Dr. Jennifer W. Shewmaker

Parent, Educator, Author

Planning In and Out of Class Activities

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In my last post, I talked about the developmental progression that I think about when it comes to learning.

In this developmental process, I consider the following:

  1. Learning Outcomes: What do I want my students to learn
  2. Measurement: How will I know if they’ve met the outcome goal?
  3. Developmental Trajectory: How will I help them move toward that outcome?

The same developmental process occurs as I plan the work that my students will be doing in assignments both in and outside of the classroom.

So how does that work in practice? Let me share an example. One of my outcome goals is always to help my students acquire skills in developing their own well- supported perspective on a topic and being able to share that information in a professional manner.

Each assignment or activity that I give my students is built around this idea, and I break down the skills that students need to build in order to do this, the steps of knowledge that they need to take to get to the end goal. Then I construct my assignments to help the students build those skills. With earlier assignments, I  focus on helping them learn how to build and critique arguments. Next, I will have them build their own argument and critique it. Then I’ll provide them with the opportunity to share professionally with their peers and receive feedback.

Activities I use to do this include in-class debates, group case studies, individual case studies, quizzes, concept map development, and position papers, all with formative assessment throughout the semester. The final project will always build upon these earlier efforts and be developed through formative feedback, so that the summative feedback can reflect the student’s development and learning throughout the semester.

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