Technology Unit Planning: Developing a Technology Unit: Developing Learning Outcomes and Differentiated Assessment Criteria
Developing a Technology Unit
Developing Learning Outcomes and Differentiated Assessment Criteria
All technology units should have specific predetermined learning outcomes and differentiated assessment criteria to guide the development of planned learning experiences and the interactions within these during unit delivery.
These learning outcomes can be of two types – curriculum driven learning outcomes and context driven learning outcomes. As their names suggest, the curriculum learning outcomes will be directly related to the identified curriculum strand component/s. The context driven learning outcomes will be the knowledge and skills that the teacher identifies as critical if the students are to progress their learning in technology in this particular context.
Examples of Curriculum Driven Learning Outcomes – Technological Practice
In the Matariki Celebration unit, Lou decided that her year one students would be working from emergent to level 1. She therefore developed her learning outcomes from the Level 1 AOs for Brief Development and Outcome Development and Evaluation.
In the Toys and Games unit, Tash developed her learning outcomes from the Level 1 Brief Development and Outcome Development and Evaluation achievement objectives.
In the Personalised Pens unit, Doug developed his learning outcomes from Planning for Practice and Outcome Development and Evaluation. He wrote learning outcomes related to these components in such a way that could capture achievement across levels 1-3.
In the Cell-phone/iPod Holder unit, Doug developed his learning outcomes from Brief Development and Outcome Development and Evaluation. He wrote learning outcomes related to these components in such a way that could capture achievement across levels 1-4.
In the Sunsafe unit, Sally developed her learning outcomes from the components of Brief Development and Outcome Development and Evaluation. She wrote her learning outcomes in such a way that they could capture achievement across levels 1-4.
In the Is Bling still in? unit, Keith developed two learning outcomes from the level 3 Brief Development and Planning for Practice achievement objectives.
Examples of Context Driven Learning Outcomes
In the Matariki Celebration unit it was critical that the students developed their knowledge of Matariki and its cultural significance if they were to be able to validly undertake Brief Development in this context.
In both the Personalised Pens and Cell-phone/iPod Holder, the learning outcomes were the same as they reflected the knowledge and skills Doug considered necessary for students working with plastics for the first time. In the year 7 Personalised Pens unit he focussed on developing students 2D and rendering techniques, while in the year 8 Cell-phone/iPod Holder unit he focussed more on embedding these drawing skills to increase the accuracy of working drawings that would serve as the final evaluation against the brief prior to manufacture of the prototype.
In the Sunsafe unit, four context specific knowledge and skill leaning outcomes were developed and supported within the learning experiences. All of these were important for the students to achieve in order to enhance their Brief Development and Outcome Development and Evaluation work.
Examples of Curriculum Driven Learning Outcomes – Nature of Technology and Technological Knowledge
During 2008-2009, the curriculum driven learning outcomes will relate to the components of the Technological Practice strand. Some components from the nature of technology and technological knowledge strand may also be explored as a focus for learning if relevant to the unit as a whole.
For example, in the Matariki Celebration unit one of the learning outcomes was focussed on Technological Modelling as this was seen as being a useful way for students to progress their competency in undertaking both Brief Development and Outcome Development and Evaluation.
In the Is Bling still in? unit, Keith focussed on the components of Characteristics of Technology, Characteristics of Technological Outcomes and Technological Products to support the Technological Practice learning outcomes.
Negotiated Learning Outcomes
The majority of the learning outcomes (both curriculum and context driven) should be developed at the planning stage of the unit i.e. predetermined learning outcomes. However, during the delivery of the unit, there will be opportunities to develop additional or negotiated learning outcomes that are responsive to student interests, the particular direction of students' Technological Practice and/or the identification of further contextualised learning needs – including knowledge/skill needs based on such things as the selection and manipulation of materials. Negotiated learning outcomes may be developed for the whole class, a particular group of students within the class, and/or individual students. Just as for predetermined learning outcomes, negotiated learning outcomes should have associated assessment criteria and specific learning experiences developed to support them. It is often useful during the planning of learning experiences to note when potential negotiated learning opportunities may arise in order to at least plan to 'look out' for them. For an example of discussion regarding negotiated learning outcomes see the Sunsafe unit.
Once the learning outcomes have been developed, appropriate assessment criteria should be developed to ensure all students have the opportunity to have their learning supported (via diagnostic and formative assessment strategies) and validated (via summative assessment strategies). The development of appropriate assessment criteria will be reliant on the identification of students' current levels of knowledge/skill/competency in relation to these learning outcomes if data is available, or the estimation of this if no clear data is available. The levelled achievement objectives from the NZC (Ministry of Education, 2007) and the Indicators of Progression can be used to develop differentiated criteria for the curriculum driven learning outcomes.
In the Sunsafe unit, Sally developed level differentiated instructions for the students spanning across levels 2, 3 and 4. Sally also used the learning environment guidelines to determine the level of support students would require – for example those working towards level 2 and 3 would require the need or opportunity to be established by the teacher, where as those working towards level 4 should be working with the given context and issue to identify their own need or opportunity. More specifically, Sally developed differentiated assessment criteria across level 1-4 of the Achievement Objectives for Brief Development and Outcome Development and Evaluation. She also provided criteria for the context driven knowledge and skill learning outcomes.
Technology terms, symbols and images/visual communication
While not needing to be developed into learning outcomes as such, it is often useful to note down key words, symbols or images that students should be familiar with by the end of this unit in relation to the identified curriculum strand components and the context. Learning experiences developed as part of the unit plan should provide opportunity for students to explore these terms and employ them in their work.
For example in the Toys and Games unit, Tash introduced the children to the terminology of a target market. She provided opportunity for the children to explore the purpose that Toys and Games might be developed for how this purpose might be linked to its 'target market'.
Students' ability to communicate effectively using drawings and/or specialised graphical techniques is critical to technology. This was a clear feature in the Toys and Games, Personalised Pens, Cell-phone/iPod Holder and Is Bling still in? units.