Planning Your Teaching

A really fun and insightful session with Steph about planning your teaching. First thing we were asked to do upon entering the classroom was to make a paper aeroplane, without any further instruction. Just “make a paper aeroplane”… in five minutes

Everyone eagerly got to work, however it soon transpired that without any further instruction, rules or aims the class were not sure what the purpose of the task was or what our planes had to do. Claire pointed out that there were no objectives to the task and what constituted the best plane. This exercise was used to illustrate the importance of teaching aims and intended learning outcomes. If students are not aware of the intended learning outcomes or aims of the lesson/module/course then how are they going to achieve the outcomes at the end of the course of study. This all comes back to constructive alignment (Biggs and Tang, 2011), alignment teaching & learning activities and assessment with intend learning outcomes and objectives.

Prior to the lesson we were asked complete Honey and Mumford’s learning styles questionnaire, which is a type of psychometric testing that should reveal what type of learner you are. A set of numerical results are achieved from answering 80 questions about personality traits and behaviour. The results are then plotted on a chart to reveal a diamond shape. The pointier and longer the diamond in a given direction reveals that the learner has a preference a given learning style.

The group compared and discussed each others preferred learning styles in relation to their discipline to see if any similarities appeared. What was quite stark was how similar (almost a carbon copy) James and I were. We happen to be the two youngest and most inexperienced members of the group, perhaps this explains why we are not activist, lacking in confidence perhaps.


In addition we looked Bloom’s Taxonomy of action verbs which help define levels of understanding and learning and are a useful reference tool when writing learning outcomes and assessment criteria to define standards of learning and engagement with a particular topic

Blooms Taxonomy Action Verbs copy-2


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