WIDS® Resource Library

Learning Plans - The GPS for your Course

Learning Plans - The GPS for your Course

You know what you want to teach and how you’ll assess your learners. But how do you apply the curriculum for your learners? What will students do in your course? What will you do to ensure they learn?

From research, we know that students learn best when they are actively engaged in their own learning process.  It’s not that students can’t learn from the “sage on the stage” approach to teaching; it’s that this approach often puts students in a passive role. When you design your course with learner-centered activities you foster critical thinking, active learning, and the encoding of new knowledge into long-term memory. You also give learners direct responsibility for their own learning.  

WIDS gives you tools for designing learning activities in My Learning Plans. After you have written course competencies, you can start on learning plans.  Link your learning plans to course competencies, then use activities from a WIDS activity library to define what your learners will do. WIDS prompts you to think about activities from the standpoint of the learning cycle: motivation, comprehension, practice, and application.  Design your activities so that learners swing back and forth between comprehension and practice, before you move them into the application cycle.With WIDS, you have a platform to design activities that are varied and target each new competency you introduce to your students. 

Even if you are not using WIDS, you’ll want to create learning plans for your students. Learning plans give learners an advanced organizer that helps them consciously set goals, select strategies, regulate their progress, and adjust personal learning behavior. It’s the student Global Positioning System (GPS) guide for navigating your course!  

Download the Learning Plan Checklist to get started writing your own learning plans.

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