Monday, 6 March 2017

Planning for Learning – a module in development!

One of the first modules that participants in our teaching induction MOOC can choose to work through is the 'Planning for Learning' module. Below Sally and Rosie talk about the approach that they are taking in the module and ask for any thoughts, resources, activities that they might find useful in their module. Each module aims to engage participants for no more than two hours, however the module can provide extension resources for those participants who want to explore the topic further.
There are no surprises in the statement that the process of developing this module mirrors the process of planning for learning per se!   It was tempting to submit the many iterations of the module as a demonstration of the iterative process that often reflects the planning process.  Having gone through the process we have settled on the following key elements around which to focus the module.  We begin with the context as that provides an overall framework for learning. In the context we briefly consider who are the students, where will the learning occur, what the purpose of the learning is and what resources are available. The focus then shifts to the outcomes for the learning - so what are the learning outcomes for the material being taught and how are these outcomes to be assessed?  Our module then asks the question ‘How does learning happen?’ by which we introduce learning strategies by way of learning tasks as the method for the learning to occur.   The emphasis here is to move the participant from telling their student all there is to know about their unit to have their students actively involved in developing the knowledge and skills required of the unit. This section will also incorporate timing and lesson structure. The fourth section centres on utilising checking strategies to gauge the learning progress within their sessions.  The participants will be asked to utilise a graphic organiser to reflect on these aspects of planning as it relates to their institution and the teaching of their discipline. Additional resources will be linked to the module eg lesson plan templates, learning strategies and learning tasks and weblinks for further support and ideas.

We are not quite finished with our module as yet so are happy to have any questions, thoughts or ideas sent our way for further consideration! 

Rosie Greenfield and Sally Gauci - Victoria University

9 comments:

  1. Hi Rosie and Sally,
    THanks for sharing your preliminary thoughts. I think you've outlined the planning for learning very well. My only question relates to 'gauge the learning process'. Are you planning on discussing assessment in this area or is that another module?

    Best wishes,
    Julie

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  2. Hi Rosie and Sally

    My thanks as well for your sharing. The structure looks good. I, too, find the notion of gauging the learning process a little unclear.

    In our Collaborative Learning module we have also been grappling with the question of how, and how far, we should attempt to 'walk the talk' by enabling the MOOC students to participate in the kind of learning experience we're advocating. Not so easy in an asynchronous online environment ... but maybe not impossible.

    Cheers

    Peter

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  3. Thanks for the comments Julie and Peter! The focus of the topic 'gauging the learning' is for the participant to plan for checking with the students that they are in fact developing their knowledge etc. The strategies will be primarily through questioning and other learning tasks spread through the lesson. Our point of reference is ensuring the participant is mindful of the learning outcome requirements as they plan their lessons and the methods for check on the learning progress. Any discussion of assessment will be left to the assessment module.

    Cheers

    Rosie and Sally

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  4. Thanks for the clarification Rosie and Sally. It seems that what you call gauging the learning is pretty much the same as what was called 'concept checking' in my teacher training :).

    Cheers

    Peter

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  5. Looks like you've covered the essentials here, but I wonder about the increasing tendency of Unit Coordinators to prepare materials for tutors, and expect them to follow a centralised 'lesson plan'? Perhaps a comment on this, since many of the MOOC participants may be casuals, and not able to prep their own approaches?
    A thought....
    Yoni Ryan

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  7. Thanks Yoni ... a worthwhile thought! And often those 'centralised' lesson plans include a heavy emphasis on volume of information rather than active engagement with the knowledge.

    Rosie and Sally

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  8. Hi Rosie and Sally,

    It sounds great - my comment kind of adds to those above as well - is there any scope to include something around constructive alignment - I know you have said assessment is covered in the assessment module but I think you have mentioned the elements above - learning outcomes, context and delivery - be good to briefly indicate the "connectedness" of it all... apologies if you have this covered or feel it is well discussed elsewhere, it was what sprang to mind looking across your blog and the comments. I appreciate that it may be out the hands of whoever is teaching the course but I have found that discussing it with both coordinators and sessional staff, regardless of how separately, helps them contextualise what is going on. Just a thought.

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  9. Hi Ann,
    Thanks for your comment. We have included a reference to constructive alignment with a brief explanation. We anticipate that constructive alignment will be covered in more detail in the curriculum design module. Are we on the right track, Kym?

    Rosie and Sally

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