Step 3

Use the EFF Standard to design a learning activity to address the
real-life goal of the learners.

Guiding Questions

  • What do learners and I need to do to plan a meaningful learning activity that will address their priority?
  • What opportunities can we build into the activity to allow students to develop and practice all the components of the Standard we have identified?
  • What scaffolding will I need to provide to allow every learner to work on the Standard at a level that is challenging to him or her?
  • In what ways will I help learners identify the cognitive and metacognitive learning strategies they already use, develop new strategies, and choose the most appropriate strategies for their purpose?

Steps 1 and 2 focus on helping learners discover their goals and priorities for learning, individually and within a classroom context. Once a group of students have decided on a goal to work on together, you are ready to begin to design a plan for learning. This plan will address the learning needs of the group and the individuals in the group. The learning plan should ensure that all students take part in challenging activities that will build their knowledge, skills, and expertise. In developing this plan you will consider the kinds of activities needed to reach the students’ goal, the Standard that you have chosen to focus the activity, the scaffolding or supports the students will need in carrying out the activities, and the learning strategies that students will need.

In this planning process, we encourage you to involve students to the greatest extent possible in using the EFF tools to decide what they need to learn and assess what they already know and can do. Although it may take more time at the beginning, involving them in the planning helps them to become more self-directed reflective life-long learners. Having a plan can also help you save time by allowing you to use your time with students in a more focused way.

Step 3 and Step 4 are separated into two steps for the purposes of explanation but are really part of a single intertwined design process. Step 3 focuses on working with students to come up with a sequence of learning activities, and Step 4 focuses on designing on-going assessment activities that go hand-in-hand with the learning activities.