In another post we introduced Bloom’s Taxonomy, specifying how these categories of understanding might help us as we design discussion questions or other learning activities. Thus, as we set our minds to designing “good” discussion questions, we should consider how we might invite learners to engage Bloom’s more complex forms of understanding (analyze, evaluate, or create) in our assessments. Take a…

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Traditionally, blended learning has been defined as a course that includes both face-to-face and online learning components. But in the context of COVID-19, there is a new type of blending to think about and that is the mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning. Due to the pandemic schools around the world had to move rapidly…

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Although the name of this website is Designing for Online Learning, the principles of online course design can be applied in courses that are not conducted fully online. In fact, there are three course modalities that make use of online components to the course. The first modality to consider is the traditional classroom where teacher…

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Summative assessments seek to measure student achievement of course-level learning objectives or competencies.  Comprehensive Good summative assessments seek to be as comprehensive as possible in their coverage of the course objectives. Ideally all of the course objectives would be covered by the summative assessment. Lead-up Some assessments scaffold student learning in ways that help learners achieve…

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Formative assessments are typically non-graded assessments that help a teacher gauge student learning or competency related to the learning objectives. Data from formative assessments are usually used to influence teaching strategy during a course. Examples of formative assessment include: Classroom assessment techniques (CATs) Homework as review for summative assessment Reflective journals Group or small group…

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Diagnostic assessments are typically non-graded assessments that help a teacher gauge students’ prior knowledge of a subject matter. Some examples of diagnostic assessment include: Pre-test Self-assessment Survey or questionnaire Introduction forum In a Mosaic Literature course where some of the students have grown up in church and others have never read the Bible before, an…

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The affective learning taxonomy is one that is often overlooked in our traditional educational models, and yet is absolutely essential to accomplishing our long-range goals of life transformation and ministry competence. Since the time of the enlightenment, formal education has increasingly become preoccupied with a focus on cognition over and above behavior and affect. Thus…

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There is less consensus surrounding which theory best categorizes a hierarchy of behavioral (or psychomotor) learning. We will not take the time to explore a list of possible behavioral taxonomies, as this can be pursued via a Google search on the topic. Instead, we will focus on a proven model that we believe has value in theological education,…

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In 1956 an educational psychologist, Benjamin Bloom, articulated a hierarchy (taxonomy) for understanding differing levels of cognition, starting with the most basic function of recalling knowledge which he termed “knowledge” to the most advanced function of making judgements about the value of knowledge or learning which he termed “evaluation.” This original system for categorizing levels…

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At its core, backward design is about how to craft a learning pathway that takes students from where they are to where they need to be. One way to think about that is by the concept of scaffolding, which means that we structure assessments in such a way that students are able to incrementally achieve a…

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