Today’s headlines seem to focus on everything that’s wrong with education. “American Schools vs. the World: Expensive, Unequal, Bad at Math”–The Atlantic “Wake-Up Call: U.S. Students Trail Global Leaders”–nbcnews.com “Obama Administration Spent Billions to Fix Failing Schools, and It Didn’t Work”–The Washington Post The list of objectives for educators at all levels seems to have no end: increasing access to high-quality education closing achievement gaps raising graduation rates preparing students to excel in a globalized economy keeping pace with rapid educational reform Creating new educational content to enhance choice, keep students engaged, and measure growth is vital. But if they are continuously asked to do more with less, how can educators keep pace? One answer is, simply, with help. Professional educational content writers use their expertise to develop tools that any superintendent, curriculum manager, and content developer can use. The objective is to facilitate educators in reaching their goals. And it’s those in the field who have had experience with successful students that know how to help students succeed. These writers can develop courses, curricula, and [...]
It is impossible to be completely objective. Creating bias free content is challenging. Our experiences and beliefs create a lens through which we view the world. This lens can subconsciously create biases. A bias occurs when we favor one thing or one person over another for unfair reasons. When we create content for education, the material will be in the hands of learners. It is important during copyediting to be able to identify a bias and remove it. When educational content is written with biases, a learner is given an unfair advantage. We need to make the content inclusive for all learners. Below are several best practices to help you create bias free content. Cultural Diversity The inclusion of diversity in the language we use is critical. Text for students should use a variety of names from different cultural backgrounds such as Juan or Li. It is empowering for minority students to see their background represented in educational materials. When looking through your content, track the names and cultural practices that are written and detect if [...]
Effective curriculum goals and objectives should have two major outcomes. First, students should acquire the same knowledge from the same courses, regardless of the teacher. Second, the students should finish a course ready to move on to the next course, year, or life stage. These goals and objectives aim to standardize learning objectives for all students and simplify outcomes for teachers. That said, constructing straightforward, achievable goals and objectives can be a lofty task. Here, we will discuss these processes so that you can more simply focus on constructing a holistic curriculum that benefits all parties. Curriculum Goals Curriculum goals are general, broad statements that lead towards long-term outcomes. These goals are typically designed to be met by students after a longer period of time such as a year of schooling or a series of courses in a discipline. Specifically, goals are always farther-reaching than objectives, and as such are usually based on the idea that they lead students towards being better able to be productive members of their societies. This handout explains how to [...]
The curriculum development process takes information from a subject matter expert and, through much iteration, creates instruction. But how does information from an expert get translated into educational content that is effective for learners? It goes through four steps of design. In each step are important team members including project managers, instructional designers, writers, copy editors, and subject matter experts. The team works together to create effective content. Let’s have a look at the four steps in the curriculum development process. 1. Gathering Information The first step of the curriculum development process involves planning and determining who the learner is and what they need to get out of the material. The team begins by initially identifying what the scope is. Some examples of questions to ask at this stage are: Who will take the course? What does the learner already know? What is their attitude towards the subject? Instructional designers then work with the subject matter expert and obtain the necessary information by asking many questions. With information in hand and a clear idea of the [...]
“Good morning, class! Today, we’re going to study the literature of the ancient Mayan civilization and examine how it shaped their economy, understanding of the natural world, and language. At the end of the lesson, you’ll be assessed based upon your ability to calculate the total increase, in square miles, by which their empire grew during the height of their literary period and apply this knowledge to civil engineering in our own community. Is everyone ready?” If the scenario above reminds you of the last interdisciplinary lesson plan you read (or wrote), you’re not alone! With more districts around the country moving toward the interdisciplinary approach, there’s a good chance it’s at least on your radar. Imagine, for a moment, the reactions of the students presented with this lesson. Or, the disbelief of an administrator preparing to observe it. To round out the ELA/math/science/social studies lesson, the students in the scenario are going to show what they know in a performance-based assessment (PBA). Another hot topic in the education world, these assessments allow for a deeper [...]
Three ways to think about the relationship between Higher Education Course and the academic programs to which they belong.
Students have these four misconceptions about multiplication.
All geography course writers should know these six things.