Parent, Teacher, Author
It’s easiest to do this when you know some learning theory, because then you can ground your practice of teaching within that theory. The learning theory that I tend to use most often is Dee Fink’s (2003) model for creating significant learning. I also use the book How Learning Works: 7 Research Based Principles for Smart Teaching to guide me as I think about how to best design learning experiences for my students.
What I love about Fink’s model is that it goes beyond the older cognitive taxonomy of the Bloom model and allows us to think about important aspects of learning that are more interpersonal and intrapersonal, such as helping students learn how to learn and develop life skills that impact communication, relationships, and the ability to adapt to change. As we as teachers develop our courses and assignments, we should keep each of these types of learning in mind.
So, as I’m creating my courses, assignments, and assessments, I use a developmental process in which I consider the following:
I have found that when I keep this developmental progression in mind, I am able to help my students successfully achieve learning goals.