When developing curriculum or planning instruction, it is important to consider the scope and sequence. Scope refers to the depth in which you will cover the material, and sequence refers to the order in which you will cover it.
- [Man] When teaching material for the first time, timing can be one of the most difficult things to plan for. When planning, it's important to determine the amount of time you'll have available to teach your curriculum, as well as how much information you need to convey. This is why it's necessary to consider a timeline for your instruction. As well as a scope and sequence. Scope refers to the depth at which you'll cover information. And sequence refers to the order in which you'll cover the material. First you must consider the amount of time that you'll have available to teach.
Perhaps you're teaching a semester long course, in which you'll meet 45 times, for one hour each time. On the other extreme, perhaps you're running a 90 minute, one time training session. Either way, it's important to consider the amount of time allotted, and the amount of material which you need to cover, so you can begin to determine the scope and sequence. Let's first consider scope. It's important to consider how in depth you'll cover the material. On one hand, you want to make sure that the learners completely understand the concept that you're teaching them. But on the other hand, how much time do you have to cover this concept? And at what level of understanding is it really necessary for this particular situation? For instance, let's take a look inside of some learning management systems, at courses that I have.
And first I want to take a look here, and show how in the Moodle learning management system, I'm teaching a communication fundamentals course. In this case, I broke this down into different units, to make sure that I understood how much time I would have for each unit, and also to plan out the sequence and the order that I have these in. So here you can see that I have the, welcome to twenty-first century communications. As I go down I have my communication fundamentals, and then I have predetermined the concepts and the resources that I have available inside of here.
This will help me to make sure that I'm covering everything I need to, so that I don't run out of time, but yet I get across all of the concepts and information that I need to get across. Another important consideration is sequence. How will you sequence your instruction? Again, this will depend on your situation, and whether you're teaching one and done instruction, a semester class, on-going corporate training, or something else. Taking the time to carefully plan the order in which you present different information and concepts, can make a big difference in the success of the learners.
We're going to switch back over to my learning management system, and inside of Canvas, I have a course for animal behavior. I can see here, that I've sequence this, the way that I would like it to be taught. So I have an introduction to animal behavior, I then do into the history, understanding basic genetics, nature verus nurture. So I started out with a broad overview, and then I start to get into some of the specifics. Now, there are a number of different ways that you could go about sequencing your class. Sometimes you'll do it from simple concepts, and move towards more complex ones.
Sometimes you need to teach it in order so that you have prerequisite material covered. Perhaps in a math class, you'll need to learn certain concepts before you can even do the next concepts. You can also sequence it by presenting material in chronological order. Or perhaps from a macro to micro, teaching the big concepts first, and then breaking it down into it's smaller components. Or vice versa, micro to macro. Teaching smaller concepts, and having that lead to the overall bigger picture. In this course, I decided to sequence the videos in an order that follows with backwards design.
Starting out with the big picture, and working down towards some of the more focused details. Such as what tools and resources that you'll use. This may be different in your situation however, and it's important to select the sequence that makes the most sense in your particular situation. When planning your instruction, be sure to consider the time that you'll have allotted, and how you'll divide this up, the depth that you plan to go into regarding each topic, and the order that you'll present the instruction.
- Creating learning objectives
- Considering the scope and sequence
- Selecting the right tools
- Backward design
- Considering learning styles
- Planning for the unexpected
- Reflecting and modifying your instruction