Thank you to everyone who was able to watch the webinar featuring manager, learning science & design, Melissa Belardi, and learning designers Meghan O’Donnell, and Vicki Lang. We wanted to share the webinar replay along with a recap of
what we discussed.
Starting things off, we discussed the subject of various design models and the concept of backward design while talking about the importance of writing learning objectives.
Instructional Design Models: The transcript discusses three common instructional design models used in online learning: ADDIE, SAM, and Backward Design. ADDIE is suited for a highly controlled learning environment with detailed needs analysis, while SAM is a recursive and iterative prototype-based process. Backward Design, the focus of the discussion, involves defining desired learning outcomes, designing assessments, and then building content and activities to meet those outcomes.
Backward Design: Backward design is explained as an approach where the learning objectives and assessments are defined first, and then the content and activities are developed to support those objectives. The transcript emphasizes the importance of aligning learning objectives at different levels (course level, section level, and learning activity level) and suggests using Bloom's taxonomy to choose action verbs that reflect the depth of understanding desired.
Writing Learning Objectives: The transcript provides guidelines for writing high-quality learning objectives. It suggests identifying the concept, selecting an action verb based on the desired understanding, relating the verb to a context, and adding additional criteria to indicate how or when the outcome will be demonstrated. It also highlights the best practice of creating a hierarchy of learning objectives at different levels and using Bloom's taxonomy to ensure appropriate depth of understanding.
Then we discuss the topic of assessing the learning design:
Three key takeaways from this transcript are:
Importance of assessing learning: The transcript emphasizes the significance of assessing learning to determine whether learners have achieved the defined learning objectives. It encourages instructors to ask themselves what evidence is needed for learners to demonstrate mastery of the objectives they have set.
Types of assessments: The transcript introduces two types of assessments commonly used in learning experiences: formative assessments and summative assessments. Formative assessments are embedded throughout the learning experience and provide ongoing feedback to learners, while summative assessments are typically conducted at the end of a course or milestone to evaluate the overall accomplishment of the objectives.
Different assessment methods: The transcript suggests various ways to incorporate assessments into courses, such as quizzes, assignments for peer feedback or projects, coding exercises, and practice tests. It also acknowledges that learners can demonstrate evidence of learning beyond the course, including external assessments like certification exams and work performance reviews. This highlights the importance of considering a broader range of assessment opportunities.
We then wrap things up by discussing the subject of developing learning activities:
Three key takeaways from this transcript are:
Alignment between learning objectives, assessments, and learning activities: The transcript emphasizes the importance of aligning all learning activities with the defined learning objectives from Stage 1 and the assessments identified or built in Stage 2. This alignment ensures that the content and experiences provided to learners directly contribute to the mastery of the objectives.
Guiding questions for developing learning activities: The transcript offers a set of guiding questions to assist in the design and development of learning activities. These questions help instructors identify the knowledge and skills learners need to master the learning objectives and determine appropriate activities to build that knowledge and skill set. Additionally, they prompt instructors to consider the most effective ways to teach the content and provide relevant materials and resources to support learning.
Holistic approach to course development: By focusing on the alignment between objectives, assessments, and learning activities, the transcript promotes a holistic approach to course development. It highlights the need to consider the entire learning experience and create a cohesive structure that supports learners in achieving the desired learning outcomes. This approach ensures that all components of the course work together harmoniously to facilitate effective learning.
Looking to apply backward learning to your curriculum? We have the materials to help!