What? Learning Module is the name given to a unit of work which has been designed and planned by a teacher using a Learning by Design framework which scaffolds and supports the design process. A Learning Module using the Learning by Design pedagogy consists of:
- learning focus (the subject to be studied, scope of learning and prior knowledge);
- knowledge objectives (planned goals – what students will be able to do or achieve as a consequence of completing the Learning Module) ;
- knowledge processes (learning activities selected or designed by way of the eight different pedagogies of Learning by Design);
- knowledge outcomes (the consequences for students of completing the knowledge processes – learning activities);
- learning pathways.
Learning Modules which are created using the structured framework may be published and shared with colleagues within the school and beyond using the Scholar platform.
Why? Use of this structured and scaffolded planning framework increases the likelihood of pedagogically richer and more inclusive teaching practices affording intellectually and aesthetically engaging learning experiences. The model encourages teachers to document and become conscious of their pedagogical preferences, acting as both a reflective prompt (heuristic) and as a self-diagnostic tool to reveal gaps in practice and/or narrow or habitual choices. It may also reveal how and why particular practices are effective. Use of the framework, the design of Learning Modules, and the professional dialogue and collaborations which spring up around these activities stimulates the development of a shared professional language. This language provides the means for reflective and considered decision making about pedagogy and informed discussions about the ‘what, how and why’ of teaching.