Learning Guides

Learning Guides are the documents you give students to guide their learning in each module. They provide the student with a check list of things they need to complete throughout the module. Developing the Learning Guides was a key process for me in redesigning the course, because it created a map for me, as the instructor, of what I was expecting in each module. It also allowed me to gather my resources in an easily located place. The Learning Guides will help me to determine the best pace of the course in terms of how many weeks each module lasts. I will also use the Learning Guides to determine if point values assigned to different types of activities, and their importance to the objectives are in alignment. It has become clear to me now that that is not the case, and I will need to do some work to reassign point values to some of the assignments.

Below is an example of a Learning Guide I developed for Historical Fiction. 
(The Complete Learning Guides are available as a Google Document here)


Module Name: 2 Topic Development

Course Name: Historical Fiction

Learning Goals/Outcomes


Upon completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Gather your ideas using a variety of brainstorming strategies

  • Conduct a Pre-Search

  • Develop a working thesis


Learning Resources


Required Resources

  • The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss

  • Lecture Materials on brainstorming strategies (Freewriting, Clustering, Listing, Asking Questions)

  • Examples of brainstorming strategies

  • The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss

  • Lecture Materials on pre-searching

  • Lecture Materials on working thesis development

  • Examples of well written working thesis


Additional Resources



Learning Activities   


Activities for This Lesson

  • Complete one of each types of Brainstorming (Freewriting, Clustering, Listing, Asking Questions) on topics connected to the book: arms race, fall of the Berlin Wall, War as a means to address differences of opinion, retaliation, causes of war

  • Types of Brainstorming Quiz

  • Conduct a Pre-search on a racial segregation that has occurred throughout history

  • Thesis Development Quiz

  • Construct a working thesis about racial inequality, incorporating all 6 characteristics of a good working thesis


Discussion Questions (each has it’s own forum and is required)

  • Which of the brainstorming strategies did you like best? Why? Which of the brainstorming strategies did you like least? Why? Is there some other way you brainstorm that you would like to share with the class? Please explain. Don't forget to come back and respond to at least 2 of your peers. Please remember to refer to Discussion Expectations and Response Techniques


  • Dr. Seuss attempted to address social issues in some of the books he wrote during his career. What social issue do you think The Butter Battle Book is meant to address? Please provide examples from the reading to support your argument. Then, return to this discussion and respond to at least two of your peers.  Please remember to refer to Discussion Expectations and Response Techniques


  • How does conducting a pre-search help the research process? Why? Provide examples from your own pre-search experience. Please remember to refer to Discussion Expectations and Response Techniques


  • The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss could be said to allude to several situations that were occurring around the time it was written (1961). Choose one social issue he addressed with this story. What does Dr. Seuss have to say about it?  Please provide examples from the reading to support your observations. Then, return to this discussion and respond to at least 2 of your classmates observations. Please remember to refer to Discussion Expectations and Response Techniques


  • You have conducted a pre-search on racial inequality. Based on what you found during that pre-search, please write a tentative thesis statement and post it here. Respond to at least 2 of your classmates with ways to improve their thesis statements based on the 6 characteristics of a good thesis statement covered in this chapter. Then, make alterations to your own thesis statement based on the feedback you receive from your peers. Here is a reminder of the 6 characteristics of a good thesis statement:


They are generally one or two concise sentences that clearly sum up your point of view and what you intend to prove.

They are an expression of opinion or point of view, rather than a topic or a fact. They make a statement of some sort.

They should be narrow, rather than broad in their arguments.

They should indicate the types of support that will follow.

They should organize supporting materials.

For a thesis statement to be effective, it should be precisely worded. Using terms like good, bad, serious and important are vague and weak. The more specific, the easier a thesis is to support.

Initial Post worth 4 points; Responses worth 6 points each - 1 point for each of the 6 characteristics addressed in feedback to peers.



Self-Assessment


Check your understanding

  • If asked to brainstorm in at least 3 ways, would you be able to?

  • Can you explain to somewhat what a pre-search is and why it is important when conducting research?

  • Can you identify the 6 requirements of a good working thesis and why they are important?



Lesson Evaluation: Graded Assessments


Total Module Points Available: 174

  • Brainstorming Discussion - 16 points

  • Brainstorm Assignments

  • Free Writing Assignment - 15 Points

  • Clustering Assignment - 15 Points

  • Listing Assignment - 15 Points

  • Asking Questions Assignment - 15 Points

  • Brainstorming Quiz - 5 points

  • Butter Battle Book Discussion - 16 points

  • Pre-Searching Discussion - 16 points

  • Sneetches Discussion - 16 points

  • Pre-Search submitted to dropbox - 15 points

  • Working Thesis Quiz - 5 points

  • Peer Review of working thesis statements discussion - 20 points

  • Working Thesis submitted to dropbox after revision - 5 points