Mini-Course Background Info
Instructional problem: It can be difficult to engage students in learning. It is also difficult for students to take the lead in questioning and discussion as well. Most of the time, teachers are the ones who are always asking questions. Students would benefit from taking the lead in designing their own powerful questions.
Intended Setting: Classroom settings of grades 6-12 (will also benefit college level)
Participants: Teachers of all content areas
Intended change you are expecting or desiring: Student curiosity will increase and classroom discussion will be student-led. Instructors will serve as facilitators, and provide instructional support in designing and assessing questions. Questions created by students can be used as essential questions for a new unit, questions on future assessments, and questions for classroom discussion.
Supporting details: The QFT is a process that is best used before launching a new unit or topic, and is also best used right before the end.
Analysis of the Learner and Context
Who are the learners?
For this mini-course, the targeted learners are composed of secondary education teachers, university teachers, and community college professors. Content areas consist of Math, English, Biology, Foreign Language, Entrepreneurship, and Law.
Learners in this mini-course have never used or heard of the QFT before. It is anticipated that they will enjoy incorporating this strategy as a way to jump off a new unit, assess prior knowledge, and assess knowledge at the end of a unit and/or given topics. Currently, many of the learners already use their own unique ways of beginning a new topic. Some examples are: recapping previous units and bridging two topics, reflections, journaling, Socratic method, and dip sticking questions. Examples in which the learners assess their students at the end of a unit are: end of unit test, the culmination of exit tickets throughout a unit, essay, project-based activities, dip sticking and written application questions. Based on the analysis of the needs assessment, the learners stated that they sometimes or never provide students the opportunity to lead the discussion by generating their own questions.
Context for Instruction
Participants in this course will engage in learning through the use of visuals, online videos, analysis of examples and non-examples, and mini-assessments. Learners were given the opportunity to vote on which topics/themes would be interesting for their students to explore. Based on the analysis of all votes, learners seem to be most interested in the topic on¨Growth and Change: Strategies for Managing Conflict¨. As a result, this learning course will demonstrate the QFT using this specific topic. This will not only provide more relevance for the learnerś, but also for their own students as well.
Remember: Learners will be able to recall the QFT steps and important concepts that will enable students to design powerful questions.
Understand: Learners will be able to understand the importance of each step and how it relates to the overall purpose of QFT.
Apply: Learners will be able to apply their understanding by following a sample QFT process following the perspective of a student.
Analyze: Learners will analyze examples and non-examples of sample Q focus strategies, question formulations, etc.
Evaluate: Learners will be able to evaluate sample questions with the support of using the "Generating Thoughtful Questions Rubric".
Create: Learners will be able to design their own QFT models which will enable students to formulate questions and promote meaningful learning.
Elaborate and analyze the objectives to identify more specific enabling and supporting objectives.