Sunday, September 13, 2009

Developing a lesson plan

One of the things I have been asked to think about in my course Learner Centred Learning is how to plan a lesson.

Planning a lesson
When I was a new educator I used to plan just about every breath I took and meticulously document everything. Now, I am a little more relaxed and don't necessarily write everything down, but I still find it very useful to have a plan or outline for the session. If you don't have a plan, you'll find that your aim lacks structure, does not achieve it's aim and is likely to be boring for the students. My other big problem with teaching in real time is time management, so a plan helps me to keep to time.

What should you think about in a lesson plan?
1. Aim of the session - what do you want to achieve overall in your session?
2. Learning outcomes - what should the student be able to demonstrate at the end of the session?
3. The plan for the session - needs to take into account who your students are and their style of learning, context/environment, equipment, barriers that may impede learning, learning activities, method of delivery, how you will motivate students to engage with the content and each other.
4. Evaluation - how will you get feedback from the students about the session and how you give them feedback.

Planning a lesson for Facilitating Online
One of the assignments I have for this course is to teach a session that will be observed and critiqued - so I am going to 'teach' an informal session for the course that I am currently facilitating...Facilitating Online.

I haven't got a subject at yet to plan because I have just asked the students what they would like me to present...I'll give them a week to get back to me. If no one comes up with a subject, I'll come up with something related to the course...maybe about online communication and community.

Here are a few thoughts I've had about my lesson plan so far - obviously it will need to be updated once we have a topic confirmed.


Pam said...

That's so funny because I remember working at Warrington in Cheshire as a team midwife. We worked six of us in a team attached to two GP practices, I was known as the member of the team who loved doing antenatal classes. So at the time I knew nothing of lesson plans and such like and just used to pitch up with an idea and run with it. Until the day I came a 'cropper'. A very quiet group reserved and I'd said everything in the first 15mins of the 2hr session! I never go without a 'loose' plan now just to prove I have thought about the session and have some back ups just in case. Otherwise I am a spontaneous person and will rejig things on the way to class.

Sarah Stewart said...

I agree...I think you also have a degree of flexibility in your lesson plan and of course, it also depends on the sort of 'lesson' you're teaching/facilitating.

I like to have a chat at the beginning of class to find out what people want to learn from the lesson, to check in with them what their expectations are. I also like to know what people already know & I may need to do some tweaking of my plan according to their responses. Then at the end of the class, I check in with them to make sure we've covered everything that they wanted/needed to know.

InfoMidwife said...

yes lesson plans are important to me, because if I don;t use one I go off track and end up doing something like Pam - so I never go without one, not as anal as I use to be, but still do one.

Sarah Stewart said...

Thanks, infomidwife..I certainly agree. But there are times when it's 'OK' to go off on a tangent and not be bound by your lesson plan, but it takes a degree of experience and wisdom to be able to recognise when it's appropriate to do that or not.