Saturday, October 29, 2011

Objectives for Learning

Objectives and assessments should be identified to ensure that students remain on task and are able to articulate why the lesson is important and what goals are necessary for them to achieve. By identifying these critical take-away, you begin to think about essential learning outcomes and how relationships can be developed and built on main concepts. This is accomplished by looking at the standards of learning (SOLs) for your topic and deciphering what the big picture is and how best to identify the importance of this picture to your students. For example, below are two SOLs. Identify the take-away from each. Questions to consider:
• What are the most important concepts for students to understand from this unit?
• What is important for students to remember about this unit a year from now?
• What observable behaviours do I want students to demonstrate and which cognitive domains will be evident? Finally write a real-world problem to represent the algebraic expression.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Big Questiions - For a Successful Lesson

A big idea question could be: “How have money and other means of commerce taken shape throughout history and across different civilizations?” In the classroom, the teacher would lead a brainstorming session by posing this question and guiding students to think about how money and bartering have changed throughout societies. As students are brainstorming, the teacher’s role is to write all of the students’ ideas on an interactive board. Once students finish suggesting ideas, select students can come up to the interactive board to organize the collection of ideas into categories. Once the categories are organized, you can have students brainstorm possible sub questions for each category. Once sub questions are identified, as a collective group the class can then decide which questions and categories they want to work on and understand better. As the teacher, it is your responsibility to encourage students to identify key points about the topic that are of interest to them personally and to begin asking deeper questions to explore their interests further as they relate to the intended learning objective. Through this process of collaboration and investigation, students begin to understand the big idea of the lesson and the larger picture - their personal world.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Critical and Creative Thinking Processes

Much of the thinking done in formal education emphasizes the skills of analysis--teaching students how to understand claims, follow or create a logical argument, figure out the answer, eliminate the incorrect paths and focus on the correct one. However, there is another kind of thinking, one that focuses on exploring ideas, generating possibilities, looking for many right answers rather than just one. Both of these kinds of thinking are vital to a successful working life, yet the latter one tends to be ignored until after college. We might differentiate these two kinds of thinking like this:
In an activity like problem solving, both kinds of thinking are important to us. First, we must analyze the problem; then we must generate possible solutions; next we must choose and implement the best solution; and finally, we must evaluate the effectiveness of the solution. As you can see, this process reveals an alternation between the two kinds of thinking, critical and creative. In practice, both kinds of thinking operate together much of the time and are not really independent of each other.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Synthesis - The Ability to Put Parts Together

Some of the action verbs used to assess synthesis are the following: argue, arrange, assemble, categorize, collect, combine, compile, compose, construct, create, design, develop, devise, establish, explain, formulate, generalize, generate, integrate, invent, make, manage, modify, organize, originate, plan, prepare, propose, rearrange, reconstruct, relate, reorganize, revise, rewrite, set up, summarize.Some examples of learning outcomes that demonstrate evidence of synthesis are: 1) Recognize and formulate problems that are amenable to energy management solutions; 2) Propose solutions to complex energy management problems both verbally and in writing; 3) Summarize the causes and effects of the 1917 Russian revolutions; 4) Relate the sign of enthalpy changes to exothermic and endothermic reactions; 5) Organize a patient education program. Note that the verbs used in the above six categories are not exclusive to any one particular category. Some verbs appear in more than one category. For example, a mathematical calculation may involve merely “applying” a given formula or it may involve “analyzing” as well as ‘application’.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Evaluation - The Ability to Judge the Value of Material for a Given Purpose

Some of the action verbs used to assess evaluation are: appraise, ascertain, argue, assess, attach, choose, compare, conclude, contrast, convince, criticize, decide, defend, discriminate, explain, evaluate, grade, interpret, judge, justify, measure, predict, rate, recommend, relate, resolve. The following are some examples of learning outcomes that demonstrate evidence of evaluation are:
• Assess the importance of key participants in bringing about change in Irish history Evaluate marketing strategies for different electronic business models.
• Summarize the main contributions of Michael Faraday to the field of electromagnetic induction.
• Predict the effect of change of temperature on the position of equilibrium.
• Evaluate the key areas contributing to the craft knowledge of experienced teachers.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Analysis - the Ability to Break down Information into its Components

As an example for that we can look for inter-relationships and ideas (understanding of organizational structure). Some of the action verbs used to assess analysis are as follows: analyze, appraise, arrange, break down, calculate, categorize, classify, compare, connect, contrast, criticize, debate, deduce, determine, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, divide, examine, experiment, identify, illustrate, infer, inspect, investigate, order, outline, point out, question, relate, separate, sub-divide, test. Some examples of learning outcomes that demonstrate evidence of analysis are:
• Analyze why society criminalizes certain behaviors.
• Compare and contrast the different electronic business models.
• Debate the economic and environmental effects of energy conversion processes.
• Compare the classroom practice of a newly qualified teacher with that of a teacher of 20 years teaching experience.
• Calculate gradient from maps in m, km, % and ratio.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Application - The Ability to Use Learned Material in New Situations

Some of the action verbs used to assess application are shown as follows: Apply, assess, calculate, change, choose, complete, compute, construct, demonstrate, develop, discover, dramatize, employ, examine, experiment, find, illustrate, interpret, manipulate, modify, operate, organize, practice, predict, prepare, produce, relate, schedule, select, show, sketch, solve, transfer, use. Some examples of learning outcomes that demonstrate evidence of application are:
• Construct a timeline of significant events in the history of Australia in the 19th century.
• Apply knowledge of infection control in the maintenance of patient care facilities.
• Select and employ sophisticated techniques for analyzing the efficiencies of energy usage in complex industrial processes.
• Relate energy changes to bond breaking and formation.
• Modify guidelines in a case study of a small manufacturing firm to enable tighter quality control of production.
• Show how changes in the criminal law affected levels of incarceration in Scotland in the 19th century.
• Apply principles of evidence-based medicine to determine clinical diagnoses.