In this tutorial, we'll focus on instructional development and management. We'll begin with some tips for developing instruction, and then we'll discuss some challenges in both instruction and management.
A great way to approach instructional design in a competency-based classroom, is by thinking about the Dufours' five essential questions. These are questions that all teachers can think about as we are developing our instructional plans at the lesson level, the unit level, or even the entire curricular level.
The five essential questions are, what do students need to know and be able to do? How will I help them get there? How will I know if they are there? What will I do if they are not there? And, what will I do if they are already there?
Let's think about each of these questions in terms of competency-based education. First, when we're addressing question one, what do students need to know and be able to do, we should be thinking about the state standards that we're going to be using in our instruction. And we need to develop the specific competencies that are related to those individual standards. This is where we would want to list the knowledge and specific skills that are going to be required of our students. This process of curriculum mapping helps us to ensure that we are developing a clear path towards helping our students master the competencies.
When we're thinking about question two, how will I help them get there, this is where we want to be designing or selecting the learning activities that we're going to have our students engaging in. We want to be thinking about the various instructional pathways that our students will be following. And we should also be considering what technology might support these efforts. Try to incorporate both one-to-one learning and small group learning, and think about ways in which you can personalize instruction based on students' interests, and on their strengths and their needs.
Next, question three, how will I know if they are there? This is where we want to keep in mind that we need to use consistent and frequent assessment, both formative and summative. This is really a hallmark of competency-based instruction. Remember that technology tools can help you provide these real-time assessment results. Both the teacher and the student then have access to the immediate feedback.
Question four, what will I do if they are not there? Make plans for the various materials, instructional delivery methods and tools that you'll use, as you develop alternative pathways for students' learning. This is also where you'll want to brainstorm some ways you can adapt your instructional techniques, in order to differentiate for all of your various learner profiles in your classroom.
And finally, question five, what will I do if they are already there? It's important to have methods prepared for students to move on, when they have demonstrated mastery. This can involve both students simply moving onto the next competency on their learning path, or providing ways for students to engage in more deeper learning opportunities.
There definitely can be some challenges in developing instruction and working with classroom management, in the CBE environment. One challenge is remembering that we need to teach students to use their digital devices and resources, appropriately. We know that technology can help us implement CBE because it allows students to be working on their various instructional goals, or even an entirely different content areas. But we know that this entails students accessing a variety of resources online, and so we need to help students learn to be good digital citizens. Not only does this help students to be safe online, but it also serves the practical purpose of making sure the devices are secure, as well.
Also, teachers need to think about how they're going to structure the one-to-one and small group instruction that needs to take place in the CBE environment. This is definitely different than designing just full class instruction. So how might you structure your classroom environment in order to manage the different groupings of students?
Also, how are you going to arrange your physical classroom? Do you have areas in your classroom for small group, and also for independent work? Do you have both online workstations and hands-on workstations available in your classroom? It's also important to think about how you are going to communicate with students and support them, in the implementation of the changes that are required by competency-based education. It's a different approach from the more traditional classroom environment, so students may need you to actually take the time to explain the process to them, and support them as the changes are implemented.
Another practical concern for teachers is, how we're going to prepare the scaffolded or tiered activities that are necessary in order to support students who are at different levels of competency. And also, how we're going to plan for multiple assessments. Remember, an important part to CBE is that students receive frequent opportunities to prove their mastery of competencies. And also, retakes of assessments need to be available if students don't demonstrate mastery on the first try. So how will you prepare for those options.
Remember, in a competency-based environment, just as in a more traditional learning environment, so much of good classroom management involves simply communicating your expectations to your students, and having them actively practice what you are asking them to do.
In this tutorial, we talked about developing competency-based instruction using the DuFours' essential learning questions. And then we discussed some specific challenges in both instruction and classroom management, when implementing CBE.
So here's a chance for you to stop and reflect. Take some time to look back through the essential learning questions, and reflect on your personal classroom environment. Think about how you would address the potential concerns and challenges in implementing CBE.
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.
(00:00 - 00:16) Introduction
(00:17 - 02:58) Developing Instruction
(02:59 - 05:16) Challenges in Instruction and Management
(05:17 - 05:30) Review
(05:31 - 06:06) Stop and Reflect
How Student Centered Is Your Classroom?
This Edutopia article provides teachers with guiding questions to consider when creating a student-centered classroom. The questions and tips provide a framework for establishing instructional management in a CBE classroom.
Competency-Based Education: Helping All Kentucky Students Succeed
This helpful report from the Kentucky Department of Education includes strategies for instructional and classroom management in a CBE setting.