R&D Project

US Department of Education Grant Supports Learning by Design Research and Development

The ‘Learning Element’: A Lesson Planning and Curriculum Documentation Tool for Teachers

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This project will create an innovative technology tool for teachers which reconfigures traditional curriculum design and instructional roles. The technology developed in this project will support teachers as they design ‘Learning Elements’, or online modules of teaching content, and will consist of three closely interconnected online spaces, which users can choose to view separately or juxtapose in side-by-side panes presenting parallel views: 1) a ‘teacher resource’ space in which lesson planning occurs; 2) a ‘learner resource’ space in which this plan is translated into student-accessible text for independent or semi-independent learning; and 3) a ‘learner workbook’ space in which students undertake activities that have been scaffolded in the ‘learner resource’ space. The technology will support multimodal text delivery (text, image, video, audio). The project will develop key elements of today’s ‘Web 2.0’ social networking technologies including the potentials for the collaborative design of content amongst teams of teachers, easy dissemination to students, and rapid, responsive formative and summative assessment of student work. Phase II will involve overlapping and iterative processes of technical specification, software development, beta lab testing and feasibility analysis.

Team members: Faculty: William Cope, Denice Ward Hood, Mary Kalantzis; Educational Research and Intervention Coordinator: Kelly Searsmith; Graduate Research Assistant: Alicia Robinson; and On-Site Educational Coordinator: Jennifer Stork

Funding source: Small Business and Innovation Research Program (SBIR), Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education

Become Involved in Learning by Design R&D

We invite you to join us collecting data and reporting upon your experience of using the Learning by Design approach and Learning Element web planner. This involves the following two-phase intervention and data collection cycle:

Phase 1. Design Phase

  • Take the background survey.
  • Create the first draft of your Learning Element, and have peers assess it against the pre-teaching rubric.
  • Make a post to Teacher Reflective Blog at the completion of drafting your Learning Element, but before teaching, including a link to the published version. Create an account by mailing support@cgscholar.com for site registration login. Tell us the ‘back story’ of writing your Learning Element. For example: What were your first impressions of L-by-D? How did you go about writing the Learning Element? How did you experience the design process?

Phase 2. Intervention Phase

  • Teach the Learning Element.
  • Redraft of Learning Element in the light of your teaching experience, and have peers assess it against the post-teaching rubric.
  • The Learning Element ‘back story’: Tell the story of teaching the Learning Element in your blog. For example: What happened? How did students respond? What evidence was there of student learning? How did learner differences play out in the classroom? How did the teaching the Learning Element influence your rewriting? What professional collaborations have developed as a part of this process? What as a teacher have you learned?
  • Take the end-of-cycle survey.