News & Updates

Holiday Greetings

Happy Holidays from the PBEA-PLC team at Iowa State University! As we move into 2020 year, the PBEA-PLC team thanks all of our partners and collaborators for their continued support. Dissemination of the work that has been accomplished continues to be a goal for 2020. Please continue to share the website, the PBEA-PLC video with friends and colleagues across agriculture and education.

Continuing the Work of PLC 

The PBEA-PLC program may have drawn to a close, but the impacts that it has had will continue on in the classrooms and the relationships that this program have created. One way that you can keep this project going is to SHARE it! Please share the video attached with friends, colleagues, and students. Let's get the word out into the world about the great work that this association of professionals has conducted!!

You Wanted to Know...

Designing Instruction
A teaching strategy combines learning activities with teaching techniques which are arranged in a sequence. The goal of this organization is to help students (1) master content and (2) learn how to use the content in everyday work. 

To master the organization of learning activities with teaching techniques, different tools and templates exist. One excellent template to help teachers create organization for future semesters is known as the "Castle-top" design template. 

As this current semester begins to wind down and planning starts for the spring semester, consider using the "Castle-top" design template to help with semester planning. An image and description of "Castle-top" design are listed below. 

Planning Lesson Plans for a Semester: A "Castle-top" Design

Often reading and homework do not become a priority for busy, working students, and teachers spend valuable class time teaching material that should have been covered in reading. This design template reinforces the idea that reading and homework must be completed at home, so that class time can be spent with in-class activities. 

To utilize this template, the teacher first identifies the major topics or outcomes that need to be met before the semester ends, then outlines them briefly in the columns to left of the "Castle-top". 

Once the topics/outcomes have been identified, the teacher then begins to fill the in-class boxes detailing the work that will be conducted by the class as a whole. 

After the in-class activities have been determined, the teacher decides upon the out-of-class activities that students must complete. The out-of-class activities include reading assignments and homework, and should help students prepare for in-class work. 

This instructional design strategy can be included in teacher syllabus and can help both students and teachers prepare for the upcoming semester. 

Good luck giving it a try! 

Adapted from Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated
Approach to Designing College Courses
by L. Dee Fink

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