Unit Four: Apply Your Knowledge


Overview and Purpose

Knowledge Venn Diagram, Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain

In our final unit we will review and expand on our knowledge of advance organizers by applying them in our own instruction. We will create an advance organizer for a piece of our own curriculum and then participate in a peer review process.

Finally, we will revisit the KWL chart from Unit 2 and complete it as part of a reflective activity. As we conclude the course, think about not just how, but why you would adopt some of the theory and advance organizer components we have studied for use in your own curriculum.

Primary Objective

Learners will be able to adopt advanced organizer approaches to content design in their own courses.




1. Create an Advance Organizer

Using the same lesson/activity you have been relying on throughout this mini-course (or, you may want to use a new lesson/assignment/activity - it's up to you), develop an advance organizer approach to presenting this information to your students. Your approach can take any form you like - a graphic organizer, an expository organizer, a narrative, etc. You can use visual cues, thematic elements - anything you like, but remember your audience, and remember that students can have a variety of learning styles or preferences, as was discussed in Unit 1. Make sure your design rationale includes the theoretical ideas presented in Unit 3.

2. Peer Review

Share your finished organizer with the class for peer review. Peer review should provide you with some guidance and useful feedback going forward, and will help you polish your approach for use in your live class.

As part of the peer review, I would like you to address the following, but also feel free to provide additional (constructive) remarks on each others' work:

  1. What type of advance organizer was used?
  2. How did the type of advance organizer used relate to the goal(s) of instruction?
  3. Are there other types of advance organizers that would work for this lesson's purpose? If so, suggest them.
  4. Did the instructor use the advance organizer to guide students to important concepts/questions?
  5. Did the instructor rely on prior knowledge and link it with the activity in order to facilitate development of new?
  6. Did you see any effort to accommodate various learning styles/preferences?

Perform this peer review on at least two other organizers and respond to the comments left on your yours.

3. Reflect on Knowledge

Revisit the KWL chart you filled in for Unit 2.

Click here to see the Original Chart

You should have filled in the first two columns at the start of Unit 2. For the first part of this activity, complete the third column in that chart.

Once you have finished your chart, share your thoughts and impressions with your peers. What did you learn that you didn't already know? Was there anything the course didn't reveal that you wanted to learn? What surprised you about what you already knew, and how did that help you learn new ideas and concepts from the course? Did Ausubel's theory hold true for you?

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References and Resources

Northeast Texas Network Consortium. (2002). Advance Organizers: Creating and Using Advance Organizers for Distance Learning. NETNet, Tyler, TX. Found at: http://www.netnet.org/instructors/design/goalsobjectives/advance.htm

Hendron, J. (2003). Advance and Graphical Organizers: Proven Strategies Enhanced Through Technology. Goochland County Public Schools. VA. Found at: http://www.glnd.k12.va.us/resources/graphicalorganizers/