What are the major discussion questions?

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What are the major discussion questions? by Mind Map: What are the major discussion questions?

1. What are the different considerations and tensions when building out backward design for higher education?


2.1. Is learning to be an instructional designer for the corporate industry that vastly different than learning for our education system (K-12 and higher education)?

2.2. How do we effectively design for learners, adjusting for constraints specific to our setting?

2.3. Evaluate efficiency of different modes of learning (on-line, in person) and how best to harness balance.

2.4. Can learning activities be effectively adapted to fit the industry setting?


3.1. My questions throughout much of the above reading was around blind-spots and how to find them, as well as work through them.

3.2. what does consistency look like in the context of liberal arts when we believe that the goals of liberal education can be obtained through many disciplinary lenses and many topics within each discipline?

3.3. But what’s the case when learning goals are fuzzy or tentative, or left opened to learners’ input?

3.4. Is complete alteration bad? Or is that the whole point?


4.1. Essential questions are also a guide for framing enduring understandings and learning transfer.

4.2. Is there a way to empower learners in the definition of learning goals?

4.3. Wiggins and McTighe also point to the importance of signaling to learners the reasons and purpose of a learning engagement to guide their learning path: Why are we studying this? For what purpose?

4.4. I wonder what law schools would look like today if this approach were taken. The expressed goals of all law schools is to teach students to "think like a lawyer."


5.1. Can design “control” for diversity of students, teachers, and contexts, and should it? Or maybe better, can design “account” for diversity in a productive and efficient way?

5.2. How to account for difference and diversity in ID? Can we design for multiple learning paths?

5.3. If the targeted learners of an education design have varying levels of competencies, who should we be designing for the top, the average or the weak learners?

5.4. I did feel though that this piece was missing the mark on one component of learning, which is the diversity of experiences/identities that learners bring to the learning environment. How do we effectively account for and engage this?


6.1. How does scale pose a problem for the implementation of backward design?

6.2. Can there be such a thing as universal design that is applicable to diverse learners?

7. How do we effectively and productively design for conflict, inside and outside of the learning ecosystem?

8. Ways of Learning

9. What is learning?

9.1. Why do we seek educational experiences and encourage others to do so?

9.2. How have our personal and professional experiences shaped our view?

9.3. How do you do make learning whole? How do you learn the piece (principles of a concept) and not forget the whole (the concept) while learning/teaching the pieces deeply?

9.4. Patterns appeared to also be central theme. How do we learn to recognize patterns? How can we become pattern/problem finders instead of problem/pattern solvers?

10. What is design?

10.1. How do we design courses that assess and reward generative learning, reflection, and the transfer of knowledge vs. memorization?

11. What is technology?

11.1. How will we contribute to the dialogue of our discipline within domains? What are the thoughts on what they can be beyond a blog or e-portfolio?

12. What is education?

12.1. How do we define higher education individually and collectively?

12.2. How do non-cognitive assessments relate to current admissions criteria? What role do these criteria play? How and to whom would the incorporation of non-cognitive performance data be beneficial? How and to whom would it be harmful?

13. What is the role of teaching?

13.1. How do we balance the amount or type of knowledge that a student must have accessible versus how much a student needs to demonstrate his or her ability to learn how to learn and transfer?

13.2. How do you effectively draw out and work with the student preconceived ideas and notions?

13.3. Will changing the culture of testing is a matter of changing the culture of grading?

14. Linked Maps

15. What are the Implications of Learning Theories?

16. On the Learner?

17. On Learning Design Processes?

18. On Learning Institutions & Systems?

19. On each other?

20. On Design?

21. How do Threshold Concepts integrate into designing for better learning?

21.1. How should teachers find ways to cross their own thresholds?

21.1.1. "Part of me wonders if I am guilty of “mimicry” or believing a “false proxy” (61) in my understanding of threshold concepts..... I would love to see explicit examples of the liminal environment."

21.1.2. "Circling back to the findings of Freeman et al., I found it wise to presume that student performance may not increase as much in active learning environments where the teachers did not volunteer to teach in this way."

21.1.3. "I think it’s fertile ground as a lens to view the Learner in their Journey, the Teacher/SME in their role as Mentor, and the Designer in their role as author to design for these thresholds."

21.1.4. "In the same way, the funding of the experiments on growth mindset held by Carol Dweck confirms the importance of including specific actions to improve student self-confidence. These actions should be imbedded in the design of any course, teacher training or activities on Centers of Teaching and Learning."

21.1.5. "Each learner has background tensions that may hinder their learning. How does an instructor account for those? How do you assess the effectiveness of your course design on the learner’s internal experience?"

21.2. What are the better ways to design for crossing thresholds?

21.2.1. "Perhaps with more active learning, more of the high-impact practices, and a syllabus/structure based on threshold concepts, I might've grasped the theory part better in undergrad."

21.2.2. "As such, at least in my experience most introductory courses practiced coverage or a survey and in that effort did not have enough time to deliberately engage with and allow students to break through threshold concepts."

21.2.3. "Doing this exercise was a difficult task. I could easily remember when my thinking changed, but not what it had changed from. I wonder if I this means I had true transfer. I found it so interesting once you have crossed the threshold, it is hard to go back and remember what your mindset was like before."

21.2.4. "I wonder if there are threshold concepts about one’s own learning that a student must internalize in order to make them increasingly capable of more robust sense-making."

21.2.5. "Because the course had a large student enrollment, there were many times I never did end up fully comprehending the new/conflicting knowledge because the course had to move on (physics..)."

21.3. What activities beyond the classroom can help students grasp threshold concepts?

21.3.1. "This was because the curriculum helped to: 1) systemize service learning; 2) create a process for excursive learning of threshold concepts; and 3) require professors to make these threshold concepts explicit as learning goals for students."

21.3.2. "But it’s in the short conclusion to the paper where the authors provide practical guidance for design: constructive feedback between teachers and designers to identify epistemological barriers and to redesign learning practices and activities to address them with multiple access points, processes, tools and support systems, scaffolding and interleaving to provide the necessary change for more advanced knowledge and practice."

21.3.3. "I think that a compelling mission, integration of content, and real-world application could be the solution to effective learning."

21.3.4. "If they accept [that they have privilege], then it diminishes their own view of themselves, and their entire life, and how they view their hard work versus what their privilege has given them."

22. Creating a Culture of Assessment

23. What is the purpose of the word diversity and how do we design for this purpose?

23.1. When used in university mission statements?

23.1.1. Signaling, portraying an ideal image.

23.1.2. What does diversity actually mean and why do universities want them?

23.1.3. Is it a goal that members of a university community adopt the institution's mission as their own?

23.1.4. How often do mission statements change? Who drives that change?

23.1.5. How many students know how diversity is being infused in their university and in its mission statement?

23.1.6. Should we drop mission statements all together in exchange for something more pragmatic such as commitments and competencies?

23.2. When challenging privilege?

23.2.1. Don’t people need to first turn around on the walkway before they can go backward?

23.2.2. How many [mission statements] made me believe their words were more than just, “collection of stock phrases that are either excessively vague or unrealistically aspirational or both” (Morphew & Hartley, pg. 457)?

23.2.3. Serving underrepresented populations can be costly for a university and requires resources such as need-based aid, faculty and administrator training, and additional student support (e.g. bridge program). When universities face financial concerns, how do we effectively advocate for the aforementioned components?

23.2.4. Can design pick up the slack when mission-driving terminology falls short?

23.3. When influential?

23.3.1. Why are no women in a position of power throughout this animated video?

23.3.2. How does the public know if diversity work is being done, and being done well, if mission statements are not accurate reflections of organization and institutional procedure?

23.3.3. How would university officials and staff members realign their view of diversification if they understood it to be good for the bottom line?

23.3.4. Are the "dash of spice" and "compliance-driven" schools in need of a different motivator, or a system overhaul in order to encourage the right kind of mindset (less 'get the necessary bits in to continue as we are' versus 'making this a better environment for students)?