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Skills and Best Practices

Activity 2: Skills and Best Practices

Graphic Organizers

Graphic Organizers / Webbing

The Compendium of Instructional Strategies provides a rationale for the use of graphic organizers. http://home.earthlink.net/~jhholly/graphicorganizerswebbing.htm

Graphic Organizers / Webbing: A diagram that represents the relationships of ideas or information using words or abstract symbols. Graphic organizers assist students to:

  1. attend to and isolate important information;
  2. organize information into coherent structures;
  3. integrate information and see relationships between concepts and elements;
  4. clarify and synthesize component parts of larger concepts.

Teachers and students can use graphic organizers:

  1. to activate current knowledge;
  2. to present information or explain concepts;
  3. to take notes while listening, reading, or viewing;
  4. to organize and summarize information;
  5. to assess student learning.

 

 

Simulation/Role Play

Instructional Strategies Online defines simulation as a form of “experiential learning.” http://olc.spsd.sk.ca/DE/PD/instr/strats/simul/

In addition, they view simulations and role-play as a way to extend student thinking. Often we associate simulations with active learning, but after the fun of playing the game, we forget to use the experience to foster critical and evaluative thinking.

Simulations promote the use of critical and evaluative thinking. The ambiguous or open-ended nature of a simulation encourages students to contemplate the implications of a scenario. The situation feels real and thus leads to more engaging interaction by learners. They are motivating activities enjoyed by students of all ages.

 

This site also provides the teacher with:

  • a description of the purpose of simulations
  • some advantages and disadvantages of using simulations
  • some suggestions for how to set up simulations and role-plays
  • some suggestions for assessing the effectiveness of a simulation
  • Does this simulation offer an appropriate measure of realism for my group of students?
  • Are the desired instructional outcomes well defined?
  • Is the level of ambiguity manageable for this group?
  • Does the student demonstrate an understanding of his/her role?
  • Are problem solving techniques in evidence?
  • Does the research being generated match the nature of the problem?
  • Is cooperation between participants in evidence?
  • Has the student been able to resolve the issue satisfactorily?
  • Does the student provide meaningful answers to probing questions?
  • Will follow-up activities be necessary?

 

The site also provides additional resources and websites.