This cluster of questions is going to focus more narrowly on trouble-shooting learning environments and making good choices about specific learning designs. These questions may be particularly hard in the early weeks of the course, so if you’re one of the first groups working with them, don’t despair! You’ll continue to learn from your colleagues in other groups as they process them, too.

  1. Start by using Jane Vella’s list of principles for learning. Go down that list and see which, if any, of these principles were at work in the focus text or exercise.
  2. Next do one of the following: either take the Bloom list of verbs, or the MI list of verbs, and see which if any of those verbs are descriptive of the focal text/exercise. An easy way to do this is simply print off the lists and highlight with a marker any words you can find in the situation.
  3. Once you’ve thought about what is going on in the focus situation from a variety of perspectives, what can you conclude about the learning challenges found in the situation? In what ways can these principles from social science and education research help you to think through ways to engage that text/exercise more effectively? (or, if the focus is a great example of learning, then in what ways do these theories help to explain why it is so effective?)
  4. Post a summary of your ideas thus far to the course blog.