Cafeteria Content Map

The Cafeteria Content Map visually displays the entire course at a glance in a visually appealing way. This makes it easier for students to understand their progress, celebrate success, and make goals because it clearly shows them where they are, where they are going, and where they have been.

The Cafeteria Content Map is designed specifically to support cafeteria-style or competency-based course designs. It offers students autonomy for which assignment they do next which can improve motivation and engagement. Students are free to choose which assignments to complete, at their own pace and sequence, but assignments are periodically closed for grading and no longer available. The goal is to give students freedom to chose which assignments to complete when, but create some urgency about getting tasks done before they become unavailable

Rather than focus on completing specific assignments or covering specific topics, cafeteria-style courses emphasize gaining mastery in specific course objectives or competencies. Typically, cafeteria-style courses offer more assignments than are required to get an A in the class and students are free to choose those assignments which interest them most.


The "Cafeteria Module Map" presents the student with a table of course content (see image to the left).


Content modules are shown on the left as rows in a list (A). Each module has a due date. You can view each module due date by mousing over the module title in the list.

Course Objectives

Course objectives are shown to the right in the headers of columns (B). Mouse over the title to view its long title, description, and bonus details.

Content Items

The intersecting cell for each objective (column) and module (row) contains the content items for each module and objective combination. It also displays a progress bar indicating the students’ completion of those assignments (C). At a glance, students can see their progress on all modules, assignments, and course objectives.

Other Content

The column immediately to the right of the modules column contains an icon that links to module content that has not been tagged for a specific course objective (i.e., pages and external links) (D). The number of "Other Content" items for each module is shown in the icon.

Hover and Click to View Course Content

Each "content progress bar" and "other content icon" contains assignments, links, headers, pages and other content items (see image to left). You can hover and click boxes to view these content items.

  • Hover - Hover your mouse over a "content progress bar" or "other content icon" (or tap in mobile) to 'peek' at the content items. A "content item popup" will appear and show you stats and links to content items.

  • Click - Hover your mouse over a "content progress bar" or "other content icon" (or long press in mobile) to give the "content item popup" focus. A "blue overlay" will appear and you will be able to click on "content items".

The "Content Item Popup" includes content completion icons and a progress bar. The status and completion of a module and its module items are described with the following icons:

  • Gray / locked icon - Module is locked and module items are unavailable

  • White / unlocked icon - Module is open and module items are available and no progress has been made

  • Blue / stop-watch icon - Student has begun to view or submit module items. The darker the shade of blue, the more module items have been completed by the student

  • Green / checked-box icon - All required module items in the module are complete.

Below the "module title" and to the left is the progress bar. This bar indicates the percent of points a student has earned out of the points possible in a module. This bar is also color coded:

  • Red - less than 60% of points have been earned

  • Yellow - between 60% and 80% of points have been earned

  • Green - more than 80% of points have been earned

The "Content Item popup" also contains a "tile" for each "content item". Tiles display an icon for each item type, a title, and completion requirements and a check box to show completion status (a green checkmark indicates complete). Assignments also include completion data scores, and due dates.

Note: For more details, see Module Item Modal .

Bonus Point Tracking

The points earned in each course objective is displayed at the top of each column in an orange circle at the bottom of the header (E). The potential or earned bonus points for each column are displayed in a blue or green circle at the top. The points threshold required to earn the bonus is displayed as a horizontal line. Students are awarded bonus points when they earn enough points in a column to pass this threshold.

Note: Once a student has earned the bonus for a specific objective column, they have incentive to choose assignments from other objective columns to earn bonus for those categories as well.

Note: Bonus points can improve your grade.

Topic Lock Count Down Timer & Shade

Each module is given a module due date. To create urgency, a live countdown timer displays the decreasing time until the next module is locked (F). Students are free to choose any assignment they like from any open module at any time during the course. However, when a module due date passes, that row of assignments is covered by a dark blue “locked” shade and students no longer have access to those assignments. This allows teachers to grade assignments in past due modules in a predictable manner (G).