Instructional Design Learning Assessment and Peer review
In this project we were required to create a 30 min to 1 hour lesson based on a topic from a past training or design, one we were currently working on at work, or a new idea.
Within the lesson description, we were required to include 1 instructional method and one instructional strategy (instructional method example: group work, lecture, example non example) (instructional strategy example: silent statements, completing a graphic organizer, video)
We also were required to create all materials or job aids necessary for the training or lesson session.
As the second part of the lesson we were required to share the lesson or session with our peers for review with a justification for choosing both the instructional method and instructional strategy.
As my lesson plan I chose a lesson which would be a part of a larger block of study on the influence of military and cultural changes in the Interwar period between WWI and WWII.
This lesson serves as the opening lesson on World War II. The focus of this lesson is designed for the student to consider how the theories of the interwar period of 1918 to 1939, played out in the crucible of World War II. Specifically, this lesson focuses on the development of German Combined Arms Warfare doctrine and how innovative that doctrine was when used against its European opponents in the first two years of the war. By presenting the principal campaigns of 1939–41 in depth, the lesson analyzes the implementation and wartime effectiveness of doctrine and equipment developed in the previous two decades.
Lesson Administrative Details
The lesson from this point on covers background information that will be important for an instructor who is not completely familiar with the subject matter. This lesson is designed to be taught by an instructor who has received a basic level of institutional faculty development as well as a general primer on the lesson block overview. The details in the lesson plan provide even a novice instructor with enough detail to effectively guide the class.
Learning objectives, student and instructor readings, instructional aids and a basic breakdown of the timeline for the instructor to follow are included in the administrative details.
The learning objectives for this lesson are set at the analysis level with the expectation that the instructor will guide a discussion. This lesson is not meant as a means to provide an hour of new information for students. The readings and blog post prior to class are meant for the students to establish essential understanding of the material so they can discuss and process the materials with their peers.
Lesson Body and Flow
The next section breaks down the timing of the lesson broken down into four sections: A blog post, a debate exercise, the main body and application.
While this is a full one hour lesson, the first ten minutes of the lesson comprise a blog post is a learning activity set as a instructional strategy to guide reflective writing and discussion to be accomplished after reading has been accomplished but before the students arrive in class. The concept is meant to reinforce reading by asking the students to analyze the reading based on specific questions that are presented.
At the beginning of the class, the instructor will establish a debate environment which makes the students choose a side of an argument which they must be able to defend. They pick a side of the classroom based on a questioned posited by the teacher. The students must move to their desired side of the classroom. They can’t choose not to choose a side. Once they choose a side then the instructor will pick individuals from each side to defend their position.
The main body portion of the class is a guided discussion facilitated by the instructor but the key information needs to be discussed and analyzed by the students. There are questions and data points included in the lesson plan to assist the instructor in guiding the discussion and providing clarification on points that will help to enhance the discussion and allow the analysis to achieve learning objectives.
Finally, the instructor will follow up the discussion by driving the students to apply their analysis of the information. The key point of this is the enable critical thinking and understanding how having a fundamental knowledge of these events can help them in the future as military leaders.
The assessment for the lesson is established by the instructor and how they gauge the class participation and understanding of the material.
PF 1, 2, 3, 4: I believe that Professional Foundations are key to any Instructional Designer. Understanding the essential tasks in developing a lesson and being able to capture and develop data for a lesson as well as convey that information in a way that is understandable is an essential part of the lesson development process. I feel that through this lesson, I have a fairly good grasp of the Professional Foundations and was able to establish that I have achieved the essential requirement.
P&A 7: Identify and describe target population and environmental characteristics. Part of developing this lesson plan required that I understand the environment and the population that I would need to focus the lesson on. Since I chose to use work product as my lesson, understanding my student population and how those students would be presented the information helped in determining the lesson characteristics.
D&D 10, 11, 14, 15: The key aspect of the Design and Development competencies relate to developing instructional material. I believe this was a great opportunity to truly use the experience I’ve gained up to this point to bring together my work experience and classroom experience into building a lesson. Providing my lesson material to my peers for evaluation also paid many dividends in allowing me to better understand my strengths in lesson plan development. While this is an ongoing process, I expect seeing and understanding the though process behind different types of lesson plans will help me to better develop my range of options.
E&I 18: Revise instructional and non-instructional solutions based on data. I took the basis for this lesson from an assessment I made regarding a number of lessons that touch on these issues yet do not cover the heart of the matter or material. If felt that forming the lesson in this form better consolidated the information I was trying to convey to the students in a way that best met the analysis level of learning.
This lesson was an interesting test of skill for me in regards to what I thought was a proper lesson plan and what others might see as an effective lesson. My lesson plan experience over the years has been very single dimensional and this exercise showed me where my comfort zone was. I think finding my comfort zone will allow me to step outside of it and become more creative with how I develop lesson plans. The peer review was a substantially beneficial exercise in giving me that range of difference for lesson plans and understanding the thought process that went into why others did what they did.
Based on the feedback I received from my peers, I realized that I have a pretty good understanding of the essential points of a lesson plan, but I need to better understand not only the audience in regards to the student, but also in regards to the instructor presenting the class. Many of the comments I received mentioned the length and complexity of the information included. There was a lot of information provided in order to help the instructor facilitate the lesson. While this information can be helpful, I also realize there is a fine line between too little and too much information and need to better understand where that line is which can be essential to a well developed lesson.
In attempting to incorporate different teaching methods and learning strategies, and technologies, I think I created a well rounded class. However, I accept that there was probably a much better way to present this amount of information using different learning and teaching methodologies. Blogs, debate and discussion are great for most people to be able to show and understanding of information. However, with a weak instructor, more introverted students may not participate in the debate and discussion and focus more on the blog. While this helps to ensure everyone has a chance to have their voice heard, I need to find a better way to involve all students for the full class.
Seeing other peer lesson plans and being required to break them down the way mine was broken down, I have a better feel for the different styles of lessons.