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Deeper Learning in Action

Deeper Learning in Action

Author: Jody Waltman

In this lesson, students learn how to implement deeper learning in their instruction.

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In this tutorial, we'll review the concept of deeper learning. We'll explore some research based suggestions for implementing deeper learning into your curriculum and instruction. And I'll also share some practical approaches. Let's get started.

First, what is deeper learning? Deeper learning is a theory that focuses on providing rigorous core content in innovative ways, building in opportunities for students to apply their learning and develop competencies that are going to be necessary for them in their future education and in their careers. The deeper learning core competencies include having students master core academic content, helping them to learn to think critically and solve complex problems, emphasizing the ability to work collaboratively, and to communicate effectively. Helping students to learn how to learn, and emphasizing the development of academic mindsets.

So what are some ways in which you can actually implement this deeper learning theory into your own curriculum and instruction? Well the National Research Council, or NRC, recommends these strategies. First, they recommend using multiple or varied representations of tasks and concepts.

They recommend encouraging questioning, explanation, and elaboration throughout your learning activities. They also recommend engaging your learners in complex and challenging tasks, and teaching using cases or examples. They recommend priming student motivation, and using formative assessments.

These research based practices have been proven to be effective in schools that are engaging students in deeper learning approaches to instruction. Depending on your own focus and approach, these individual techniques could support any of the six deeper learning goals. So here are some practical approaches to implementing deeper learning right into your instruction.

One approach is to use personalized learning. Remember, personalisation refers to pacing your instruction based on your students' learning needs, and tailoring your instruction to students' learning preferences. In personalized learning, we take into consideration the specific interests of the different learners in our classrooms.

In a truly personalized learning environment, not only do we personalise the learning objectives and the content, but we can also personalize the methods that are being used and student pacing towards meeting the objectives. In both personalized learning and deeper learning, mastery is a key element. Students are assessed based on their performance, and the teacher really works as a facilitator in both of these approaches.

Another possible approach is using work based learning. Here, the focus is on applying classroom knowledge and skills in an internship or a work study type environment. This is another great fit with deeper learning, because it provides real-world experiences outside of the classroom walls. It requires students to take the content that they mastered in the classroom, to apply that in a real world setting, to work collaboratively with others, and also to communicate effectively with others.

Yet another approach is competency based learning. In competency based education, or CBE, the outcomes need to be tied to real world applications of skills, and also students have the opportunity for self pacing in CBE. In CBE, students are allowed to move on to the next concept or skill once they have demonstrated a pre-defined level of proficiency or mastery on the current skill. So really, many of the design principles of CBE actually apply to deeper learning, so you can consider CBE to be one method to help your students achieve deeper learning.

And finally, one more practical approach is project based learning. Here again, the emphasis is on the authentic application of the competencies and skills from the classroom environment. Here these skills and competencies are embedded in a multi-disciplinary tasks, and these task focused on critical problem solving and inquiry. We want the end result to be the creation of a product or some kind of performance. Project based learning and deeper learning are quite compatible, because they both emphasized critical problem solving skills and real world application of skills and content.

In this tutorial, we reviewed deeper learning, including the core competencies of deeper learning. We then looked at some research based strategies for implementing deeper learning into your curriculum and instruction. And finally, we explored four different practical approaches that you might be able to use in order to implement deeper learning right away into your classroom environment.

So here's a chance for you to stop and reflect. Which of those four practical approaches do you think would be the best fit for your students in your classroom environment? For more information on how to apply what you learned in this video, please view the additional resources section that accompanies this video presentation. The additional resources section includes hyperlinks useful for applications of the course material, including a brief description of each resource. Thanks for watching. Have a great day.

Notes on "Deeper Learning in Action"

(00:00 - 00:14) Introduction

(00:15 - 00:56) Review Deeper Learning

(00:57 - 01:51) Deeper Learning in Curriculum and Instruction

(01:52 - 04:19) Practical Approaches

(04:20 - 04:40) Review

(04:41 - 05:10) Stop and Reflect