In this unit, we will get started on crafting and implementing your blended lesson plan. This might be your first blended lesson plan, or perhaps you want to improve a lesson you have done previously. Either way, the lessons in this unit will put you on the right track.
By the end of this lesson, you should:
Understand how to set up your blended learning environment in order to optimize student learning.
Understand how to choose the topic/lesson for your blended learning lesson plan.
To begin, let’s consider the Understanding by Design (UbD) framework presented by Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins. They have produced several articles, books, guides, podcasts and videos around this topic, which can be accessed through the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development website.
The main ideas from the UbD Framework include:
Purposeful planning will enhance student learning.
When planning and teaching, emphasis should be placed on developing deep understanding, sense-making, and transfer of learning.
Effective planning involves the sequencing of three major steps, which is often called ‘backward design’.
These three major steps of planning identified by McTighe and Wiggins are:
Step 1 – Identify the desired results These are the learning goals and essential understandings that mostly come from the national or program standards.
Step 2 - Identify assessment evidence In other words, a well-designed summative task with specific criteria and mark schemes that are aligned with step 1.
Step 3 - Plan learning experiences and instruction This is the fun part and involves figuring out classroom activity, sequencing, and resources to help support our students strive towards the learning goals.
Whether you follow the UbD Framework or not, it is important for you to start any planning session by thinking about and prioritizing your students’ needs. These may go well beyond the academic curriculum.
For example, the International Baccalaureate encourages the development of important skills, attitudes and behaviors through the IB learner profile and approaches to teaching and learning.
Considering the current pandemic, keep in mind further ideas suggested by Dr. Brad Johnson when you are planning your lessons.
McTighe, Jay, and Grant Wiggins. Understanding by Design Framework. ASCD, 2012, www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/siteASCD/publications/UbD_WhitePaper0312.pdf.
To help you decided where to start consider the following questions: