Five brief forays into lesson planning

Although lesson planning was an important component of my instructor education,  it seems that I’ve been missing out on quite a few opportunities to enhance my students’ learning.  Listed  below are five of the elements that interested me most, and which I will be incorporating into my future lesson planning.

1.  Planning Approaches, Tips, Techniques and Tools

Here’s a link that incorporates Gagne’s “events of instruction” into an e-learning platform

I chose this website because it offers straightforward, classroom-ready tips on incorporating Gagne’s nine steps into effective lessons.  These tips would work in a regular classroom as well as for e-learning.   A featured interactive video called “Broken Co-worker” is sure to engender a lively discussion about appropriate behaviour in the workplace and allow for a dynamic introduction to a lesson on “soft skills”.  There is also a link to information on building an interactive program. I want to incorporate more use of technology into my lessons, as my students need to feel comfortable using computers before entering their programs.

2. Assessment (Formal and Informal) and the Role of Feedback

This is a link to The Impact of Assessment on Student Learning

This article examines how assessment impacts student learning.  I chose it because it has some interesting information on how our assessment choices affect our student’s attitudes.  Bigg’s Model of Constructive Alignment is introduced, which focuses on the importance of consistency with learning outcomes, learning strategies and assessment tasks. Author Chris Rust advocates continuous assessment with, “…plenty of formative feedback at regular intervals”. (Rust, 2002, p. 149)  He differentiates between shallow and deep learning, which can be informed by assessment choices.  As a result of reading this article, I intend to work on better alignment of outcomes, strategies and assessment.

3. Selecting Instructional Processes & Strategies

This link will take you to short demonstrations of a variety of instructional strategies.

On this website, adult education instructors demonstrate several instructional strategies and explain the rationales behind them. I chose it because instructor Duane Lambert gives detailed information on how he structures a lesson (pre-teaching, teaching and closure) and provides strategies appropriate to each component. Lambert introduces terms I haven’t come across before, specifically “bell work” (work students can do before the class has formally begun) and the Frayer model of vocabulary acquisition, both of which will be useful in my classroom. Lambert recommends varying strategies to ensure all learning styles are accommodated. I will specifically make use of his pre-teaching strategies.

4.  Learning Taxonomies

This site outlines the value of the affective domain in boosting student learning.

This article outlines reasons for including Bloom’s affective domain to our instructional tool kit. Because the affective domain speaks to our emotions, we see how decisions we make in order to motivate students, manage our classrooms, and communicate with students can impact them on an emotional level. I chose this article because it supports the creation of a positive learning environment, and because it attempts to solve the mystery of why some students don’t seem to learn as well as they could. I’ll use these ideas when reviewing whether or not my lesson delivery has been effective.

5. Creating a Positive Classroom Climate or Learning Environment

Follow this link for some interesting perspectives on creating a positive learning environment.

This article was chosen because it provides a very thorough outlook of the elements that should be taken into consideration when creating a positive learning environment for adult students. I was particularly interested in the worksheets provided to support instructors in planning strategies to deal with negative or disruptive influences in the class, such as argumentative students and “ramblers”, in a respectful and positive manner. Tips for dealing with a diverse group are also offered. I plan to use this information to create a classroom atmosphere that is safe, inclusive and challenging to participants, and which fosters an effective and positive learning environment.