Designing and Planning a Teaching Session


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  • Comment: This was a reasonably successful two hour session delivered to c40 participant, but more sensibly could have split the planning from the learning technology. There are many points for expansion and more detailed activities, also for embedding local planning processes, documentation and technologies.
  • Comment: part of overall course objectives (also spread across virtual alternative).
  • Comment: the students already had access to a reading list for the programme and should have been familiar with these authors to some extent, the list included:Marton, F. and Saljo, R., "Approaches to learning" in The experience of learning by Marton, Ference, Hounsell, Dai, Entwistle, Noel James, Scottish Academic Press, 1984, pages 39-58. Note: The author's created a new line of educational research in the 1970s with their phenomenographic study which proposed that students can take a deep approach to learning or a surface approach to learning with different intentions and consequences. This chapter revisits these classic studies and relates the approaches to learning to conceptions of learning held by the learners.Biggs, J., "What the student does: Teaching for enhanced learning. Higher Education Research and Development" in Higher education research & development, 18(1), 1999, pages 57-75. Note: A summary of the key ideas about constructive alignment in the Biggs book. A good preview, or if you are too busy to read the book!
  • Comment: Threshold concepts would have been already covered by some groups.Meyer, E and Land, R, "Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge: linkages and ways of thinking and practising within the disciplines" in Enhancing Teaching - Learning Environments in Undergraduate Courses, University of Edinburgh, 2003, pages 1-12. Note: This report has been very influential, generating a great deal of thinking about 'threshold concepts' or key ideas that students must struggle with and understand in order to enter the discourse of a discipine, and how to teach them
  • Comment: Embed code for this video (note it starts midway). The aim of this segment is to remind the audience of the constructed nature of knowledge and introduce the SOLO model we refer to later. These videos BTW are far from ideal but clips can be useful.<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed width="480" height="385" src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" /></object>
  • Comment: The Dearing Report 1997’s an interesting comment on Dearing with respect to tuition fees at highlighted the local context – suggest presenter would insert local planning documents here, or ask students to find them. They will all be much the same and link to QAA Subject Benchmarks. Most students will be familiar with these types of processes.An example from UCL was used to illustrate the requirement to specify learning outcomes in new course proposals:“Programme design includesthe educational aims of the programme, including its intended learning outcomes and how these will be communicated to students, staff and external audiences”
  • Comment: This was given as homework
  • Comment: There are a number of templates available, for example this JISC one which can be helpful.
  • Comment: on reflection this section would have worked better as a separate session, though it followed quite well from the planning and theoretical perspectives previously. Wesch’s famous and powerful video<object width="480" height="385"><param value="" name="movie" /><param value="true" name="allowFullScreen" /><param value="always" name="allowscriptaccess" /><embed width="480" height="385" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="" /></object>
  • Comment:We have a standard presentation of local e-learning systems (Moodle, Mahara, Echo 360 lecture capture), which is done on live systems rather than by PPT. This can be extended from a basic c 15 minute run-through to an hour or more with discussion and questions. Tried to link regularly back to the issues from the first part of the session. This could easily be substituted by a presentation on local systems.
  • Designing and Planning a Teaching Session

    1. 1. Designing and Planning aTeaching Session This document is licensed under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales license, available at
    2. 2. Today‟s menu• Approaches to study – some theories• Constructivism – what is it?• Video 1: outcomes• Outcomes-based planning – a background• Describing thinking skills• Activity 1: writing learning outcomes• Alternative views on outcomes• Lesson planning• Video 2: students today• Activity 2: how does this affect learning design?• Learning technology – what is available?• Activity 3: lesson planning• Video 3: design in a technology-rich context
    3. 3. Expected learning outcomesAt the end of this session participants should be able to:• state the rationale for using an outcome-based approach to planning teaching sessions• write expected learning outcomes for a specific course/session• discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various learning technologies• select appropriate teaching and learning activities to support outcomes• designing a teaching session using a template
    4. 4. Approaches to study – what a student does• Deep and surface approaches (Marton etc,’70s)• Strategic approaches (Biggs, Ramsden, ‘80s)• Approaches can be modified by designing the learning context (Biggs, ‘90s)• ‘Constructive alignment’ – congruence between – What the teacher intends learners to be able to do, know or understand (can be described as outcomes) – How they teach i.e. the activities – How they assess
    5. 5. So what is constructivism?• Piaget (1950s), Brunner (1960s) . . .• New learning and knowledge builds on old understanding – rarely a ‘blank slate’• Learning is not just adding knowledge but bringing change or transformation to pre- existing concepts to refine understanding and linkages – hence notion of ‘deep learning’• ‘threshold concepts’(Meyer & Land 2005)
    6. 6. Video 1• 4 mins
    7. 7. What the teacher intends students to learn:“outcomes”• Planning starts with clear learning outcomes and the aim of planning is to align our learning activities with these.• Rationale: the planning of learning experiences and assessment of student learning has a significant impact on students’ approaches to learning.• Part of a systematic or ‘rational planning’ model• Dominant in the UK since ’90s
    8. 8. Why is outcomes-based planning important?• Became dominant in UK Higher Education since the Dearing Report (1997)• Often used in proposals for new programmes or modules• Used in the QAA Subject Benchmark statements – set out general academic characteristics and standards of degrees in a range of subjects: /subject-guidance/Pages/Subject-benchmark- statements.aspx
    9. 9. UCL ContextProgramme design includes(i) the educational aims of the programme, including its intended learning outcomes and how these will be communicated to students, staff and external audiences;Programme Institution Questionnaire (PIQ UG) “The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas: A: Knowledge and understanding B: Skills and other attributes - intellectual (thinking) skills C: Skills and other attributes - practical skills D: Skills and other attributes - transferable skills
    10. 10. Writing Learning OutcomesOutcomes should be• Written in a future tense (will, should be able to…)• Identify important learning requirements• Be achievable• Be assessable• Use language which students can understand• Relate to explicit statements of achievement….but ‘thinking’ outcomes perhaps most difficult to define
    11. 11. Describing „thinking‟ skillsBloom – 1956, revised, Anderson & Krathwohl 2001 verbs 1. Evaluation 1. Create -------------- -------------- 2. Synthesis 2. Evaluate -------------- -------------- 3. Analysis 3. Analyze -------------- -------------- 4. Application 4. Apply -------------- -------------- 5. Comprehension 5. Understand -------------- -------------- 6. Knowledge 6. Remember
    12. 12. Describing „thinking‟skillsBiggs SOLO Taxonomy – more verbs
    13. 13. misses point Prestructural identify, do simple Unistructural procedure enumerate, describe, list, Multistructural combine, do alogorithms compare/contrast, explain Relational causes, analyse, relate, apply theorise, generalise, Extended abstract hypothesise, reflectBiggs (1996) Structure of Observed learning OutcomesPictures from ATHERTON J S (2009) Learning and Teaching; SOLO taxonomy [On-line] UK: Available: Accessed: 27 October 2009
    14. 14. Writing Learning Outcomes• Consider your general aim/s for a module you are teaching. Write specific learning outcomes for this course: what do you want the students to learn?
    15. 15. Local/Solo Knowledge & Intellectual Practical Transferable Understanding skills skills skillsPrestructuralUnistructuralMultistructuralRelationalExtendedabstract
    16. 16. Alternative viewsLaurillard (1993) - learning/teaching is a rich dialogueHaggis (2003) - deep/surface models can be challengedRowland (2006) – outcomes imply a passive learner - learners may take on increasing responsibility for ‘designing’ their personal learning (PLEs)Siemens (2005) – ‘connectivism’: know how whereSfard (2007) – communities of practiceBut also... learners develop in unpredictable ways depending on their own independent motivations
    17. 17. Lesson Planning• aim of planning is to align our learning processes and activities with the intended learning outcomes.• assessment is particularly important• technology becoming increasingly central . . .
    18. 18. Designing learning activities in a technology-rich context (JISC template) to take into account Issues to decide Who are your learners? What will learners do (learning What are your intended learning activity/ies)? outcomes? How will they be supported? Where does learning take place? How will learners receive What learning technologies are feedback? available? What resources will they use? What learning resources are What technologies will they use? available? What is the e-learning advantage? What are the challenges?
    19. 19. Why„a technology-rich context‟?• Video A Vision of Students Today• (How) do these changes affect learning design?
    20. 20. Learning technology at UCL• (How) do these technologies affect learning design?