Each and every student learns differently and has a unique life story. How can you design learning activities to meet the needs, interests, and goals of all of your students?
One way to do this is by designing a pre-lesson or pre-course survey. This can be a formal survey (e.g., using Google Forms) or an informal “thumbs-up/thumbs-down if you agree” activity. The goal of a pre-lesson/course survey is to learn as much as you can about your students so that you can design learning activities based on their interests, needs, and goals.
A K-W-L chart is a good way to start, but this activity focuses solely on students’ knowledge. If you want to engage students in learning, then you need to find a way to pique their interest, tap into their expertise, and incorporate their learning preferences and styles.
Optional Activity: Design a Pre-Course/Lesson Survey
Activity Objective: A pre-course/lesson survey is a good way to understand our students’ needs, interests and expectations. The pre-survey will also help us to predict in advance potential issues in the teaching-learning process and be prepared to confront them.
Activity Instructions: In this optional activity, we ask that you design a pre-course/lesson survey for your students that should include at least 3 questions. Please share your pre-course/lesson survey in our course Google+ Community. We recommend using Google Forms, but you are welcome to use any tool of your choosing. If you need some guidance, please see the examples and resources listed below.
- Name? Email address? (Don’t forget logistics!)
- Please share 3 things you already know about insert topic here.
- What are your learning goals for this course/lesson?
- Which of the following digital media tools/apps do you use on a regular basis (e.g., Video recording, video editing, audio recording, audio editing, photography, photo sharing)?
- Do you have any related experience in the topic that we will discuss during this course/lesson? If so, please describe.
- How can I support your learning during this course/lesson?
- Do you have any fears about this course?
- What are your learning preferences in accomplishing your goals?
- For example, for younger students: “Which of the following is your favorite thing to do: Act, sing, draw, design, sculpt, program/write a computer code, play a video game, record a video”
- What is your greatest strength as a student?
- What is one skill you’d like to focus on during this course?
- How can you best support your classmates’ learning?
- Is there anything you’d like me, as your teacher, to know about you? (e.g. Are you shy? Do you often struggle with a particular grammatical point?)
- Do you prefer to work independently or in a group? Why?
- What skills and expertise will you bring to this course?
- Pre-Course Survey for this course
- First Year Seminar in Digital Media Production
- Educational Web Design
- Creating and Using Pre-Course Surveys (Youtube video)
- Google Form Templates
- Using Google Forms as a Tool for Formative Assessment
- How to Be Notified When Someone Completes Your Google Form
- Google Form Guide for Teachers
- Google Forms Cheat Sheet
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