A smarter educational product (part 1)

The training and development of a student, a group, and maybe a huge auditorium of participants is a laborious process for both the trainer and the trainee.

It happens that a student has been attending English classes for two years already, and more and more often, a few questions arise in his head: So what’s next? Where am I going? Where will I be in a month? Due to prolonged invisible progress, the student loses motivation, stops growing, and eventually leaves the group.

That is why you need an individual or group training plan – a route with a clear understanding of the starting point, defined goals, and agreed checkpoints. After all, it is important to choose a vector and a direction for a start and only then begin to lead others along with it.

In the meantime, here are 4 essential questions to keep in mind:

  • What is the essence of the request/problem?
  • What is the ultimate goal of learning, i.e. what does the student want to achieve?
  • What are the terms?
  • How far has the student come according to the final goal, and are you ready to go further together?

Problem

You will be able to abandon irrelevant tasks and solve pressing issues only after you define the goal. In the book “The Art of Teaching. How to make any learning fun and effective”, author Julie Dirksen suggests self-reflection and defining a gap, then going to the goal and options for solutions.

Let’s take a look at an illustrative example:

GAP (PROBLEM)

GOAL

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

Sergey’s productivity has decreased by 50% over the past 2 months. He has become inattentive and writes nonsense in business correspondence, which was not exactly structured before. Sergey should write clear, structured letters to the team. During the Business Emailing lessons from #SavvyUA, Sergey will read the letters of 9 other team members and disassemble them into their bare structure.

Sergey will read 2 specialized books on business correspondence and write a short extract of useful notes.

Sergey will prepare a report on the structure and 10 features of business correspondence.

Only after understanding the problem and the main request can you clearly state the learning goal + the main ways to achieve it.

Purpose

The second step is to set the ultimate goal.

But first, give yourself answers to the question: what level of knowledge does a student need? 

Imagine how accurate and detailed the new material needs to be, as well as how and where the student can apply it. Here, Bloom’s taxonomy will rescue you — this is a hierarchical ordering of cognitive skills that can, among countless other uses, help teachers teach and students learn.

Bloom’s Taxonomy can be used to:

  • create assessments
  • plan lessons
  • evaluate the complexity of assignments
  • increase the rigor of a lesson
  • design curriculum maps
  • develop online courses
  • plan project-based learning
  • self-assessment

For these reasons, it’s a great tool to give tasks and observe the education process.

According to Bloom’s taxonomy, educational goals are divided into cognitive, affective, and psychomotor.

  • cognitive (knowledge) – the student’s knowledge and the development of their intellectual abilities. For example, memorizing and recognizing specific facts, procedural models, or concepts that serve intelligence development.
  • affective (emotional reactions) – everything is associated with feelings, emotions, and mood in the learning process.
  • psychomotor (skill) – this area is associated with the formation of motor and manipulative activity, neuromuscular coordination, for example, the development of writing skills, speech skills.

In the next article, we will look at the cognitive sphere since, in learning, we primarily face it.