Lesson Planning

These five components of lesson planning resonated with me and I intend to incorporate them into my teaching-learning practice.

Bloom’s taxonomy

The revised Bloom’s taxonomy presented in Owen’s (2015) blog is a useful tool for supporting a holistic approach in lesson planning. I appreciate the focus on more than intellect. As a nurse educator, I prefer the domains of being, knowing and doing as they encompass the art and science of nursing that includes presence (being/affective), clinical judgment (knowing/cognitive) and technical skill (doing/psychomotor). Self-awareness and self-reflective practices, critical discussion of readings, small group work with scenarios or role plays, action-focused activities through body work, guided meditation are all examples of incorporating the three domains in the teaching-learning environment.

Motivational technique: Relevance

When we assume that adult learners are internally motivated and search for meaning (Merriam & Bierema, 2014), it becomes crucial to make learning relevant. Bryson (2013) describes this relevance as “the degree of connectedness and significance” (p. 7) and encourages me to not only consider this in curriculum development but also communicate it to learners. Starting with why (Sinek, 2009) is one way I can build relevance into lesson planning. Linking learning with prior experiences, encouraging application to present experiences, offering choice in assignments and self-directed learning all can create a meaningful learning experience. 

Assessment: Feedback

I appreciate Wiggins’ (2012) clear description of helpful feedback and his distinguishing feedback from praise, advice and evaluation. He defines feedback as “goal-referenced; tangible and transparent; actionable; user-friendly (specific and personalized); timely; ongoing; and consistent” (Wiggins, 2012, para. 11). As a learner, I value comments more than grades, especially when a teacher gives focused and non judgmental remarks on how I can take my learning further. I try to keep this in mind as I provide feedback on online lessons and using these seven principles to guide my feedback will ensure that learners are encouraged to deepen their learning.

Planning: Objectives

Creating learning objectives is the starting point for curriculum development; objectives guide the learning experiences as well as the assessment methods (Van Melle & Pinchin, 2008). In my limited experience with course design, the course objectives were written to fit the content, however, it makes more sense to begin with the objectives. Intentionally using the ABCD method Van Melle & Pinchin (2008) describe and the action verb charts based on Fink’s taxonomy (Center for Continuing and Outreach Education, 2005) will help me develop effective learning objectives for the next course I design.

Instructional Process/Strategies: Problem based learning, case studies

Problem-centered instruction is an effective way to engage learners in applying knowledge to real life situations and like real life, there may be multiple solutions. I appreciate this strategy for how it enhances self-directed learning and is learner-centered. It is a safe way for nurses to work through patient care concerns without putting patients at risk. Problem based learning or case studies require instructor coaching skills to facilitate learners through the process – asking the right questions, providing feedback and guiding the discussion (Rico & Ertmer, 2015) and this is an opportunity for me to shift away from being solely a content expert.


Bryson, J. D. (2013). Engaging adult learners: Philosophy, principles and practices. Retrieved from http://northernc.on.ca/leid/docs/engagingadultlearners.pdf

Center for Continuing and Outreach Education. (2005). Effective use of performance objectives for learning and assessment. Retrieved from http://ccoe.rbhs.rutgers.edu/forms/EffectiveUseofLearningObjectives.pdf

Merriam, S., & Bierema, L. (2014). Adult learning: Linking theory and practice. San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass.

Owens, L. (2015). Three domains of learning – cognitive, affective, psychomotor. (web log comment). Retrieved from http://thesecondprinciple.com/instructional-design/threedomainsoflearning/

Rico, R. & Ertmer, P. A. (2015). Examining the role of the instructor in problem-centered instruction. TechTrends, 59 (4) 96-103.

Sinek, S. (2011). Start with why: How great leaders inspire everyone to take action. New York, New York: Penguin Publishing Group.

Van Melle, E. & Pinchin, S. (2008). Writing effective learning objectives. Retrieved from http://www.entcanada.org/Word_Files/CreatingLearningObjectives.pdf

Wiggins, G. (2012). Seven keys to effective feedback. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept12/vol70/num01/Seven-Keys-to-Effective-Feedback.aspx



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