Teaching for Learning

Linking Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum Framework

The Linking Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum (LLTC) Framework is a template to help faculty design alignment for a unit of instruction. There are 5 parts to the central design and a set of placeholders for the parts to help faculty keep each toolbox visible.

The inside framework was originally created by Anrora Public Schools in Anrora Colorado. The outside framework was later developed and used by Iowa school districts in AEA 267.

Recommended Steps for Using Linking Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum Framework

Although there is more than one right way to use the planner, use the recommended steps to help you use it the first couple of times, then customize your own way!

Step One

Choose a course and a unit of instruction.

Step Two

Fill in the outside parts of the framework. Download a PDF template or a Microsoft Word template.

  • Work Habits: Although you may call these something different, they are the skills that employer’s consistently ask for — quality producer, critical thinker, team player, effective communicator, responsible person, etc.

    Although you do not have time to teach all of them, you should be focused on developing students in one or two of these work habits in every course. The habit(s) you select should be clearly defined and require direct instruction and assessment throughout your course and each unit.

  • Course Objectives: These can be pulled from your course description and/or syllabus. By having them on your Linking Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum Framework planner you can easily check to make sure the content for each unit is linked to one or more the course objectives.

  • Assessment Toolbox: You probably don't remember all the assessment strategies you’ve learned in various professional development sessions, however, you may have a file of them somewhere. Review that file and list the names of every tool you’ve learned in the assessment toolbox. By listing them in the assessment toolbox, the variety of things you can use is always at your fingertips while planning.

  • Strategy Toolbox: Repeat what was done for the assessment toolbox, but list instructional strategies instead.

Step Three

Print a copy of the template after all the outside parts are filled in—this is now your customized template. You will use a copy of it every time you start to design a unit of instruction. Download an example of a customized template.

Step Four

For the unit of instruction you’ve chosen, use a copy of your customized template to complete the inside parts of the framework. Download framework inside template and an example of a completed framework.

  • List the learning objectives for the unit in the content box. Learning objectives need to be in a language that makes sense to both you and your learners. Copying what the textbook lists for learning objectives does not always align with your course objectives.

    Ask yourself these questions.

    • What do students need to know and be able to do?
    • Decide on critical objectives in the discipline - process, skills, and knowledge.
    • How do we connect the learning areas?
    • Are there models available to assist us on what we have been working on?
    • What topic areas should be taught at what level?
    • When do they need to learn certain skills?
    • What is the purpose of the particular curriculum?
  • Determine why learning the content you’ve listed for the unit is essential for student learning.

    Ask yourself these questions.

    • How is it important to the learner?
    • What is the connection to our mission/outcomes/beliefs?
    • Where will they ever use this when they complete this course?
    • How do the specific skills and content fit into the real work picture?
    • Is this essential for students to know?
    • Why am I teaching these?
  • Decide how you will assess student learning for the unit. From the assessment toolbox, select the assessment strategies that are most compatible with assessing the content why.

    Pay attention to the match between the assessment, the student learning objectives, and why students need to know them. If your learning objectives say students need to know something, the assessment must be written in a way that will demonstrate knowledge. In this case a match may be created through selected response questions.

    However, if the learning objectives are stated in a way that requires application of knowledge, the assessment needs to provide a way for students to show they can do something with the knowledge. Be sure to include formative assessment strategies to inform your teaching and their learning.

    Ask yourself these questions.

    • How will students demonstrate their knowledge and concepts?
    • How are we going to determine whether or not students have learned or we have effectively taught the content?
    • How is learning going to be assessed?
    • Do we have strategies to assess growth? (student vs. student)
    • How will we measure their progress? (student vs. external standard)
    • How much time to we have to teach it?
    • What role does the student play in his or her own learning?
    • What student outputs to we want?
    • What is the student's prior knowledge?
    • At what level should they be performing?
  • Select the work habit that will be integrated into the unit. Sometimes this work habit remains the same for the entire course, other times faculty select a different one per unit. The work habit you select requires direct instruction and some assessment; work habits should not be left to the chance or assumption that students know how to achieve the work habit. For the work habit selected, there should be practice designed in to either the class activities and/or the assessment.

    Ask yourself these questions.

    • What common thinking processes do we want?
      • Thinking or communication collaboration
      • What is it we want our student to be able to do?
    • What is it that we are all working toward?
    • How will students be able to keep up with the changes?
    • Have we determined District Learning Goals/Essential Learnings?
    • What do we want them to be like and know?
  • Choose the most appropriate instructional strategies. The instruction of the unit must include opportunities for students to practice what they are expected to know and/or do in a way that helps prepare them to be successful on the assessments and/or unit test. Both the content and work habit(s) should be practiced by students and have feedback provided before cumulative assessment or evaluation is completed. Many instructional strategies can be tweaked so that they align with the student learning outcomes for the unit.

    Ask yourself these questions.
    • What tools are needed?
    • How do students learn learning styles?
    • How do I create meaning and relevance?
    • What technology is available to me and/or to the students?
    • What type of learning environment is most conductive to learning?
    • What processes do students need to practice and become proficient with?
    • What will I have the students do in order to better understand the process?
    • How does "printed" curriculum fit our needs?
    • What parts do we need to adopt or modify?
    • How best do we teach strategies for thinking, yet tie it to content?
    • How do we tie content to brain compatible learning?
    • What is the best way to deliver the curriculum?

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