Saturday, April 21, 2012

First Drafts and Next Steps

By the end of this academic year, each department will have completed a draft of two unit plans. A draft of a unit plan has three parts:
  1. Desired Results: What students will know, understand, and do (KUD).
  2. Acceptable Evidence:  What the summative assessment will look like and what level of proficiency is considered acceptable.
  3. Learning Experiences and Instruction: Some sample learning experiences.
I use the word draft broadly as this is the building's first collective attempt, of which I am aware, of thinking about planning in the same way.  We are writing drafts because the intent is to keep learning and keep revising; in this sense, I suppose we are creating working drafts.
For further information about the above, you may search the following tags for related posts: 3 Stages, Unit Definition, Know, Understand, Do, Assessment Evidence, Learning Plan, and Templates.  You can find these tags to the right on the blog.
This year, the Learning Designs blog has, hopefully, answered questions about the "what" (as in what are we doing?) and the "so what" (as in why are doing this?).  The final questions may be about the "now what" (as in what do we do now that we have a draft?).
There are two answers to these questions:
  1. Perhaps the most obvious is . . . implement the unit. 
    • Use the KUDs, vet current assessments against the assessment evidence section, and revise them if necessary, and try the differentiated assignment described in the final stage.
    • Keep notes for revisions based on your department's feedback after having implemented the unit.
    • (Unit drafts will receive feedback from department chairs and from me.  You may consider these revisions before, or after, you implement the unit.)
  2. Continue drafting new units over the course of next year using your knowledge and experience from this year and new knowledge next year so that the process and product are both better.
The process we have worked through this year has not been so simple as the word draft might indicate.  Still, I hope that our collective effort throughout this rigorous process has generated both actions and results of which you can be proud (and perhaps a little excitement as well).

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