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Thursday, February 05, 2015

Design Engaging Learning Experiences

One night, I noticed a late email. It was a Google share of a child's project. I opened it up to see that the project was done with care and creativity. The child's curiosity, interest, and craft shined. She obviously liked the assignment and was driven to complete it with care. That same assignment was not as interesting to others. What could I have done to engage everyone in that learning experience?

As I continue down the road of designing standards-based learning with and for students, and as my priority turns inward to an enhanced focus on the microsphere of teaching and learning, I wonder what can I do to develop my craft in this area and how will I assess this work?

I will start by designing a number of learning experiences that have the following parts:
  • Engaging, explicit introduction that's clear and focuses on the content essentials.
  • Step-by-step initial practice worded and formatted simply--an easy inroad to the learning for all learners.
  • Practice/learning choice list children can choose from to build depth and fluency with regard to the skill, concept, and knowledge.
  • Home study menu that provides practice opportunities for the children.
  • Ready review and feedback to classwork and home study to guide further learning design and student effort. 
  • Enrichment choices for those who quickly master the skill or who want to go deeper with the learning. Enrichment will always include the line, "If you have a better idea, let me know."
  • Assessment that reveals student knowledge and need in an efficient, yet comprehensive way.
I will assess this effort mainly by student investment. 
  • Are they enthusiastic and invested in the learning? 
  • Are they coaching each other forward as they complete the tasks?
  • Are they so interested that they are gravitating towards enrichment projects and deeper learning in the content area?
I like a good challenge, and this is one that I can embrace on my own readily.

I'll also enlist students' ideas and efforts in this regard too. 

Let's see what happens.