Designing The Learning Environment

     The blended learning approach to instruction involves a pedagogical shift that relies on a teacher’s ability to essentially “unlearn” some of what they know about instruction.  Because my “students” are teachers, I had a slightly different approach to the lesson design process. After using Fink’s 3 Column Table (Fink, 2003) and the UbD Framework (Wiggins and McTighe, 2008), I have a better understanding of what to consider when planning for an adult learning course.

     Fink’s 3 Column Table from last week’s assignment, is a great way to put all of the elements from my course together to ensure that it was well aligned with the stated learning goal or BHAG (big hairy audacious goal.) The provided planning sheets were also very helpful to guide my thinking about how to best plan the goals, learning activities and assessment activities before filling in the table.

     The UbD template was a bit more tedious in nature. It takes a closer look at one of the instructional goals and provides a detailed approach to planning instructional activities specifically for each goal.  It considers key factors such as what basic understandings and questions students may have about the learning objective and exactly what the student will know and be able to do or accomplish after completing the activities.

When considering which approach would be most appropriate for my innovation plan, I think the 3 Column Table fits my needs best. I am working with teachers with limited time allotments for outside learning and I feel that the time involved in breaking down each learning goal would be excessive considering the time we have to spend on each topic. However, I do recognize that a deeper, more detailed dive into blended learning would be best for the necessary conceptual realizations that need to happen when learning about a vast topic such as blended learning.


Fink, L. (2003). A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning. [ebook] San Francisco:

     Jossey-Bass. Available at: 


Wiggins, G. and McTighe, J. (2008). Understanding by Design. Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and

     Curriculum Development.