Designing and Developing Content 1RUNNING HEAD: DESIGNING AND DEVELOPING CONTENT Designing and Developing Curriculum or Instructional Content for Adult Learners Tiffany A. Simmons Strayer University May 22, 2011
Designing and Developing Content 2 The professors at the local community college rely solely on lectures and memorizationof facts to teach their classes. This teaching method is probably one with which they have beentaught-thus the high level of familiarity. While this method is more popular and prevalentamong this group, this is not considered current best practice. The current best practice is morelearner-centered rather than teacher-centered. The Vice President of Academic Affairs is awareof this and has tasked each candidate for Dean of Faculty Development and Training withdeveloping a lesson plan that specifically targets the application of Bloom’s Taxonomy in theclassroom environment. The lesson plan will engage and sustain the interest of the faculty and instructional staffby shifting the focus away from a lecture-style teaching format. Instead, they will be introducedto the idea of “higher-level thinking.” The assessment for the lesson will not be paper-and-pencil; instead, they will be required to deliver a revised syllabus with elements of the lessonwithin it. Along the way, they will design and develop these activities to demonstrate theirunderstanding of the material being covered. It is expected that they develop high-qualityactivities that support student learning and engagement, while promoting the values of thecollege. Attached are the content analysis and the learning objectives that will be used toimplement the lesson plan. The content analysis offers a view of what will be taught, and thelearning objectives will include the context, conditions, and criteria under which the content willbe taught. The purpose of each is to provide direction to the lesson and unit and to assure thateach participant is learning the same things. Each professor and instructor will have gained anunderstanding of Bloom’s taxonomy and how to implement each level-more specifically, thehigher levels-in their classrooms.
Designing and Developing Content 3 The order of the lesson will be thus: an brief introduction of Bloom’s taxonomy and thesix levels that comprise it. The class will not be asked to list the six levels of the taxonomy;instead, they will learn them in groups. The first three, considered the “lower-level” thinkingskills, will be learned, along with the second three, the “higher-level” thinking skills. The goalof learning the taxonomy this way is to get professors thinking about the competency of theirstudents (and their own learning competencies) rather than communicating content (Lee, 1996).To further demonstrate competency and mastery of the material, each professor and instructorwill be asked to design an activity to be included in their course syllabus, that emphasizes thehigher-level thinking skills of their students. For example, instead of asking students todemonstrate their knowledge of important ideas and concepts, the professor could includesimulations and case studies as part of the curriculum to help the student build competency andencourage greater engagement in the material. To facilitate the process of designing an appropriate activity, each professor andinstructor will be able to identify key verbs that signal which skill is to be used. For example,the verb design, as used in “design an activity” is indicative of synthesis, one of the three higher-ordered learning skills on the taxonomy. Encouraging the professors to actually engage ininvestigation and inquiry reinforces in their minds that it is desirable for them to learn this skillfor themselves and teach it to their students. Finally, once the activity is designed anddeveloped, they will submit it to the dean for consideration. This does two things: assure thatthe professor or instructor has mastered the material sufficiently and to protect the educationalvalue of the course. The learning objectives, unlike the content analysis, is more contextual. It describes thecontext, the conditions, and the criteria under which the objective is achieved. Unlike a goal,
Designing and Developing Content 4which is broader in scope, the objectives are specific and measurable. It is “a description of aperformance that [a professor or instructor] wants learners to be able to exhibit in order toconsider them competent” (Winegarden, 2003). The learning objectives herein contain specificand measurable conditions and criteria, and are supportive of the learning goals of the college. The ultimate goal in this course is to move the professors and instructors of thecommunity college past lecture-style classrooms. The current best practice is supportive ofcreating learner-centered educational environments, in which the learner develops strongercritical thinking skills. Perhaps the best way to help students in this regard is to model it forthem (Lee, 1996), and Bloom’s taxonomy enables professors and instructors to do just that. It ishoped that the professors and instructors receive the information needed to make changes in theway they teach and the way their students learn.
Designing and Developing Content 5 Attachment C Content Analysis of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Cognitive ObjectivesTarget Population: Professors/Instructors in a Post-Secondary/Adult Education Environment
Designing and Developing Content 6 Topic Applying Bloom’s Taxonomy of Cognitive Objectives Organizing The professors and instructors taking part in the lesson will learnConcept Statement to move past lecture and memorization of facts and provide opportunities to develop learners’ critical thinking skills. Major Concepts Bloom’s taxonomy Analysis Knowledge Synthesis Comprehension Evaluation Application Major Ideas (What do I want my students to learn about each major concept? Related to the For example: “Bloom’s Taxonomy consists of six levels of Concept cognitive ability.”) • Bloom’s taxonomy explains the levels of learning that occurs with learners (Writing Objectives, 2011). • Knowledge, comprehension, and application are considered “lower-level” thinking skills. This is also where the majority of the curriculum falls under. The knowledge level deals with memorization of facts (Writing Objectives, 2011). • Analysis, synthesis, and evaluation are considered “higher- level” thinking skills, in that the focus is not on rote memorization of facts. Instead, the focus is on student inquiry and investigation. • The goal is to gear instruction toward the higher-ordered thinking skills. • Planning with the higher-ordered thinking skills in mind. • Integrating higher-ordered thinking skills into the coursework to maximize student engagement.Action Statements (What I want my students to learn expressed as an action statement—an action verb and a direct object. For example, “List the six levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.”) • Explain Bloom’s taxonomy • Distinguish between lower-level and higher-level thinking skills in the taxonomy • Identify key verbs and activities that signal higher-level thinking is required. • Design an activity that emphasizes higher-level skills • Revise course syllabus to include activities
Designing and Developing Content 7 Attachment D Learning ObjectivesTo Apply Bloom’s Taxonomy of Cognitive Objectives
Designing and Developing Content 8 Conditions Actions Statements Performance Criterion(Conditions are the part of (An action verb and a (The performance criterion defines athe learning objective that direct object, i.e. “draw measurable and observable standarddescribe the givens, or a diagram.” A part of that the learner must meet to reachlimitations, under which the learning objective acceptable performance. The criterionthe student will which describes the may be stated as time requirements,demonstrate mastery of the actions that the student degree of accuracy, or allowableaction statement.) is expected to perform.) number of errors. In other words, how well must the student perform the action statement?)Example:Without notes or List the six levels of in ascending order and without error.references, Bloom’s Taxonomy Based on your Distinguish between with 100% accuracyunderstanding of Bloom’s lower-level skills andtaxonomy, higher-level skillsAfter viewing the Identify three key verbs with 100% accuracypresentation “Writing for each level (higher-Instructional Objectives: level only)Beginning with the End inMind”,After discussion on higher- Design an activity that using the correct key verbslevel thinking skills and emphasizes higher-key verbs, ordered thinking skillsAfter designing the Compose a proposal for to be submitted to dean before the endactivity, the activity to be of the semester. included in the course syllabus References
Designing and Developing Content 9Lee, Virginia (1996). Creating a Blueprint for the Constructivist Classroom. National Teaching and Learning Forum. Retrieved May 22, 2011, from http://www.ntlf.com/html/pi/9905/blue_1.htm.Winegarden, B. J. (2003). Writing Instructional Objectives. Retrieved May 19, 2011, from http://meded.ucsd.edu/faculty/writing_instructional_objectives.pdf.Writing Learning Objectives (2011). Retrieved May 19, 2011, from http://www.oucom.ohiou.edu/fd/writingobjectives.pdf.