime Investigation and Detection, Forensic Science, Criminal Jurisprudence, Correctional Administration, Criminal Sociology and other related disciplines of Criminal Justice Education.