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Instructional Design Case Study


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I always begin my instructional design process by reviewing our learning objectives for the course. I then compare the learning objective to the learning goal for the assigned reading and look for overlap.


I identified that students needed help critically engaging with academic writing, locating key concepts and vocabulary, summarizing the main argument, and connecting the focus of the article to other readings from the course and/or contemporary issues.


I used Canva to create a Reading Map Instruction Worksheet (above) and a Reading Map Template (right).



I brought art supplies to class, mostly crayons, turned on some music and gave students time to work quietly on creating a visual representation of the assigned reading. 

How can we use creativity to understand theory?

My students were struggling with the dense, jargon-heavy theoretical articles that are foundational to understanding key concepts and big ideas. I felt their frustration and looked to the K-12 space to find inspiration. 

I found Reading Maps.

I knew that I could adapt this active-learning strategy to meet the needs of adult learners, so I reworked example activities that were originally intended for fiction to be applicable to academic articles.

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While they were uneasy at first with being asked to engage with academic work in a new way, my students thrived. 

One student's map (left), combined quotations from the article with visual representations of concepts such as oppression, violence, and (de)colonization.

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