Designing a lesson

 

Erika Lee

Informatics

February 6, 2018

Start with backwards course design

 

What do I want my students to be able to think and do by the end of this course? How will my students be different by the end of the course?

Final Project

Project 1

Project 2

Project 3

Project 4

Report

Course goals

Milestone assignments based on learning outcomes. What must students be able to do and think to meet the course goals?

Lecture, Lab, Readings, Activities, Homework

WHERE IT BREAKS DOWN FOR ME
How do I figure out what teaching technologies and active learning techniques will support the concepts and skills I want my students to have?

BACKWARDS COURSE DESIGN

Decoding the Disciplines Process

 

  • Helps us to figure out what mental actions are involved in each of our learning outcomes
     
  • Once we know that, we can more easily design each day and each lesson
     
  • We can also make better choices about what technologies and activities will work best

Decoding the Disciplines Process

 

  • Helps us to figure out what mental actions are involved in each of our learning outcomes
     
  • Once we know that, we can more easily design each day and each lesson
     
  • We can also make better choices about what technologies and activities will work best

 

 

Step One

Identify a bottleneck to learning

What is a bottleneck to learning in this class, a place where many students consistently fail to master crucial material?

Example bottleneck:
Teaching usability in a web design course  (usability = how easy is this to use?)

 

Vague: Students are unable to get past their opinion in determining whether a web interface is easy to use or not.


Useful: Students (1) lack the ability to create specific tasks and scenarios to collect evidence of usability problems, (2) cannot identify the appropriate audience for a website, and (3) are unable to learn from data to strategize appropriate solutions
and future actions.

 

Step Two

Uncover the Mental Operations that Students Must Master to Get Past the Bottleneck

Results from my interview about my bottleneck:

     First, I evaluate the site for various aspects / uses -- navigation, design, content and code -- paying attention to who the intended audience is, what the site emphasizes and what I'm being directing to do.

     Next, I use the problems I found to direct me in creating specific tasks and scenarios to test with users. Are the problems really problems?

Have to both analyze and evaluate

Have to connect individual findings with user tasks, and use results to make recommendations

Step Three

Modeling Mental Operations 

Example model - an analogy

What I realized from the interview:

  • Students are sometimes missing connections between the steps, especially when going from an individual evaluation to a study with users
     
  • It's not about their opinion -- it’s about collecting data on users and the users’ opinions

 

 

 

Step Four

Creating Opportunities for Students to Practice Essential Mental Operations and Receive Feedback


How can I explicitly model these operations for students?

  • What kinds of assignments, activities and tools will help my students practice these mental operations?
  • In-class work? Collaborative tasks? CATs? Team-based learning? Just-in-time teaching? TopHat? Padlet? Etc....

Example from my class:


BEFORE

• Read a book
Take quiz

• Lecture and discussion

• Perform a usability test (outside of class)
Write a report

Assessment (medium)

Assessment (large)


AFTER

• Read book
Padlet CAT in class
Take quiz

• Lecture and discussion

Perform an evaluation of a site in class (based on a rubric created in the interview process)
Write an evaluation
• Perform a usability test (outside of class)
Write a report

Assessment (medium)

Assessment (small)

Assessment (small)

Assessment (large)

Assessment (large)

Step Five

How can I motivate students and address the affective side of learning?

Step Six

How can I tell whether students have mastered these operations by the end of the process?

Step Seven

How can I share what I have learned with others?

http://slides.com/ebigalee/turbulent-tech-8

Erika Lee

Lecturer, MOSAIC Fellow
School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering

Indiana University

ebigalee@indiana.edu

George's Class

By Erika Lee

George's Class

Example bottleneck lesson.

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