Four “anchor concepts” for better teaching and learning
- Concept 1: Teach toward equity, We should teach and provide everyone with the same resources regardless of their sex, gender, race, etc. Teachers, students, and peers should join together in learning communities to help each other in terms of enhancing and improving their knowledge.
- Concept 2: Construct and Connect, learning is a construction process that is improved by others’ prior knowledge and experiences. Collaboration between students is necessary for their learning experience.
- Concept 3: Engage Students Actively: To keep students actively engaged, we must understand that some students resist learning, and student engagement can be enhanced. Teachers can utilize the interaction between active learning and motivation in the classroom to keep them engaged actively.
- Concept 4: Motivation Matters, Motivation is the center of active learning where it has two main sources intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. It also enhances students goal achievement and can develop their competency, autonomy, and relatedness which create a pathway to learning success
Backward Design Approach Explained
Course design is an important stage when an instructor embarks on teaching a course. During this stage, the instructor has the opportunity to make decisions to improve course delivery, inventions, layout, and content. These improvements can help students’ levels of engagement and their learning experiences. For this section, I picked Backwards Design because it is very important and yet very powerful. ( You can choose any Course Design )
Backward Design is an interesting concept to use during designing a course that I am not sure I have seen instructors use. I personally experience fewer courses that professors hand out assessments before and after the course in comparison to the ones that do not. I would personally use it at the beginning of the course design because I will start determining the final outcome of the course and plan a way to assess my students and finally plan instruction and assignments such as assignments, books, online videos that will best enable students to meet the course objectives and be successful.
Backward Design is a study design concept/strategy that allows the instructor to plan the course by determining the final learning outcome. It uses three strategies: setting the goals of the course (focusing on long-term learning), planning a proper assessment instrument to measure students’ learning, and providing resources that will help students meet the course objective.
Course “outcomes” Explained
Each course outcome can vary based on the instructor’s planning and course objectives. Thus, a learning outcome statement is important during the course design process. A learning outcome should state what students are able to do after finishing the course successfully. Learning outcomes is useful during the course design process because planning them helps the instructor not only focus on the main outcome but also on the day-to-day interaction with the students. Type of general learning outcomes:
- Psychomotor: useful in developing thinking (problem-solving) skills to appropriately and efficiently manipulate specified objects in order to achieve a goal (e.g., using software for learning)
- Affective: useful in developing students’ emotional abilities (e.g., attitudes, motivation, and values)
- Social—Appropriate: engagement and behavior with other people that are productive (e.g., cooperation, leadership, and negotiation skills)
- Ethical—Decision: Making decisions that consider the moral implications and ramifications that impact other people, animals, or the environment. (e.g., teaching engineering students to build a bridge or software engineers to program a plan and these tasks can affect people’s lives )
- Cognitive: relates to mental processes such as thinking, remembering, learning, and speaking. It is useful because it helps us to think about interventions that help students develop their remembering, learning, and speaking skills. (e.g., retrieval practices that strengthen students memories)
Zehnder, C., Alby, C, Kleine, K., & Metzker, J. (2021). Learning that matters. Myers Education Press.
Nilson, L., (2016). Teaching at its best (4th ed.). Jossey-Bass.