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Differentiating Instruction: Product

Differentiating Instruction: Product

Author: Trisha Fyfe

In this lesson, you will learn about differentiating the learning products for diverse learners.

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Video Transcription

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Welcome. I'm Trisha Fyfe. And in today's video lesson, we'll be covering the topic of differentiating instruction with a focus on the product. As we learn about this topic we'll work towards several learning objectives. And together we'll answer the following questions in this video lesson. How can products be differentiated in your classroom, and what might this look like?

Let's start by talking about differentiated instruction. This important framework revolves around the idea that changes must be made in several areas to improve education for each and every student. These changes include changes to the content, or what students are learning; changes to the process of learning, or how the students are learning that content; changes to the products that our students are producing to show their learning; and changes to the learning environment itself.

Student profiles can be a fantastic tool for teachers to really get to know their students. We use these profiles to consider specific needs when we differentiate. We may be thinking about any of the changes that we've just discussed as far as differentiating content, process, products, or the learning environment. A student's learning profile can be made up of many different things, including but not limited to interests of the students, their learning style, their dominant multiple intelligences, their gender, culture, and any other factors that seem important for your class.

In this lesson, we'll focus on differentiation of products, and in doing so, purposely integrating technology into this element of differentiation. Let's start by defining the product. What is the product? The product is what the students are developing at the end of the lesson or unit. This project, performance, or presentation proves that the students have mastered the content.

We must carefully align these products with standards and goals as teachers. Products are one of the main ways that students show us as teachers what they have learned. So what exactly does this look like, to differentiate products? It's important for us as teachers to give our students many different outlets for expressing what they know. By giving students various ways to show their learning and also basing these options for products on things like learning preferences, interests, and strengths of our students, we're going to allow our students to use the best tools to get the job done for themselves the job being to show us as teachers that they have mastered the content.

As teachers, we can do things like vary our timelines based on students' needs, use check-in points to make sure that we understand truly what our students' needs are along the way, use enrichment clustering to help those students who can use different activities to enhance their learning. We can use graduated rubrics, proficiency skills, and tiered assignments as well to differentiate what the product looks like for each and every student in our class.

We can also allow for students to have choice in things like questions on tests or quizzes; for example, maybe choosing three out of five essay questions to answer, or choosing to present findings in a Prezi or a wiki so they have some choice in the matter. We need to keep in mind that we're assessing content standards. It shouldn't matter as much how students are getting there, so long as they are mastering the content and the standards. We need to look at the active mastery, not the processes that got them to the mastery. This process will be different for each student.

When differentiating the product, we should consider these questions as teachers. What are some ways that I can offer students choice in how they show me what they know? How can I chunk parts of assignments so that students that check-in points? How might I group students so that they can demonstrate their learning most effectively?

How might I incorporate the use of graduated rubrics or proficiency skills? And finally, how can technology help the students and myself reach the above goals? Remember, these are extremely important questions for you to consider in the differentiating process for products. So make sure you write these down or take a screenshot.

Let's talk about what we learned today. We looked at the following two questions. How can products be differentiated in your classroom and what might this look like? Today we looked at differentiating products. We looked at what differentiating of products looks like and how we can give students choice and various tools for presenting what they have learned in different ways.

Now that you're more familiar with these concepts, let's reflect. What are the benefits of differentiating products in your classroom? Can you think of challenges in differentiating products in a diverse classroom? Thanks for joining me today in discussing the lesson, Differentiating Instruction with a focus on the product. I hope you found value in this video lesson, and I hope you're able to apply these ideas about differentiating your students' products to your own teaching.

As you reflect on how this new information can be applied, you may want to explore the Additional Resources section that accompanies the video presentation. This is where you'll find links to resources chosen to help you deepen your learning and explore ways to apply your newly acquired skill set.

Notes on “Differentiating Instruction: Product”


(00:00- 00:22) Introduction

(00:23- 00:53) What is Differentiation of Instruction?

(00:54- 01:31) Student Profiles and Differentiation  

(01:32- 02:08) What are Products?

(02:09- 03:44) How Can We Differentiate the Product?  

(03:45- 04:26) Differentiating Products: Questions to Ask

(04:27- 04:47) Recap

(04:48- 05:30) Reflection 

Additional Resources

Not available at this time.