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What Decisions Drive Instructional Development?

What Decisions Drive Instructional Development?

Author: Trisha Fyfe

In this lesson, you will consider ways that theories and models related to technology can be applied to a unit of study.

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Welcome. I'm Tricia Fyfe. And in today's video lesson, I will discuss the question what decisions drive instructional development through this video lesson? As we learn about this topic, we will work towards one main learning objective in this lesson-- how can we evaluate and reflect on our instructional design for units of study? This is a question that we will use throughout this video tutorial.

So let's talk about Robert Marzano. How has he impacted teaching? Marzano has authored more than 30 books and 150 articles on topics that are extremely important to teachers-- best practices, evaluation models, and instructional strategies. Things like instruction, assessment, writing and implementing standards, cognition, effective leadership, and school intervention. These are all topics that Marzano is covered in these very powerful books and resources.

He's created the teacher evaluation model, in which teachers can look at four different domains and key indicators on how to get to student achievement. Domains like classroom strategies and behaviors, planning and preparing, reflecting on teaching, and collegiality and professionalism. He's also developed nine high-yield instructional strategies that teachers can use to incorporate tasks that are meaningful into their instructional practices.

In 2007, Marzano wrote a book, The Art and Science of Teaching-- a Comprehensive Framework for Effective Instruction. And in this resource, he highlights 10 instructional design questions. We will look at each of these 10 instructional design questions in the rest of this video lesson. And I'll give you some strategies to use as you answer each of these questions in your own teaching.

Let's think about this question here before we begin. How can we use Marzano's instructional design questions? How can we take those questions and use and implement tools in our own classrooms? So let's dive into each of these questions.

Question 1. What will I do to establish and communicate learning goals, track student progress, and celebrate success? In your classrooms, you can use things like rubrics and scales. You can have students identify learning goals with you, and set up formative assessment opportunities-- things like quizzes, observations, and group work. You can have students chart progress and accomplishments on their own, so that they can see, as they go along, what their progress is. And this helps themselves celebrate their successes as well.

The second question. What will I do to help students effectively interact with new knowledge? You can do things like review content, use different groupings, especially small groups, to enhance learning, where students are using cooperative learning. You can use questioning techniques and teach students to use these questions. You can have students elaborate on ideas and use non-linguistic representations of learning, especially things that are very hands-on-- maybe some virtual tools. You could also reflect on learning, and have students reflect on learning, as well.

Question Number 3. What will I do to help students practice and deepen their understanding of new knowledge? Here, it's important for you to have your students examine similarities and differences. And using visual tools like graphs and charts will make this even more beneficial for your students. Giving your students opportunities to practice-- practice their skills, their strategies, and their processes-- and using cooperative grouping. If you give purposeful homework, this will insure that students are taking the knowledge that they've learned recently, and really applying it, and thinking about it deeply.

What will I do to help students generate and test hypotheses about new knowledge? This is Question Number 4. Have your students generate and test hypotheses by using many different kinds of tasks, like experimental inquiry tasks, opportunities for problem-solving and decision-making, especially collaboratively, and opportunities to investigate different problems.

Question Number 5. What will I do to engage students? There are a variety of ways you can engage students in your class. Things like academic games, where there's a little bit of competition in your class. Or using physical movement, and bringing that into your activities. Give your students opportunities to talk about themselves and relate information to their own lives . And using unusual information, or information that's intriguing, will help your students be engaged from the very beginning.

Question 6. What will I do to establish or maintain classroom rules and procedures? It's important to establish rules and procedures, and interact with students about these rules and procedures. It's also really important for you, as a teacher, to review these occasionally, and change them if needed. Classroom meetings can be a great tool for your class, where you meet together and talk about these rules and procedures. It's a great format to use for open communication your classroom.

Question Number 7. What will I do to recognize and acknowledge adherence and lack of adherence to classroom rules and procedures? Here are a few tools for this question. Verbal and nonverbal strategies are important-- giving students verbal cues as well as nonverbal cues. Involving homee-- involving the parents or the family is a great tool for acknowledging if your students are adhering or not adhering to rules and procedures. And making strategies for those tough situations. Having a plan for overall adherence for all of your students is important for this question, as well.

Question Number 8 is what will I do to establish and maintain effective relationships with students? It's really important to learn about your students. Learn one thing at least about every single student in your class. This will help you to personalize learning. Using humor is a great tool. And bringing this into your classroom will lighten things up and help students really connect to you and each other. Enforcing think positive and negative consequences, and doing this consistently, is another really effective strategy to use for this question.

Question Number 9 is what will I do to communicate high expectations for all students? And here, it's important for you, as a teacher, to identify expectation levels for all of your students. Low expectancy students need value in expectations. They really need those boundaries. And they need to know where they fit into your classroom. It's important for you to ask questions of all of your students. And for those students who can't answer questions right away, make sure that you follow up on that and stay with them. Encourage them to answer questions and follow through.

The last question of these 10 is what will I do to develop effective lessons organized into a cohesive unit? And here, it's important for you to identify goals, objectives, and expectations from the very beginning. And make sure that you're planning and aligning in all of your lessons and activities. It's important for you, as a teacher, to be flexible. And lastly, it's important for you to review and reflect on all that you do in your classroom.

Let's talk about what we learned today. We covered the question how can we evaluate and reflect on our instructional design for units of study? And in this lesson, I went through 10 questions that Marzano indicated in his book The Art and Science of Teaching. And these questions are used to guide your reflections on designing units of instruction.

Let's reflect for a moment by applying these ideas. Can you add additional questions to this list by Marzano that will help you foster connections with your students? Which of these questions do you think will be the most beneficial to your reflection?

Thanks for joining me today as we covered this topic-- what decisions drive instructional development? I hope you're able to use these ideas in 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 this 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 skillset.

Notes on “What Decisions Drive Instructional Development?”


(00:00- 00:26) Introduction/Objectives

(00:27- 01:24) Impact of Marzano

(01:25- 02:02) Marzano’s Ten Instructional Design Decisions  

(02:03- 03:13) Questions 1-2

(03:14- 04:14) Questions 3-4

(04:15- 05:16) Questions 5-6

(05:17- 06:31) Questions 7-8

(06:32- 07:34) Questions 9-10

(07:35- 07:58) Recap

(07:59- 08:38) Reflection  

Additional Resources

Using Student Achievement Data to Support Instructional Decision Making

This clearinghouse provides data on the educational impact that interventions and instructional strategies have on student learning. This is a great resource for any teacher investigating strategies, interventions, and programs by effectiveness.

Design Thinking for Educators Toolkit

This toolkit provides ways for educators to be intentional and collaborative as they design solutions for their schools and classrooms. It is a great resource for educators who want to begin to use design thinking in their planning and delivery of instruction.