It is important to note that the 21st century classrooms require the unique and effective approaches to organizing the teaching-learning process. The focus is on modifying traditional lessons to the needs of contemporary students according to the principles of the 21st century education. The purpose of this work is to rank MAED program learning outcomes (PLOs) depending on their importance for the teaching practice and explain their overall role in influencing the modern approach to education.
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Ranking of Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)
Diversity is the main feature of the modern society and classroom. Therefore, PLO 2 that is oriented to diverse learners and focused on promoting differentiated practices is regarded as the most important outcome. In order to address individual needs of diverse students and develop their potential, it is necessary to provide them with the differentiated instructions. Lesson plans should include the collaborative work of students representing diverse cultures, activities should include tasks for students with different learning styles, and instructions should be adapted to students with different needs. A teacher needs to focus on using media, accentuating interactivity, and emphasizing diversity in the class.
PLO 1 should be ranked the second one because the success of the teaching-learning process depends on the effectiveness of the instructional planning. A teacher needs to pay much attention to planning activities that are oriented to improving students’ skills and contributing to their cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development. Standard lessons should be improved to provide students with more challenging experiences that stimulate their learning.
Still, the realities of the modern classroom cause teachers to focus on making the curriculum dynamic and learner-centered. Therefore, PLO 5 is the next important outcome that is associated with teachers’ successes in adjusting the instructions to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Framework for 21st Century Learning, as well as digital standards. Even if the instructions are effective and the curriculum is developed, the teacher’s task is to make it correlated with the modern core standards and tendencies of the digital age in order to enhance the students’ learning.
PLO 7 is also ranked high because a good educator needs to know what he or she teaches, and the focus is on the knowledge of a discipline. This PLO is important and should be addressed in the classroom in the context of using technologies in order to contribute to the students’ learning, as well as the work with different devices (Kreijns, Van Acker, Vermeulen, & Van Buuren, 2013). In the classroom, this PLO is addressed when teachers plan activities depending on their knowledge, improve their experiences, and involve new technologies.
The use of devices is also expected while addressing PLO 9. It is extremely important to develop students’ skills in using media and technologies in order to enhance their learning. A teacher and a student should use advanced technologies in order to improve their research activities and communication (Thompson, 2013). Lessons should be modified while including the work with computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets in order to make students more flexible in their search, analysis, and writing. In addition, the focus is on addressing such ethical and legal issues as confidentiality and plagiarism associated with the active use of technologies.
While referring to the mentioned PLOs, it is possible to identify the next important outcome. PLO 8 accentuates that role of the communication and collaboration with the focus on the use of devices. In order to guarantee the exchange of ideas in the professional community and improve the learning activities using the flipped classroom or online lectures and conferences, it is necessary to use innovative tools for the communication (Blackwell, Lauricella, & Wartella, 2014). The use of technologies makes students creative and flexible and saves their time and resources.
The next important outcome is PLO 3 because the quality of assessment influences the quality of instructions. A teacher needs to use the evidence-based forms of evaluations and pay attention to the results in order to prepare the other lessons (Beetham & Sharpe, 2013). The focus is on discovering gaps in the students’ knowledge that need to be addressed.
PLO 4 is important not only for educators but also for students. The reason is that results of the action research are used by teachers in order to improve their everyday practice. Therefore, more research is important to lead the change in the classroom and focus on overcoming the educational barriers and issues.
The other outcome to discuss is PLO 6 that is connected with the development of professional and leadership qualities and skills. It is important to note that the effective leadership is a framework for the good instruction and efficient planning. Therefore, a teacher should pay much attention to developing his or her professional skills.
The analysis of PLOs and the work on the Portfolio were challenging tasks. However, it was possible to overcome challenges while concentrating on the use of technologies in order to navigate the platform for the project and design the efficient Portfolio. In order to overcome barriers and complete the project, it was necessary to focus on organizing the redesigned lesson plans and artifacts in the Portfolio and evaluate PLOs according to their significance.
Beetham, H., & Sharpe, R. (2013). Rethinking pedagogy for a digital age: Designing for 21st century learning. New York, NY: Routledge.
Blackwell, C. K., Lauricella, A. R., & Wartella, E. (2014). Factors influencing digital technology use in early childhood education. Computers & Education, 77(1), 82-90.
Kreijns, K., Van Acker, F., Vermeulen, M., & Van Buuren, H. (2013). What stimulates teachers to integrate ICT in their pedagogical practices? The use of digital learning materials in education. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(1), 217-225.
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Thompson, P. (2013). The digital natives as learners: Technology use patterns and approaches to learning. Computers & Education, 65(1), 12-33.