Strategies for Developing Rigor in Coursework

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UNIT 1: IDENTIFYING THE CHARACTERISTICS OF RIGOR

OVERVIEW

Revealing prior knowledge. Before delving into our topic, it is important for learners to prepare themselves to acquire new knowledge. Exposing prior knowledge allows the learner to see where they are currently with their understanding of the subject and can help reveal bias or prejudice perspectives that may be hindering further understanding (Larson & Lockee, 2014, p. 125). It also reveals the varied experiences each learner has had with the subject.

UNIT OBJECTIVES

1.1 Rigor: What it is and what it is not

1.2 Global Perspective - What does it mean to have a 21st Century education?

UNIT 2: UNDERSTANDING THE RIGOR/RELEVANCE FRAMEWORK

OVERVIEW

The Rigor/Relevance Framework was developed by the International Center for Leadership in Education as an evaluative tool to help teachers of all subjects assess the quality of their instructions, assignments, and assessments. Knowledge standards and student performance are the two intersecting continuums. The framework has been adopted by many schools and independent organizations across the US to help increase student learning and to help teachers develop more challenging, yet motivating, lessons. The implications for potential curriculum development are so large that it is beyond the scope of this mini-course. We will be focusing on three basic components of curriculum development: student learning objectives (goals), instructional strategies, and assessments.

"According to Sadler (1989), three elements are required if teachers are to successfully use assessment to promote learning: (1) A clear view of the learning goals (derived from the curriculum)(2) Information about the present state of the learner (derived from assessment)(3) Action to close the gap (taken through instruction) Each of these three elements informs the other. For instance, formulating assessment procedures for classroom use can spur a teacher to think more specifically about learning goals, thus leading to modification of curriculum and instruction. These modifications can, in turn, lead to refined assessment procedures, and so on. The mere existence of classroom assessment along the lines discussed here will not ensure effective learning. The clarity and appropriateness of the curriculum goals, the validity of the assessments in relationship to these goals, the interpretation of the assessment evidence, and the relevance and quality of the instruction that ensues are all critical determinants of the outcome (Pellegrino 2014)."

UNIT OBJECTIVES

2.1 Creating Goals

2.2 Instructional Strategies

2.3 Assessments

UNIT 3: AN ITERATIVE PROCESS

OVERVIEW

The Rigor/Relevance framework was built on the belief that all students can reach high levels of critical thinking and that relevancy is the key to motivating students towards mastering skills needed for adulthood. Rigor means something different for each classroom. It's important to meet students at their level, but push them appropriately with high expectations. Making work too rigorous will only cause frustration for you and your students. Keeping this in mind, revising lessons often and working with supportive colleagues enhances the learning experiences of students and teachers.

UNIT OBJECTIVES

NAVIGATION

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Course Profile Page

Unit 1: Identifying the Characteristics of Rigor