Pre-session work (Design)

Time to complete this module: 10-20 minutes

By the end of the module you will be able to:

  • Reflect on the design considerations you make to help effective teaching occur
  • Describe your own design priorities, and the rationale behind them

Creating an effective lesson is different than simply choosing content and delivering it effectively. As a TA or instructor, your role is to help your students learn, and this requires more than simply giving them the information they need to learn. Instead, you need to help them understand and integrate that information into their wider understanding of the parts of the world that your lessons are teaching them about, and hopefully encourage them to become lifelong learners who become capable of learning more about the discipline without your help.

To do this effectively, you need to think about your lesson not as a "presentation" - but as a designed thing that is capable of creating changes in your learners. In order to design well, it is helpful to understand what supports, activities, and even study and learning processes best help student learning. In the sessions you will be taking, you will be working through how to treat lesson planning as a design process, a bit about principles of active and experiential learning, which you can use to create learning activities that can change the way your learners think, and to help them pay more attention to the "how" and "why" of what they are learning and doing, to support them in becoming better lifelong learners.

When you are creating a new learning activity, lesson, or course, what do you do? Brainstorm some of the key questions you ask yourself, things that you need to know when working on your lesson design, and write this list on a separate document or scrap paper. You will work from these responses for the activities below.

Please respond to the following questions, to help you start reflecting on how you do these things in your current practice, and what understanding of learning you presently have that supports (or does not support) these approaches.

  • Please include your name if you would like to receive credit for completing this theme.
  • Please tell us your e-mail address to receive a copy of your responses
  • The order of this may be revised if you didn't initially generate them in order of importance.
  • Choose only the area of highest focus for you, even if you were focused on multiple things.