Sunday, 4 November 2012

Learning Objectives within Learning Objectives

Learning objectives is one of the things that I tend to think about a lot. I've had many discussions within my department about the differences (if any) between learning objectives, learning outcomes, questions to develop the objectives and all the other things which we set out at the beginning of a lesson.

Recently, I have started to set my learning objectives out in different ways to see how my students engage with different activities related to the objectives. This is massively down to the work of David Didau and his experiments with what worked best with his class. I developed one of his techniques slightly, as well as thinking about my learning objectives in terms of SOLO after a chat with Darren Mead.

I decided to use learning objectives within learning objectives. There would be one overarching objective for the Year 9 lesson; 'to understand and evaluate Steinbeck's use of point of view in Of Mice and Men'. There would then be four stages which the students would work towards, gradually moving up the stages as the lesson progressed. The activities would allow the students to demonstrate their understanding and evaluation of the use of point of view. If they didn't manage to progress through the different stages, then they knew where their development would be needed in this area in the future.

This idea is largely down to David's Learning Continuum blog post which he also writes about extensively in his book. I'm not sure how much I adapted this idea (if at all!) but I found that the students have a willingness to progress through the stages as they understand how their learning can be progressed explicitly. Although I haven't used the SOLO language with the class, I found that if I thought about my learning objectives in terms of SOLO, then this could explicitly show progress in terms of learning. You can see how my colleague, Andy Sammons, adapted this lesson for his own similar level class here.

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