Thursday, September 12, 2013

Designing Flipped-Mastery Part 3: Objectives & Learning Tasks

It has been a while since my first two posts about designing flipped-mastery, and much has change in our courses since.  I still think it will be helpful for those readers interested in flipped-mastery to see how I finished developing my units last year.  In Part 1, I provided an overview of my approach to flipped-mastery as well as a look at an outline of a unit plan.  In Part 2, I discussed how I structured the units and developed essential questions and learning goals.

Part three will focus on how I chose particular objectives and designed learning tasks corresponding to each. We will continue to use the  UNIT 1 OBJECTIVES GRID from the Ancient Greece and Rome unit to serve as a model for the commentary below.  I would therefore suggest opening the document in another tab so that my references seem less "cryptic." A screenshot from part of the grid is also included below.

For each learning goal, I developed a series of objectives that I felt corresponded well with each.   Some of the objectives were created based upon experience, while some were selected directly from the Common Core State Standards and CT Social Studies Framework.

As with the learning goals, I tried to start with basic, content-based and context-building objectives.  Each subsequent objective is designed to be a bit more challenging, while also working its way up "Blooms" to higher-order thinking.  (I have since started to reconsider this approach after hearing Ramsey Musallam's Keynote at Flipcon suggesting to begin with an engaging, higher-order task)

Once the objectives were aligned with each goal, it was time to develop the learning tasks.  I always kept in the back of my mind that if a student demonstrates proficiency in the learning task, that it would clearly prove that the objective was mastered.  If these two are not properly aligned, I believe that it defeats the whole purpose of "mastery."

As you can see, objectives 1.1 and 1.4 include multiple learning tasks.  As last year progressed, I made sure to include more than one task per objective.  The first reason is that I thought one task was often not enough for students to truly demonstrate mastery of a skill.  The second reason is that I began building in more choice.  For instance, students would have a menu of learning tasks that they could choose from depending upon their interests and learning preferences.
By year's end, I took student-choice a step further.  I actually gave students the option of developing their own learning tasks for some of the objectives.  Before beginning, they would propose their assignment to me and explain how proficiency in this task would demonstrate mastery of the objective.

So there are the basics of how I developed my flipped-mastery units.  I understand that designing units and actually implementing them are whole different worlds, so I will follow up soon with a post that provides practical strategies for implementing and managing flipped-mastery in action.

If you have any comments or questions about this, please let me know as I am always eager to collaborate!

COMPLETE Flipped-Mastery Article Series