Narrative in Instruction and Assessment

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Return to J. Robin Ward

Once Upon A Time...

...there was a teacher. This teacher had studied both the teaching experts who had gone before and the theories of instruction that pointed to towards the future. This teacher was a good teacher who taught students with care, always seeking how best to help them learn, achieve, and succeed.

One day this teacher said, “I need to explore more teaching methods, to see what might work to help my students learn more, achieve more, and succeed more.” And so the teacher went out to seek what methods might exist in the great, wide world.

This teacher is you.

As a teacher, you will have abundant opportunities to seek out new techniques to add to your “toolbox” of teaching methods. Some may be required by your institution, and some will be experiments that you try out, evaluate, “tweak” to serve you better, try out again, and either continue to refine or discard as a poor fit. Chances are you will discover that, with each new set of students you encounter, you will need to revisit your methodology to make sure you are serving your students to the best of your abilities and to meet their individual needs.


This mini-course is designed to provide classroom teachers with an introduction to one instructional tool: the use of narrative. By the end of this course, you should be able to do the following:


  • Explain the value of narrative as a tool for teaching, learning, reflection, and assessment.

  • Identify opportunities for incorporating narrative elements into instructional activities.
  • Engage in interpretation of narrative to identify meaning within the summary of experience.
  • Design instruction that incorporates narrative elements.


The structure of this class assumes that you already have the following:


...a basic understanding of the elements that make up narrative

...experience in creating lesson plans

...experience with assessing student work


So, are you ready to find out more? Good. Let's begin...

Click Here to Begin the Journey with Unit 1: The Power of the Narrative Form