7 Step Model
* A Strategy for Increasing Student Learning
Students often stagger from one discipline to
another, without any idea of why the mental operations that work
in one field do not yield positive results in another. In order
to help more students to make this transition and make the knowledge
of our disciplines available to more of them, the Fellows of the
Faculty Learning Community go through a seven part process designed
to increase learning in a course
Step 1 - Define
Identify a place in a gateway course where many students encounter
obstacles to mastering the material.
Step 2 - Define
the Basic Learning Tasks
Explore in depth the steps that an expert in the field would go
through to accomplish the tasks identified as a bottleneck.
Step 3 - Model
these Tasks Explicitly
Let the students observe the instructor going through the steps
that an expert would complete to accomplish these tasks.
Step 4 - Create
Occasions for Students to Practice These Steps and Receive Feedback
Construct assignments, team activities, and other learning exercises
that allow students to do each of the basic tasks defined above
and get feedback on their mastery of that skill.
Step 5 - Motivate the students
Decide what approaches encourage students to excel
and then utilize them to create an environment that fosters a
positive learning environment.
Step 6 - Assess
How Well Students Are Mastering These Learning Tasks
Create forms of assessment that provide you specific information
about the extent of student mastery of the particular learning
tasks defined in Step 2 above.
Step 7 - Share
What You Have Learned About Your Studentsí Learning
FLC Fellows who have gone through the first five steps then share
what they have learned informally with colleagues or more formally
in SOTL articles and presentations. A future issue of New Directions
in Teaching and Learning will be devoted to sharing the experiences
of faculty in a number of disciplines who have used this approach
to increasing learning.