Talk:Defining Understanding

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Feedback on Your Draft Unit -- Laura Bartlett 16:16, 27 November 2010 (EST)

Hi Mike,

I think your topic is interesting and could go a lot of different ways for teachers. I have a few suggestions for you for your units/portfolio page, based on the guidelines set forth in Evaluation criteria:

  • Curriculum map - I think it would be beneficial for you to create a curriculum map on your portfolio page to organize your ideas about the sequencing of instruction. As I was looking to draft some of my units, I found it really difficult to sequence my ideas and activities without the curriculum map. Also, having a curriculum map or outline helps the people who look at your course understand how the lessons/units progress. Right now, I'm unsure as to where your activities are going. The map would clear this up.
  • I like how you are concise in your first unit, getting right to the main idea. I think this is one thing that I need improvement on. However, I think it might improve your unit to include a mini-lecture on the topic to lay out the most important points of knowledge vs. understanding. The articles you provide could then elaborate on the content.
  • Introduction page - On our course homepage, you have linked a course introduction page, but there is no text on it. It would be beneficial to create that course intro page to help learners know if they really should take the course. On this page, you could also include the sequencing of activities so participants know what is expected of them.
  • Engagement and interaction - your readings are interesting, but I think you could improve your resources and activities to make them more engaging for participants. For example, you might include some online videos describing the two topics. For your questions and learning activities, I might suggest you have participants do something more than summarize the information (writing a summary, after all, constitutes knowledge, not understanding! :)). Perhaps you might have them reflect on their own learning experiences (i.e. did their professors teach for knowledge or understanding?) or create a venn diagram illustrating the connection and differences between knowledge and understanding.

I think you have a good start to your project. Hope any and all of these suggestions help you along the way. Good luck!


Instructor comments on your draft unit -- Jz833665 13:25, 29 November 2010 (EST)

Nice initial draft. Laura's suggestions and comments are very helpful and to the point.

In addition, I think this course can be improved through better task analysis and sequencing. Your units could be better organized to create progressive path of learning (though more thorough task analysis and ICM ). Here's how I would sequence the learning objectives composing the units:

  • Unit 1: how understanding differs from memorizing/knowing and why it is important...
  • Unit 2: Generative topics in social studies (with analyzing NYS standards as a task/component)
  • Unit 3: How to teach for understanding (examine strategies...)
  • Unit 4: create a lesson...