Digital Learning Framework: Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment
Curriculum, instruction, assessment – these are three essential components of teaching and learning, so they are also essential to digital learning. Our focus in the framework is not on defining these three things generally, but defining them in terms of how they are, or need to be, unique in a digital learning environment. The emphasis in digital learning environments is really personalization. The technology tools provide access to data and resources so teachers can use assessments to individualize instruction in ways that are not possible without the technological tools. This might involve specialized software that assesses students and delivers instruction matched to their learning needs. It also involves teachers using data to select learning goals and resources that match each student’s needs. It involves students becoming actively engaged in their learning process through goal-setting, collaboration, personal choice, and authentic contexts. It involves using technological tools to make learning relevant to today’s students.
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment in today’s classroom
Today’s personalized instruction goes beyond the reading groups that many of us grew up with (were you a bluebird or a buzzard?), as teachers have far more data available and an Internet full of resources to use. Access doesn’t end at the end of the school day either, as data and resources are available to educators and learners anytime and anywhere they need them and connect students to the world in ways that were previously impossible.
Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment: Breaking it down
We break down Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment into five elements:
- 21st Century/deeper learning
- Personalized learning
- Collaborative, relevant, and applied learning
- Leveraging technology
- Assessment—analytics inform instruction
In true digital learning environments, assessment is a tool used to make the curriculum and instruction responsive to individual student’s needs, in terms of the content presented, the mode of presentation, the resources used, the types of tasks completed and products created, and the connections made to the student’s world—both present and future. The needs of students drive decisions that are based on research and aligned with a larger vision for digital learning.
Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment: Steps for getting started
How can you get your school moving toward curriculum, instruction, and assessment aligned with a vision for digital learning? We’ll give you some ideas in next week’s blog (I know, we make you wait, but it’s a blog not a book). Stay with us, more to come. If you have questions in the meantime, we’d love to hear from you!