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Engage Experience Empower The 3Es in Designing Learning Experience

Design Learning Experiences

3Es in Designing Learning Experience

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How do you begin to design a meaningful learning experience for students? Andi McNair, author of A Meaningful Mess, suggests 3Es:

Engage: How can students be engaged in ways that will make them want to learn?

Experience: What experience can be designed to give learners a reason to invest in their learning?

Empower: How can learners be empowered to use what they learn outside the classroom?

How can students engage in ways that will make them want to learn?

McNair poses this question:
What could I say to make students want to be in class? How can I build anticipation and excitement even before the class started?

To make students want to be in class, McNair uses hooks from Dave Burgess, author of Teach Like A Pirate, to engage students. Hooks like these below:

The Safari Hook: Taking your class outside and learning beyond the walls of the classroom.

  • The Mozar Hook: Involves using music to engage learners.
  • The Safari Hook: Taking your class outside and learning beyond the walls of the classroom.
  • The Student Hobby Hook: Using students’ interests to help them make connections to what is being learned.

When educators use these hooks, it can help them to understand how to engage their students the moment they walk into class.

Examples of Hooks McNair provides are:

  • Sent a video the day before with a teaser about what they can expect and loook forward to the next day.
  • Ask students to bring something to class with them, which will have them wondering what they will use the item for.
  • Ask them to make a sandwich as they write how to make it.

What experience can be designed to give learners a reason to invest in their learning?

An experience involves learning by doing. McNair believes creating an experience is not as difficult as it seems. You just have to take things to the next level. See examples below:

  • Looking at a picture of a tornado versus watching a 360 degree video of a tornado.
  • Seeing Egyption Pyramid in a textbook versus visiting the pyramid virtually with 360cities
  • Understanding area and perimeter by reading word problems versus understanding area and perimeter by virtually connecting with an architect

Active learning that requires students to do something, act on something, or design, and create something that takes the learning to the next level and makes it real. When the learning is an experience, students have a reason to invest in that learning.

How can learners be empowered to use what they learn outside the classroom?

McNair emphasizes that empowerment is a big part of the learning process, and it is important for our learners to feel confident in using what they have learned. Here is what empowerment looks like in designing a learning experience:

  • Challenge students to use #booksnaps, created by Tara Martin, to share what they are reading on social media.
  • Ask students to find real examples of math vocabulary, take pictures, and post them on Virtual Bulletin Board.
  • Give students opportunities to use what they have learned to solve real world problems. Checkout globalgoals.org to help students find ways to make connections to those problems and consider what change they can make.

McNair suggests we can also empower students by giving them more ownership of their own learning. For example, Student-Led Conferences give students the opportunity to share what they are learning and need to improve.

Conclusion

The three E’s give educators a framework for creating experiences that will engage today’s learners by empowering them to use what they have learned. Our students are sitting in the classroom begging for a different experience. They are asking for experiences that will prepare them not only for a test, but also for their futures. They are willing to learn, but they will not comply with a system that does not work for them. Let’s design experiences that students will talk about for days, create opportunities for them to make connections they never imagined they would make in the classroom, and give them a reason to want to be at school every day. In doing so, we will finally begin to see the change so desperately needed.

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This blog post is on Empower Student Ownership of Learning in the Classroom

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