Alignment

Once the purpose and audience has been determined, the Next phase of the design process is to create a road map of objectives and alignment for the course.

Engaging in this process forced me to ensure that each module had objectives spelled out, and that a variety of activities were designed that were aligned to meet the objectives. Completing this activity helped me to see that information in each module was aligned to the overall course objectives, and also to remove extraneous information and activities in the course. It assisted me in determining what the real objectives were in each module, and aligning the accompanying activities to measure student achievement of those objectives.

Defining the different types of activities, Absorb, Do, Connect, allowed me to ensure that a variety of activities were used for each objective to help students’ understanding and retention. Absorb Activities ask students to passively absorb information in written, audio or video format. Do Activities ask students to practice with the information, often in the form of a quiz or discussion forum. Connect Activities ask students to go beyond the information presented, and connect it to their own personal knowledge or something in the "real world."

The key for me was completing the alignment in three stages, so as not to overwhelm me as a designer. Looking first at layout and objectives, then connecting them to assessment ideas, then finally breaking them down to Absorb, Do, Connect activities, really helped me to see how each module was shaping up. This was one of the most valuable activities I did in redesigning my course, as it served as the foundation for creating other course documents. Here is a sampling of the alignment from three modules:

Module Number and Name: 2 Topic Development

Competency/Outcome/Objective 

Assessment Ideas

Absorb

Do

Connect

1 Gather ideas using a variety of brainstorming strategies

Private - submit practice brainstorms to dropbox; 

Quiz on types of brainstorming


Public - Discussion of preferred strategies

Read lecture materials and view examples of the different brainstorming strategies


Read The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss

Practice each brainstorming strategy (Freewrite, Cluster, List, Ask Questions) on topics connected to The Butter Battle Book: arms race, fall of the Berlin Wall, War as a means to address differences of opinion, retaliation, causes of war


Discuss with peers students’ preferred methods of brainstorming and reason for preference (connecting prior experience with new strategies learned)

Complete Quiz on types of brainstorming


Module Number and Name: 6 Taking Notes

Competency/Outcome/Objective 

Assessment Ideas

Absorb

Do

Connect

1 Articulate why taking notes is important

Public - Discussion about strategies used and why; 

Private - RolePlay explaining why notes are important in a PSA type format; Quiz on importance of note taking and strategies

Read Tamar by Mal Peet


Read lecture materials on why taking notes is important

Quiz on the importance of Notetaking and strategies


Discussion of the notetaking strategy chosen by the student, why it was chosen, what benefits it has over the others, and how it was beneficial to the student in completing the assignment



Create a PSA (Poster, Video Clip, Facebook Ad, etc) for your peers about why it is important to take notes while you conduct research

2 Take notes 

Private - take notes by utilizing at least two strategies (rule-based summarizing, paraphrasing, highlighting) and one note taking method (tables, note cards, note webs)

Read Tamar by Mal Peet


Read lecture materials and examples including: Tips, Paraphrasing, Rule-Based Summarizing and highlighting



Read lecture materials and examples including: Tables, Note cards, note maps and webs 

Take notes while reading Tamar on the theme of truth, secrets and deceptions, focusing on when characters must make decisions in relation to this theme, and what the effects of their decision are. (This will be used for a discussion about the these, and for a discussion about how note taking was beneficial for this assignment)



Take notes from 2 information sources that discuss the German Occupation of Holland utilizing at least two strategies (rule-based summarizing, paraphrasing, highlighting) and one note taking method (tables, note cards, note webs)

Participate in a discussion on the theme of truth, lies and deceptions utilizing the notes taken






Use the notes taken to write a 700 word essay on the topic of the historical accuracy of the novel


Module Number and Name: 7 Writing an Outline

Competency/Outcome/Objective 

Assessment Ideas

Absorb

Do

Connect

1 Construct a detailed outline for a 5 paragraph essay including a thesis statement and supporting evidence

Private - construct a detailed outline for a 5 paragraph essay including a thesis statement and supporting evidence

Read Cather, Willa. "Tom Outland's Story." The Professors House. Classic Authors.net / Great Literature Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2011.http://www.classicauthors.net/
Cather/ProfessorsHouse/
index.html
.


Read lecture materials on why and how to write an outline


Construct a detailed outline for a 5 paragraph essay including a thesis statement and supporting evidence for the provided prompt



(A Complete Alignment Document is available as a PDF here)