Learning Objectives for Teaching Workshop

I run a one-day workshop on evidence-based teaching practices aimed at programmers. I recently needed to summarize its learning objectives, so I’ve published them below. If your team would like to learn how to prepare and deliver effective training materials in less time and with less effort, please give me a shout: I’m always happy to deliver it online in exchange for a donation to a good cause.

  1. Introduction
    1. Summarize the four key goals of this training.
    2. Explain how and why this training prepares people to be “educational paramedics”.
  2. Learner Personas
    1. Explain what learner personas are and what purpose they serve.
    2. Describe the four elements every learner persona should have.
    3. Create learner personas.
    4. Summarize lessons in ways that will appeal to specific learner personas.
  3. Mental Models
    1. Describe the distinctions between novice, competent, and expert learners in the Benner/Dreyfuss model.
    2. Explain what a mental model is and why it doesn’t need to be either complete or correct in order to be useful.
    3. Explain how the lack of a mental model impedes novices, why the goal of lessons for novices should therefore be to help them construct a mental model, and how an instructor can tell if someone has a functional mental model.
    4. Explain what a concept map is and what elements a concept map should have.
    5. Describe four ways that concept maps can be used in planning, delivering, and assessing lessons.
    6. Create concept maps.
    7. Define the term “false beginner”, explain it in terms of mental models, and explain the special challenges that false beginners present in teaching.
  4. Cognitive Load
    1. Explain the difference between long-term and short-term memory and describe the retrieval/encoding cycle.
    2. Describe how visual and auditory information are processed, integrated, and stored.
    3. Describe the cognitive processing involved in reading and summarize Benner et al’s findings about learning modes (visual + speech, visual + text, visual + speech + text).
    4. Define the three types of cognitive load and correctly identify examples of each.
    5. Explain two implications of cognitive load theory for lesson design and delivery.
    6. Explain what a Parsons Problem is and how its effectiveness can be grounded in cognitive load theory.
    7. Create Parsons Problems and explain when and how they should or shouldn’t be used.
  5. Cognitive Capacity
    1. Explain the “magic number 7±2” (capacity of short-term memory) and its implications for lesson design and delivery.
    2. Explain what a faded example is and how its effectiveness can be grounded in the limited capacity of short-term memory.
    3. Create faded examples and explain when and how they should or shouldn’t be used.
  6. Formative and Summative Assessment
    1. Define the terms “formative assessment” and “summative assessment” and explain the different roles of each.
    2. Explain why and how formative assessments should probe for misconceptions and describe three ways that instructors can determine what misconceptions to probe for.
    3. Explain the complementary purposes of formative assessments for instructors and learners.
    4. Explain what peer instruction is, why it is effective, and the requirements for it to be successful.
    5. Describe the role of summative assessment and the characteristics of effective summative assessments.
    6. Describe the process of reverse instructional design.
  7. Motivating Adult Learners
    1. Describe the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and explain their impact on learning and retention.
    2. Summarize the three main motivating factors for neurotypical adult learners.
    3. Summarize the three main demotivating factors for neurotypical adult learners.
    4. Explain why bystander (intervention) training is an effective way to ensure inclusivity and the role of scenarios and role play in acquiring these skills.
    5. Describe and justify the steps an instructor should take if they have to eject a learner from their class.
  8. Teaching Live
    1. Describe the key differences between static teaching materials and dynamic lesson presentation, and the role of improvisation in the latter.
    2. Describe the elements of a basic rubric for giving feedback on live teaching.
    3. Explain the four steps an instructor should take every time they make a coding mistake in front of a class.
    4. Critique recorded and live lesson presentations.
  9. Teaching Online
    1. Describe and summarize techniques for making interactive online teaching more effective.
    2. Describe two methods for ensuring that attention is fairly distributed among class participants and explain why this is important.
    3. Describe at least four different kinds of exercises that students can do in a programming class beyond simply writing and running code.
    4. Describe four ways to accommodate learners of widely-varying backgrounds in a single class and explain the pros and cons of each.
  10. Conclusion
    1. Explain the difference between active and passive learning and give two explanations for why the former is more effective.
    2. List six strategies learners can use to accelerate their learning and justify at least two of them in terms of the ideas introduced in this training
    3. Identify several common myths about education and learning.