How rocky is the waters surrounding your curriculum? Would you capsize if the words instructional design came into question while evaluating your lessons? That’s the focus today as we investigate this quote:
"Education has missed the boat, with respect to instructional design. Teachers come up with lesson plans on the fly, with little thought to why they are presenting information or even who their audience is. Teacher training, at the university level and during Professional development, needs to focus on helping teachers become comfortable with instructional design principles."
Do you fly by lesson planning because you have taught the lessons before? Is your text still printed in a book? If so, you might need this refresher on instructional design (ID). Professionally, I received no training on instructional design and it has never been brought up in professional development. It wasn't until this summer that the question arose in a course I am enrolled in and a few friends voiced their frustration at dealing with spinning wheels with old curriculum.
I can recall this time period - only 7 years ago - because I used the same model for my lesson plans for two years after I got my first teaching job. It was simple, Identify the objective and content and then explain what tools and methods used to teach it. We never thought about the best way to deliver that task. It was always set by the curriculum guides. Read this introduction in math, do this worksheet for enrichment or intervention and then repeat the next day.
After reading this great introduction to ID here, you can see that it can be broken down into three parts: Analyzing the situation to determine needs, produce and implement the ID and then evaluate the results.
There are a few specific ID models, but we will look at the flexible method created by Morrison, Ross and Kemp. This 2004 model is fluid with nine separate elements. When designing with this model, it is meant to transition between several different locations represented as the two outer ovals.
This instructional design is dynamic and has found its way into technology classrooms. I used a very similar model for my science curriculum (project based learning). The ability to adapt lessons as new information and learning goals is reassessed makes it a common tool for e-learning and PBL because it allows teachers to respond directly to individual needs and gaps.
This sounds like deep thinking...
This sounds like work right? And over a summer break too… Well that’s a teacher’s life! If it’s for the betterment of students we have to at least search for why focusing on ID improves the classroom correct? You would be surprised how little research there is on ID in preservice and PD. That’s because the new emphasis is just now starting to branch out on its own. You can learn more about who and what they do here.
Here’s 25 questions you can use to get started on improving your curriculum brought to you by researchers Jay Mctighe and Grant Wiggins. Just perusing these simple questions will help you evaluate changes that might need to happen in your designs. You could start with an easy one like: Show your students' final assessment work to a colleague. Could they identify the outcomes you wanted by looking at it? (McTighe & Wiggins).
I am a 2nd Grade teacher with years of experience in digital editing and film. I have a 2nd Degree Black Belt, am a professional wedding photographer, and instruct fine art painting classes.