Aligning Outcomes, Assessments, & Activities

Creating a significant learning environment can sometimes mean starting at the end.  Not necessarily starting at the VERY end, but starting with the final goal in mind throughout your planning.  Using Fink’s “Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning,” you can do just that.  Fink’s model asks for a 1-2 year “what do you want your students to remember” goal.  There is also a business statement called a BHAG (a big hairy audacious goal) that can be applied to this concept.  The difference is the “remembering” time.  The BHAG has a much larger time frame attached to it.  I interpreted it as “what do I want my students to remember in 10 years?”

Fink’s model is used in designing secondary, undergraduate, and graduate level courses.  Applying it to a primary grade level was tricky, but not impossible.

Below are two worksheets Fink includes in his guide to help educators create a 3 column table, which is also included below.


 

Worksheet 1

Learning Environment & Situational Factors to Consider

  1. Specific Context of the Teaching/Learning Situation

How many students are in the class?  Is the course primary, secondary, undergraduate, or graduate level?  How long and frequent are the class meetings?  How will the course be delivered: live, online, blended, flipped or in a classroom or lab?  What physical elements of the learning environment will affect the class? What technology, networking and access issues will affect the class?

  • I teach at the primary level, Kindergarten – 5th This lesson will be presented to 5th grade students.  There are approximately 100 students in the 5th grade.  The 5th grade is broken up by 5 homeroom classes, and each class comes for 50 minutes once a week, Monday – Friday.  Due to district reading mandates, the students only get 25 minutes to work on technology applications skills.  (The first 20 minutes of each class is spent on Istation, a computer based reading program.)  The class is delivered in a computer lab with 30 desktops.  The amount of “tech apps” time will affect how long the unit is presented.  If the internet is unavailable, that will affect the class times when research is being done.
  1. General Context of the Learning Situation

What learning expectations are placed on this course or curriculum by: the school, district, university, college and/or department?  the profession?  society?

  • The learning expectations are assigned by the state of Texas through TEKS (Texas Essentials of Knowledge and Skills). TEKS are assigned for every subject Kindergarten – 12th  I follow the Technology Applications TEKS for my class.  For this unit specifically, I will be using the following TEKS: 1A, 2ABEF, 3ABCD, 4B, 5C, and 6B.  The Technology Applications TEKS can be found here.
  1. Nature of the Subject

Is this subject primarily theoretical, practical, or a combination?  Is the subject primarily convergent or divergent?  Are there important changes or controversies occurring within the field?

  • Technology applications is primarily a practical course. Technology is definitely a divergent course with changes happening all of the time!  As a primary teacher, I try to teach and guide the students in becoming familiar with the basics of a desktop computer, tablets/iPads, MS Office software, coding, etc.  I try to expose them to a variety of available programs and applications that are appropriate for their age level.
  1. Characteristics of the Learners

What is the life situation of the learners (e.g., socio-economic, cultural, personal, family, professional goals)?  What prior knowledge, experiences, and initial feelings do students usually have about this subject?  What are their learning goals and expectations?

  • The students at my school come from a low socio-economic background. Our district is considered Title 1 and receives government funds to be able to “bridge the education gap” for low-income learners.  We teach to a variety of different ethnic backgrounds as well.  Technology is a subject that most students come to school interested in.  Prior knowledge varies because of the availability of the technology for the student outside of school.  When it comes to technology, the students strive to learn just about everything they can.
  1. Characteristics of the Teacher

What beliefs and values does the teacher have about teaching and learning?  What is his/her attitude toward:  the subject? students? What level of knowledge or familiarity does s/he have with this subject?  What are his/her strengths in teaching?

  • Learning is a life-long process that never ends so inevitably we will always need teachers, especially when applied to teaching and learning technology. I have been teaching the technology applications class for 6 years.  I learn something new every week in regards to teaching technology.  I will never know all there is to know about technology, but I know enough to share and to continue to learn with my students.

Worksheet 2

Questions for Formulating Significant Learning Goals

“A year (or more) after this course is over, I want and hope that students will be able to use digital tools with creativity and innovation.”

My Big Harry Audacious Goal (BHAG) for the course is:

  • Students will use innovation and creative thinking to develop digital products.

Foundational Knowledge

  • What key information (e.g., facts, terms, formulae, concepts, principles, relationships, etc.) is/are important for students to understand and remember in the future?
  • What key ideas (or perspectives) are important for students to understand in this course?
    • Students will learn why PowerPoint is a useful tool for presentations and have a working understanding of how key components of the program work. Students will learn how to add and remove slides, add information in the forms of text, images, videos, charts/graphs, etc., design the presentation to have an appealing view, and save the presentation in various formats for others to view or use.  Students will use the Internet to record facts and gather images.

Application Goals

  • What kinds of thinking are important for students to learn?
    • Critical thinking, in which students analyze and evaluate
    • Creative thinking, in which students imagine and create
    • Practical thinking, in which students solve problems and make decisions
  • What important skills do students need to gain?
  • Do students need to learn how to manage complex projects?
    • Students will be involved in different kinds of thinking. Practical thinking – students will identify and categorize information found using the internet to incorporate in their PowerPoint.  Creative thinking – students will design a PowerPoint that is visually attractive, but informative.  Critical thinking – students will use a checklist to evaluate their PowerPoint.
    • The skills the students gain will be those mentioned in the foundational knowledge area as well as application to real world settings.
    • At this point, students do not need to manage complex projects.

Integration Goals

  • What connections (similarities and interactions) should students recognize and make…:
    • Among ideas within this course?
    • Among the information, ideas, and perspectives in this course and those in other courses or areas?
    • Among material in this course and the students’ own personal, social, and/or work life?
      • Students will be able to use what they’ve learned about PowerPoint to create presentations for other subjects at school. Students will be also able to take what they’ve learned and apply it for personal use.

Human Dimensions Goals

  • What could or should students learn about themselves?
  • What could or should students learn about understanding others and/or interacting with them?
    • Students will discover that they are capable of creativity and self-expression. Students will learn that they can use their peers as a problem solver.  For example, a student can ask their neighbor for help with animating text boxes.  The student discovers that it’s ok to not have all the answers, and that it’s ok to ask for help.  Students become proficient with certain aspects of the program and can assist others when appropriate.

Caring Goals

  • What changes/values do you hope students will adopt?

Feelings?

Interests?

Values?

  • I would hope that students would feel comfortable and confident in using the program to meet their personal and scholarly needs. I would hope that they would find the uses for PowerPoint interesting and want to use it as a way of expression.  I would also hope that they would value what they learned with PowerPoint.  So many of the concepts, tools, and uses for PowerPoint can be applied to a number of other programs like Prezi, Slide Rocket, etc.

“Learning-How-to-Learn” Goals

  • What would you like for students to learn about:
    • how to be good students in a course like this?
    • how to learn about this particular subject?
    • how to become a self-directed learner of this subject, i.e., having a learning agenda of what they need/want to learn, and a plan for learning it?
      • Students can learn how to apply the program in other areas of learning. As a teacher with a limited amount of time with each group, students must take on the role as teacher and be comfortable with teaching themselves how to use certain parts.  Students can learn that it is also ok to make mistakes and take risks when using a presentation program like PowerPoint.

3 Column Table

BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) – Overarching Course Goal

Students will use innovation and creative thinking to develop digital products.

  Learning Goals Learning Activities Assessment Activities
Week 1 Students will use Internet search strategies to collect and organize information.

Students will acquire information appropriate to their task.

Students will follow copyright law and the Fair Use guidelines.

Students will use the Internet to find and summarize information about a topic of their choice.  Choice must be approved by the teacher.

Students will use a checklist to write down the information source.

Student: checklist
Week 2 Students will use Internet search strategies to collect and organize information.

Students will acquire information appropriate to their task.

Students will follow copyright law and the Fair Use guidelines.

Students will use the Internet to find and save images for their presentation.

Students will use a checklist to write down the image source.

Student: checklist
Week 3 Students will draft and publish media using font attributes, color, and graphics that are appropriate for display and print. Students will watch a short demonstration video on PowerPoint.

Students will open PowerPoint on their computers and show understanding by performing simple tasks as a group.

Teacher: monitor and check for understanding

Kahoot quiz game over different PowerPoint tools

Week 4 Students will create an original product using a variety of resources.

Students will represent data using a multimedia tool.

Students will use appropriate digital tools and resources for storage, access, and file management.

Students will create a 6 slide PowerPoint presentation by using the information and images they collected in weeks 1 and 2.

Students will name and save their presentation to the computer desktop.

Teacher: monitor and check for understanding
Week 5 Students will create an original product using a variety of resources.

Students will represent data using a multimedia tool.

Students will use appropriate digital tools and resources for storage, access, and file management.

Students will complete the information aspect of the slideshow.

Students will add slide transitions and animations to pictures and text boxes.

Students will save changes to file that is on their computer desktop.

Teacher: monitor and check for understanding
Week 6 Students will use appropriate digital tools and resources for storage, access, and file management.

Students will evaluate the product for relevance.

Students will be grouped by threes.  Students will present their PowerPoint to the other two students.

Students will save their presentation to their OneDrive and share with me.

Students: provide positive feedback to their peers

 

Teacher: rubric

Fink, L. Dee. 2003. A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning. Retrieved from https://luonline.blackboard.com/bbcswebdav/pid-2079880-dt-content-rid-15701189_1/courses/EDLD_5313_D05_2016_10_AP2/Self-Directed%20Guide%20to%20Course%20Design%20-%20Fink%20Summary.pdf

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