Course 2, Week 2: Designing for Learning

From Week 1 of the course to Week 2, we have moved from the building blocks of a lesson, using constructive alignments elements (learning objectives and assessment) into the creating a full lesson plan, implementing the final element (assessment).

In this post, I will reflect on: elements of lesson planning, a lesson plan I created for the course, active learning methods.


Lesson Planning 

We were asked to reflect on our teaching techniques according to an article written by Billie Hara (2010) and out of the stereotypes, I would align myself more closely to a ‘disorganised professor who is totally brilliant’. Not because I am disorganised, I always have a lesson plan and materials ready to run with, but I’m not the type of person to follow my plans to the letter. From working as a teacher for a good few years and already completing an 11-19 PGCE, I’ve learnt to relax a little in the classroom. I can read a room better and know how to change a lesson, which I may have planned very well, according to the needs at the time.

Following on this and watching a video discussing teaching perspectives, I believe I have definitely found my own technique and style. I may be able to improve and progress, and I may completely change styles in the future, but at this moment in time,  my style suits me and it works well. I am well organised, but relaxed and flexible. I can manage a classroom and be able to create a safe environment. I know my strengths and I am well aware of my weaknesses. I’d like to think that the style I have found makes me comfortable, but also promotes engagement.

Progressing on this, we were asked to reflect on our position in the classroom. My position is everywhere. I stand according to where the focus should be. Behind a room when I should be out of focus, around the room when explaining something important to draw attention. Running around a room, signing and dancing all help with memory retention as well.

Teaching Conceptions


Active Learning 

  • Flipped Learning

‘Flipped learning is ‘a strategy that can genuinely improve the student learning experience through increased interactivity’ (O’Flaherty and Phillips 2015).’

Traditional lecture vs flipped learning: In my opinion, both have their place if they are used appropriately and are not the sole method…

  • Enquiry-based learning

‘Enquiry-based learning is driven by a process of enquiry owned by the student. It involves the active construction of knowledge, rather than its passive reception (Kahn and O’Rourke 2004).’

‘Enquiry-based learning encompasses a range of approaches that drive enquiry, but each differ in characteristic from so-called ‘pure’ enquiry-based learning. Problem-based learning, for example, requires the teacher to prescribe a specific problem in a structured way, arguably reducing scope for student choice and creativity. See Tosey and McDonnell (2006) and Levy (2015) for further distinctions.’

  • Playful learning

‘Play is an intrinsic part of our lives. Dewey (1933: 218) defines serious play as ‘the ideal mental condition’ during which seriousness and play are in harmony to elevate learning.’

‘Playful learning methods can be structured, and may incorporate rules or parameters, but they always align to relevant learning outcomes. They encourage collaboration, creativity and inquiry but, most importantly, they give our students agency to experiment and have the freedom to fail and improve in a safe space.’

  • Research-inspired learning and teaching

My Lesson Plan

Using our learning journey from the previous week, in combination with the learning of the week, we were asked to use the lesson plan template provided to write a complete lesson plan.

The lesson plan template, in my opinion, was rather long-winded and required a lot more time and effort than is needed. In the Personal Tutoring Programme, I have created our own blank template using something similar to what I created for FE teaching. The template is fit for purpose and I would argue can be used across FE and HE:  Lesson Plan_Blank

The final lesson plan, (Revision Workshop_Lesson Plan), on reflection is student-centered, with enough opportunities for students to be involved and craft the lesson to their own needs. There is structure, which I have created and could be argued as teacher-centered due to my own subjectivity and preferences, but there is allowance to chop and change as required.

The Assignment

In order to bring together all of our learning over the two week period, we were asked to reflect on the original lesson plan we submitted, which was then peer-reviewed. Please see my assignment and review below.


I feel the most useful part of the this week was reviewing flipped learning, as I have always seen it as a bit of a teaching cop-out. Although my views have not completely changed, I have a better understanding of how the approach can be used and when.

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