Lesson Planning Adaptation and Development Daniel McCormick Western Governors University Masters of Education, Learning and Technology

Introduction The context for this presentation is a distance learning system. The audience is a diverse group of educators. Two of the educators are licensed/certified teachers. Three have been providing instruction as tutors in a distance learning environment. The five educators are now instructors for a not-for-profit distance learning provider, Distance Learning Classrooms (DLC). DLC’s mission is to provide academic courses (primarily science and mathematics) and tutoring assistance for all academic areas as needed. DLC is open to the public and most of the current students are adult learners who struggled in high school and now want to attend college but are not academically prepared. The lesson plan that will be used is Newton’s Second Law of Motion. It is a one to two hour self-paced unit of instruction for General Physics. The original lesson plan was taken from a high school physics course. The lesson plan consisted of the title of the lesson, a reading assignment, and a handout with several questions for the students to complete independently.

Learning Theories All meaningful learning is based on sound learning theory. All DLC lesson plans are based on adaptations of three major theories. The first theory is Cognitivism; the

adaptations to this theory are Cognitive Load Theory and Conditions of Learning. The second theory is Constructivism; the adaptation to this theory is the Theory of Situated Learning. The third theory is Behaviorism; the adaptation to this theory is Keller’s Personalized System of Instruction (PSI). Constructivism Constructivisim is primarily based on the work of Jean Piaget and presents a theoretical framework for how learning works. Piaget suggested that learning occurs when the learner takes new information and applies that the their preexisting experiences and knowledge without changing that framework. Although Constructivism is not considered a pedagogy there are many learning theories based on Paiget’s work. Many of these theories are related to active learning. Jerome Bruner (1960) proposed a theoretical framework where learning is an active process and that learners construct new ideas and concepts based on their past or present knowledge and experience. Bruner also believed that any learning theory should have four major components: (a) a predisposition for learning, (b) knowledge should be structured so that it is easily acquired by the learner, (c) the most effective means of presenting material should be used, (d) the type of rewards and punishments used and how they are pace. (Jerome Bruner, 1966) There are numerous learning theories based on Constructivism. Many of these theories are best suited for specific types of learning (i.e. Language Arts, History/Social Studies, complex (technical) learning. DLC primarily teaches science and mathematics and uses the Situated Learning theory (especially for

physical science labs). Situated Learning theory is based on a constructivist foundation with elements of Vygotsky’s theories of social learning. Jean Lave (1988) proposed that learning is a function of the activity, context, and culture in which it occurs. Social interaction is a critical component of learning.

Principles Knowledge needs to be presented in an authentic context Learning requires social interaction and collaboration (Jean Lave, 1988) Cognitivism Cognitivism or cognitive learning theory is based on human cognitive architecture. Although this architecture is not precisely understood, research has demonstrated numerous elements and how they apply to learning. As with Constructivism, there are numerous theories based on Cognitivism. DLC uses the Cognitive Load Theory and Conditions of Learning. Cognitive Load Theory focuses primarily on two major cognitive elements; shortterm (working) memory and long-term memory. Elements that can be stored in shortterm memory are limited and are only stored for a short period of time (20 minutes or so). The contents of long-term memory are complex structures (schemas) and not just collections of individual elements. (J. Sweller, 1988, pp. 257-285) Principles Avoid working memory intensive means-to-an-end approaches Integrate sources of information Avoid unnecessary repetitive information by avoiding redundancy Use auditory and visual where both are essential for understanding (J. Sweller, 1988, pp. 257-285) Conditions of Learning is based on several cognitive concepts: (a)

learning can be categorized into five domains (verbal information, intellectual skills, cognitive strategies, motor skills, and attitudes), (b) each domain requires a different type of instruction, (c) intellectual skills can be organized in a hierarchy. Gagne’s skills hierarchy Stimulus recognition Response generation Procedure following Use of terminology Discrimination Concept formation Rule application Problem solving Principles Different instruction is required for different learning domains Learning events influence the conditions of learning Learning events are different for each learning domain Learning hierarchies detail what skills are to be learned and in what sequence (Robert Gagne, 1985) Behaviorism Behaviorism as a learning theory is founded on the work of John Watson in the early 1900’s and B. F. Skinner and others in the mid 1900’s. The main

premise of behaviorism is learner’s behavior can be shaped. Behaviorist believe learning is passive and the learner is a “clean slate”. Behavior is shaped through positive and negative reinforcement. Behaviorists define learning as an observable change in a learner’s behavior. Positive reinforcement is the application of a stimulus that is desired by the learner. This change in behavior can be produced by the arrangement of reinforcement and by progressively changing the contingencies of reinforcement. In order to maintain the desired behavior reinforcement must be continued. (Greg Kearsly, n.d.) Principles Positively reinforced behavior will reoccur (intermittent reinforcement is most effective) Content should be presented in small amounts so that desired behaviors can be reinforced (shaping) Reinforcement will generalize across similar stimuli (Learning Theories Database, 2011) (Greg Kearsly, n.d.) Learning Domains Bloom’s Taxonomy In the early 1900’s Benjamin Bloom headed a group of Educational Psychologist who developed a classification of learning behaviors. Bloom’s original learning behaviors included: Knowledge

Comprehension Application Analysis Synthesis Evaluation Affective Psychomotor (Richard Overbaugh; Lynn Shultz, n.d.) In the early 1990’s Lorin Anderson headed a group of cognitive psychologists who updated Bloom’s Taxonomy for 21 century education.
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One of the major changes was from using nouns for each domain and replacing them with verbs. Most of the work was related to the intellectual learning domains. Anderson’s revised learning behaviors included: Remembering Understanding Applying Analyzing Creating Evaluating (J. Dalton, D. Smith, 1986, pp. 38-76) (Richard Overbaugh; Lynn Shultz, n.d.) Gagne’s Learning Domains Gagne stipulated there were five learning domains. He further stipulated each domain required a different type of learning. He also

suggested these learning tasks could be ordered by complexity in an hierarchy. The hierarchy would identify the prerequisites needed to complete learning at each level progressing from basic to complex. Gagne’s Learning Domains Verbal information Intellectual skills Cognitive strategies Motor skills Attitudes Greg Kearsly (n.d.). Theory into Practice [Web resource]. Retrieved September 26, 2011, from http://www.instructionaldesign.org/index.html Design Theory Understanding by Design (Backward Design) Wiggins and McTighe (2005) proposed a process of instructional design that is described as a backward design process. The process, termed “Understanding by Design”, starts by defining the desired outcomes, determining what learner performance would be evidence of learning, and then selecting the appropriate content, materials, and activities. Conditions of Learning In addition to learning domains, Gagne proposed learning tasks (primarily intellectual tasks) could be organized in an hierarchy based on complexity. He

described nine elements of learning in the hierarchy: Gaining attention Learning objectives Stimulating recall Presenting content/materials Providing learning guidance Eliciting performance Providing feedback Assessing performance Generalization (Robert Gagne, 1985) Guiding Principles Different instruction is required for each learning domain Events of learning affect the learner and make up the conditions of learning The structure of instructional events are different for each learning domain Learning hierarchies define what skills are to be learned and in what sequence the instruction should be given (Robert Gagne, 1985) (Greg Kearsly, n.d.) Review and Examples Systematic instructional development and lesson plan creation are very complex tasks. To ensure high quality, consistent, and efficient instructional experiences for all students, DLC uses the theories described above. There

are many theories of both learning and design. The Director has chosen these theories as the foundation for all course development and lesson plan creation. By effectively using a small number of tools that cover a very broad spectrum, DLC can maintain the highest standards possible. It is estimated that by 2014 there will be over 25 million post-secondary students in distance learning of some type. By 2018 there will be more students in distance learning than in brick and mortar classrooms. (Ambient Insight Research, 2011) The demand for high quality distance learning instruction is increasing at an extremely fast pace. The Director’s commitment to the highest standards and the effective use of the tools described can help meet the needs of DLC’s students. Before exploring how learning theory, learning domains, and design theory fit together three examples will be presented. Each example will be a unit of instruction that could be efficiently adapted or developed using one of the three major learning theories. For the first example we will use a unit from middle school geography. The lesson will be to learn the capitals of all of the states. This lesson would require the students to learn a large amount of verbal information. Behavioral learning theory is well suited for this type of learning. Basically there are fifty tasks the students have to perform (matching each capital with its respective state). This could seem like a daunting task for a 6 or 7
th th

Grader. To enhance learning efficiency and mastery, the tasks can be

divided into smaller regions such as Northeast, Northwest, Coastal etc. After each region is presented a formative assessment can be administered and appropriate feedback given. This step can be repeated as necessary until mastery of 100% is achieved (this could be whatever goal is established; 95%, 98%, etc). Once mastery is achieved the learner then proceeds to the next region and so forth. As new regions are added and mastered the previously mastered regions must be recalled and reinforced. After all regions are mastered a summative evaluation can be administered. By providing small units of instruction the students are not overwhelmed, they can master each region efficiently and receive the positive reinforcement they are expecting. The second example is a lab unit of instruction for General Physics. This unit of instruction could be developed or adapted using the Situated Learning theory adaptation of Constructivism. In a General Physics course, lab units would be preceded by instructional units in which key concepts would be presented and mastered. For the lab unit of instruction these concepts would be reviewed, the lab would be discussed, and instructions for completing the lab assignments would be presented. The students would be divided into small lab groups and given instructions for collaboration requirements. Using collaboration, the students would be required to formulate an hypothesis, design an experiment to test this hypothesis, and create a report to present their

findings. This format would allow the students to participate in meaningful activities, convert theoretical knowledge to practical knowledge, develop problem solving and social interaction skills, and enhance cognitive abilities. A math lesson set in the context of Special Education will be the third example. The lesson was on calculating average gas milage. The students were given a reading assignment from their text book. After completing the reading the students were instructed to complete the 30 word problems at the end of the reading section. The majority of the students made it through the reading assignment but almost every student had difficulty in completing the word problems. The teacher tried providing guidance but was only able to make little progress. At the time I was teaching in the same pod and listened to this teacher discuss her frustrations over lunch. Her next class was during my planning period so I asked her if she would mind if I taught the class for her. She agreed and with the few minutes remaining before class I showed her how to adapted the lesson plan using the Situated Learning theory. As the class entered the room I stood in the back. When the bell rang I greeted them and introduced myself. This is one very simple way to gain a classes attention. They were not accustomed to having the teacher be in the back of the room, this was a significant change in their usual classroom routine. The day’s lesson was presented and the objectives for the lesson were given to the students (they were written on the whiteboard so they would be assessable for review). The given situation was

they were on a cross country trip, they were given how far it was from point to point and how much gas they purchased at each stopping point. They were to calculate the average gas milage for each leg of the trip and for extra credit what the overall gas milage was for the entire cross-country trip. As the groups settled down to work the Special Education teacher and I circulated from group to group, answering questions, providing guidance, leading the groups to answer their own questions. As the groups started working together and formulating ideas many of them started asking “what if” questions. “What if we know the average gas milage, can we calculate how far we can go if we know how much gas we have?” and various other questions. By adapting this lesson plan this class was able to grasp the concept of average gas milage and extend that understanding into more complex thinking. While circulating, I noticed one student was having difficulty obtaining a correct answer while using the calculator (the cheap dollar store type calculators). I watched him for a minute or so, went and got the TI 84 calculator from my desk and handed it to him. After less than two minutes of instruction he was able to use the calculator and was producing correct answers. This student was having difficulty because he was loosing where he was with his calculations. With the single line readout on the dollar store calculator, when the operation key is pressed what is on the display goes away. The TI 84 has a multiple line display and the student was able to see what he had previously entered and was thus able to keep up with where

he was in his calculations. This is an example of how quick a lesson can be adapted while in progress, the impact that a learning theory that is suited for the learning domain and target audience can have, and the importance of knowing what your students are doing and how they are doing it. Lesson Planning (Adaptation/Development) Lesson planning is a complex task but it doesn’t have to be a complicated task. All DLC courses are systematically designed for the distance learning environment and the type of students DLC serves using the Dick and Carey method of Systematic Instructional Development. (Dick et al, 2009) In addition to systematic design, all courses are delivered using the Blackboard Learn platform. (Blackboard Learn, n.d.) Courses are organized by module, lessons, and parts. All courses are developed by the Director. Individual instructors are responsible for creating the lesson plans for the courses (or parts of courses) they teach. DLC uses a customized lesson plan format based on the learning and design theories that have been presented. As a practical example of lesson plan adaptation/development, a lesson plan from a high school General Physics course will be used. The lesson plan will be adapted to meet DLC standards and the student population served. The original lesson plan (Newton’s Second Law of Motion) consisted of: (a) writing a textbook reading assignment on the whiteboard, (b) a handout with two broad questions the students were to work on independently. This lesson plan could be loosely described as a example of the Action Model

Learning Theory (this theory is based on Cognitivist principles). The reading assignment could be classified as “Dialogue with Others” and the worksheet could be classified as “Dialogue with Self” because the questions required the students to think reflectively. (Kathleen McKiney, 2011) This lesson plan falls considerably short of DLC standards and the needs of the target population. Lesson Planning Steps (Adaptation/Development) The complexity of lesson planning can be managed by using a small set of tools that cover a broad spectrum of learning situations. Using this tools efficiently ensures that lessons are well designed to provide an effective and engaging learning experience for a diverse student population. The lesson that is being modified is from a high school General Physics. The lesson matches a lesson in DLC’s General Physics. The module is on motion and the lesson is Newton’s Second Law of Motion. The modified lesson plan will be for Lesson 3. Before starting Lesson 3 students would have completed and mastered Lesson 1 and 2. DLC uses a modified lesson planning format that has been integrated into the Blackboard Learn platform. For the exercise a copy of the format template will be used (this template is provided as a handout). The use of the lesson planning module in Blackboard Learn will be covered in subsequent presentations. For this example the General Physics course developed by DLC’s

Director is being used. The course was systematically developed for the population served and the distance learning environment. Some elements of the template will not be discussed in detail because they are covered in subsequent presentations. Standards All lessons are based on nationally and state accepted standards. The Standards element is the first item on the list even though it is one of the last elements completed (it leaves a glaring blank space in the lesson plan when it is created in Blackboard and just serves as a reminder to complete this step). Learning Domain The first step in developing or adapting a lesson plan is to determine the learning domain. DLC uses Gagne’s classifications. The learning domain for this lesson is Intellectual Skills. This will give us the basis we need for deciding lesson content, delivery, and assessment. Gaining Attention Gaining attention is the next step that needs to be considered. At this point in the lesson plan development/adaptation you may not have a definite idea of what will work but this is the time to start thinking about it. For this particular lesson plan (because this is a continuation for the module on Motion) it was easy to provided an attention gaining element. Taking the well used quote, “This isn’t rocket science”, a visual was added as part of the

introduction that reads, “This IS rocket science”. Objectives All lesson plans must have measurable objectives. For this lesson the objectives are: (a) Derive the standard equation for Newton’s Second Law of Motion (Force is equal to mass times acceleration), (b) Algebraically manipulate the equation to solve for it’s various elements.

Prerequisite Learning/Recall of Prior Knowledge Before students start this lesson they must have completed and mastered Lessons 1 and 2 for this module. This is the minimum prerequisite learning for this lesson. A brief review of Lesson 2 is provided and a recommendation the students review Lesson 1 and 2 if they find the introduction to the lesson or any of the initial parts confusing. Material/Content Material and content for this lesson were developed by the Director. The materials support the learning objectives and meet the needs of the target population. These materials also provide additional resources for those who may be having difficulty mastering the lesson and for those who have mastered the lesson and want additional information. Guidance (Structured and Informal) Guidance is provided for each student through the use of discussion boards, the student’s personal journal, and chat or instant messaging, all of which is provided within the security of the Blackboard Learn platform. A specific guidance element for this unit required the students to participate in reflective thinking. They are asked to describe the difference between an expression and an equation. This description was to be posted in on the discussion boards for this lesson. Performance Practice Performance for this lesson is incorporated in guidance and the

following section on Feedback. All instructors are required to maintain close contact with their students. As part of guidance, students are asked leading questions that help them work through the steps of deriving the equation. Assessments Assessments for the lesson are directly related to the lesson objectives and require the student to show mastery by: (a) performing a derivation of the Second Law of Motion, (b) using algebraic manipulation to solve for various elements of the derived equation. Review/Enhancing Retention The final step of the lesson plan is to review the materials presented and follow-up on any discussion posts and journal entries. A preview of the next lesson is provided to give the students a connection between what has been mastered and how it will be used in the following lesson/lessons. Summary This has been a brief overview of Learning Theory, Learning Domains, and Design Theory and how they can be used to adapt or develop a lesson plan to meet the needs of a diverse student population. By consistently using a set tools that cover a broad spectrum of Learning and Design Theory, instructional content can be delivered efficiently and effective. The instruction is consistent and covers all aspects of the students needs. This helps the student master content efficiently and gives them a sense of accomplishment and assists them in taking their knowledge and

understanding to a higher level. These tools help the instructors quickly adapt lessons for students with special needs while ensuring that all necessary elements for student mastery are maintained. Reference List Kathleen McKiney (2011). Active Learning [Webpage]. Retrieved September 6, 2011, from http://www.cat.ilstu.edu/additional/tips/newactive.php Ambient Insight Research (2011). Ambient Insight Research [Web site]. Retrieved May 12, 2011, from http://www.ambientinsight.com/Default.aspx (n.d.). Blackboard Learn [Website]. Retrieved October 12, 2011, from http://www.blackboard.com/Platforms/Learn/Overview.aspx Richard Overbaugh; Lynn Shultz (n.d.). Bloom's Taxonomy [Webpage]. Retrieved September 25, 2011, from http://www.odu.edu/educ/roverbau/Bloom/blooms_taxonomy.htm Jean Lave (1988). Cognition in Practice: Mind, mathematics, and culture in everyday life. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. J. Sweller (1988). Cognitive load during problem solving: Effects on learning. Cognitive Science, 12257-285. J. Dalton, D. Smith (1986). Extending Children’s Special Abilities – Strategies for primary classrooms. (pp. 38-76). Fred Keller (1968). Good-Bye Teacher... Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 179-89. (2011). Learning Theories Database [Webpage]. Retrieved September 23, 2011, from http://www.learning-theories.com/behaviorism.html Robert Gagne (1985). The Conditions of Learning (4th ed.). New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Wilson. Jerome Bruner (1966). The Process of Education. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press. Dick, W., Carey, L. & Carey, J. O. (2009). The Systematic Design of

Instruction (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Merrill/Pearson. Greg Kearsly (n.d.). Theory into Practice [Web resource]. Retrieved September 26, 2011, from http://www.instructionaldesign.org/index.html

Grant Wiggins, Jay McTighe (2005). Understanding by Design (Expanded 2nd Edition ed.). [eBook]. (pp. 370). Assoc. for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Retrieved September 28, 2011, from http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/resultsadvanced?sid=b5abda1e-0c05-4bf4b27c-8e40098c6e5b %40sessionmgr110&vid=5&bk=1&hid=105&bquery=(XX+%26amp%3bquot %3ban%26amp%3bquot%3b %5b100%5d)&bdata=JmRiPW5sZWJrJmRiPW5sYWJrJnR5cGU9MSZzaXRlPWVo b3N0LWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d

RUNNING HEAD: Lesson Planning Lesson Planning

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