Active Learning: Utilizing Backwards Design To Articulate Learning Outcomes & Maximize Student Learning
Back by popular demand!
Thursday, March 30 ~ 1:00-2:15pm (Eastern)
Challenge - Utilizing Backwards Design To Articulate Learning Outcomes
This webinar aims to address challenges related to designing Active Learning courses:
- While talking about course learning outcomes is commonplace in education, many teachers face significant challenges with articulating these outcomes in an authentic and actionable way
- Once outcomes are articulated, teachers often fail to “unpack” their course outcomes sufficiently in order to uncover the cognitive skills necessary to achieve these outcomes
- It is often a challenge to properly differentiate the “content” of the course with the “learning outcomes” for that course and to recognize the relationship between “content” and “outcomes”
- It can be a struggle to move from a course designed haphazardly around content and topics toward a more comprehensive, scaffolded design aimed specifically at student learning
In the Active Learning paradigm, the primary roles of the teacher are to carefully articulate learning outcomes, design opportunities for students to practice the skills necessary to become proficient in (or master) those outcomes, and to offer meaningful feedback to students as they learn. Active learning, then, depends on every aspect of a course working together in an intentional way. Backwards design is a key to successful teaching and learning.
This is the first in a series of spring 2023 webinars focused on Active Learning. However, each webinar in this series stands-alone.
The primary measure of student success is learning; students succeed when they learn. Student learning is also the most important way to judge teacher success; teachers succeed when students learn. So, it is vital for teachers to design assignments and lead classes where students have the best opportunity to learn. This idea that teachers should think of themselves as course designers and learning facilitators is one of the key elements of Active Learning, an evidence-based teaching and learning paradigm shown to promote more learning compared to the traditional lecture approach. But, before teachers can think about designing their courses to drive more student learning, we need to consider what, exactly, students need to learn.
The content that students study in a course is obviously important but regardless of the topics covered in class and studied by students outside of class, we only know students have learned something when they utilize knowledge they have acquired in some relevant way. Learning outcomes identify these skills (cognitive, physical, etc.) that successful students will develop and be able to use to showcase their learning at the end of the semester and, hopefully, in future classes and in their careers and lives.
Participants in this webinar should come with a particular course in mind and will be invited to think seriously about what students should be learning in their classes through this outcomes-based lens. We’ll focus on articulating meaningful course learning outcome, a critical process both for teachers who think they have already identified their outcomes and those of us who haven’t. Too often learning outcomes are written in abstract academic language that fails to engage teachers or students. Working to create outcomes that are authentic for all stakeholders is vital. It is also critical to unpack any hidden learning outcomes as teachers often have implicit expectations for students that are worth highlighting.
Next, we will work together to distinguish the topics and content of our courses from the learning outcomes and then consider the proper relationship between content and outcomes. In an Active Learning approach, we select and utilize the content that best allows students to gain proficiency or fluency with the learning outcomes. Thinking about course design this way opens possibilities for selecting content that students best engage with including culturally relevant content, a practice shown to close equity opportunity gaps for URM students.
This webinar will take an “active learning” approach so participants should expect to watch and listen but more importantly to write, think, and participate with the presenter and with each other during the webinar. Case studies will be presented but participants are encouraged to think about and work on a course that is relevant to them.
- Explore the Active Learning paradigm by contrasting it with the Transmission of Knowledge approach to teaching and learning.
- Assess and address criticisms associated with an outcomes-based approach to teaching and learning.
- Recognize why articulating learning outcomes is a vital first step in an Active Learning course design.
- Consider learning outcomes including program/degree outcomes, course-level outcomes, unit and assignment outcomes, as well as teacher-specific learning outcomes.
- Contrast course content or topics with the course learning outcomes and consider how the relationship between content and outcomes impacts course design and student learning.
- Utilize a Nesting Dolls metaphor to analyze and prioritize learning outcomes as part of the design process.
- Consider the next steps for backwards design once learning outcomes are clarified.
- K12 & 2-year & 4-year institutions
- Academic Affairs/Instruction
- Faculty (full and part-time)
- Deans of Instruction
- Department Chairs
- Online Learning Administrators
- Online Learning Faculty
- Any educator interested in learning more about backward design for active learning
"Online discussion assignments should be something both students and faculty look forward to when they log into their online classes and/or enhance the learning of hybrid or face-to-face students.. Lets make sure our online discussions are place where faculty get to teach and where students get to learn."
Eric Salahub has been at Front Range Community College in Fort Collins Colorado since 1999 where he teaches philosophy and serves as an instructional coach. In his coaching role, Eric has worked with hundreds of teachers helping them improve their craft in face-to-face, online, and hybrid classes. Over the past 10 years, Eric's main teaching and research focus is in Active Learning and he is the co-creator and director of the Active Learning Institute. In 2018 Eric was named the Colorado Community College's Outstanding Faculty and in 2019 he was awarded the Jerome Wartgow award for Excellence in Teaching with Technology.
Bio current as of March 2023
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Funding is a little tight, how many workshops can I get for $XX?
You can buy the entire StudentLingo package (50 workshops) or we offer several a la carte options. Unlike a lot of other software companies, we don’t charge per user, so we can work with any budget. We recommend talking to other departments on campus to increase your purchasing power and to share the cost. Also, we do have a pay model whereby students pay directly. If you are interested in learning more about this option, give us a call.
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This is a feature of our platform, but comes at an additional cost. With the admin view, you get access to more advanced reporting, and you have it in real time. With the standard membership, you get monthly reports.
How have other schools leveraged reporting?
- One of our partners, College of Southern Nevada, used StudentLingo to measure learning outcomes. in a study, one class had access to StudentLingo and the other cohort did not. 92% of the cohort with access to StudentLingo earned a whole letter grade higher than the cohort without StudentLingo.
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What is TutorLingo?
TutorLingo is a series of 9 online training modules that prepare tutors by providing the basic skills necessary to support their peers in becoming more independent and strategic learners.
Should the TutorLingo trainings be viewed in any particular order?
No, each training is a stand-alone workshop, and they can be viewed in any order.
What is the CRLA?
The CRLA is a group of student-oriented professionals active in the fields of reading, learning assistance, developmental education, tutoring, and mentoring. In 1989, the CRLA created a training program that is considered ‘best-practice’ for tutor training. A fews years ago, Innovative Educators partnered with the CRLA to create supplementary training modules. Our training supports learning centers in achieving level 1 certification through CRLA.
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Yes. CRLA members receive a 10% discount on TutorLingo.
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Yes. The admin view is an upgrade and costs $500, but gives you the ability to access completion data more efficiently and in real time. If you don’t want the admin view, we provide monthly usage reports.
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ParentLingo is a go-to resource that institutions can easily share with parents to encourage student independence, growth & success. ParentLingo is a shared resource that recognizes and includes parents as partners in the educational process.
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