Diving into the USER Method: (S)tructure (Blog 8)

Goals, Objectives, Outcomes, Oh My!

I’m going to start off this week’s blog by admitting something–throughout this entire class I’ve had a tendency to lump goals, objectives, and outcomes all together in one category. We’ve been talking about them since the beginning of class, but never really stopped to define them (some of the Understanding by Design readings did touch on this). I am so relieved to spend some time defining the three and how they are different.

Our reflection question for this week asks “What aspects of the Structure phase do you feel most and least confident about?” Overall, I felt comfortable with the content and processes under structuring a lesson plan. Writing targets (goals, objectives, and outcomes) and then structuring the interaction by looking at instructional strategies, activities, and characteristics for each learning objective seems like a natural and logical way to plan out a lesson. I found it especially fascinating the way the language of objectives can be drawn from the different levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. The Structure phase is one that I imagine seems easier on paper than in actual life. Taking time to identify and narrow a few, clear objectives that are relevant to students and then carefully crafting lessons around them, identifying keeping the levels of knowledge, student relevance, techniques to engage students, and the best order for all of these seems like an art form that will take a long time to truly master.

Preparing for Class Speaker

This week a librarian from St. Mary’s University is visiting to talk about their eBrarian initiative. Here are some questions I have:

  1. What sort of work went into designing the modules and the curriculum for the eBrarian initiative? How many people were involved? Was there a lot of collaboration with people outside the libraries?
  2. How involved are students on the discussion boards? What techniques do you use to increase student engagement in an online environment?
  3. Have you done any assessment into the effectiveness of the initiative? What has the response of the students been?
  4. Who are the eBrarians? What are their perceptions of the work?
  5. Has the eBrarian program had any effect on library usage statistics (database searches, circulation numbers, number of library visits or reference questions asked)?

One thought on “Diving into the USER Method: (S)tructure (Blog 8)

  1. I still kind of cringe at the whole “objectives, goals, outcomes” trifecta. We discussed the differences between the three at great length in class, but it still seems like they are all basically the same thing. It makes me vaguely sad that we have should have to spend so much time coming up with jargony phrases to justify our teaching.

    On the other hand, however, it is comforting to think that teachers do spend so much time thinking through their objectives and coming up with the jargony phrases in order to best narrow down the lesson so it is the most relevant for students. I agree that to be really great at it is going to take practice. Here’s to writing lots of lesson plans in the future!

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