Visualising Holistic Planning

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Part of the Visualising Education Blog Series

One of the principle issues with unit based courses is that there are often similar learning/ assessment objectives which across a range of units. This is due to the nature of the unit based curriculum.  For example, equality and diversity is addressed across all units, ensuring that regardless of the units which are selected by the college (centre) equality and diversity will be covered within the delivery and assessment. From the teachers and students point-of-view, it feels like they are repeating the same work in each unit.

The simple solution is to find all objectives which are linked to equality and diversity from all the units which the college is providing and complete one summative assessment which covers them all.  However, this offers some practical issues.

Someone has got to sit down and sort all these objectives from all the units.  The best solution, which I have found, especially when you are dealing with more than 130 objectives is to create a spreadsheet which will allow you to filter the objectives by keywords, see table one below. Although this takes time to create, it does ensure that all the criteria are identified and it allows the students and staff to view the criteria at any time or even update student assessment at a later date.

 

Table 1: Filter objective by keywords

Keyword Objective No Objective
Diversity 1:1.1 Explain what is meant by diversity
Planning 1:1.2 Adapt learning plans to meet learners needs

 

To extend the spreadsheet to aid in holistic planning, two additional columns can be added which indicates a module name and a task number, see table two. This supports the IV (internal moderation) and EV (external moderation) process as the moderator can quickly locate, which modules and tasks the original awarding body objectives are situated. For example, when the student completes a module called Behaviour they will achieve objective 1:1.1 in assessment (task) one.

 

Table 2: Filter objective by module and task

Keyword Module Task Objective No Objective
Diversity Behaviour 1 1:1.1 Explain what is meant by diversity
Planning Planning 5 1:1.2 Adapt learning plans to meet learners needs

 

Then it is a simple matter of checking that the task front sheet and feedback sheet have the correct objectives listed on them. However, this is where the process fails. If the spreadsheet is updated but the front sheet is not the students will not achieve objectives. Similarly, if the feedback sheet is not updated the teachers tracking system will be misaligned.

There is a number of solutions to overcome this misalignment issue.  For example, an additional column can be added to the spreadsheet which indicates if the objective has been achieved by the learner. Therefore the spreadsheet can be given to the learner who filters for module and task. Although this will tell the student which objectives to aim for it does not indicate the assessment methods, task question and so on, see table three.   Thus it does not remove the need to have a separate front sheet and feedback sheet. Also, mainly provide required set items on the front sheet and feedback sheet.

 

Table 3: The student tracker

Keyword Module Task Ach Objective No Objective
Diversity Behaviour 1 Y 1:1.1 Explain what is meant by diversity
Planning Planning 5 1:1.2 Adapt learning plans to meet learners needs

 

In the end, I create a simple web application which does all the processing based on which criteria are added to modules and tasks. An overview of this web application with sample outputs can be viewed here: BTEC Mapping Tool. This application allows the user to create a module (Behaviour) and within the module, the user can create tasks. Using the criteria, which are stored in the database the user can add criteria to the individual tasks. This task can then be printed or copied and pasted onto a front sheet and the list of criteria can be added to the feedback sheet. If changes are made in the web application they must be made everywhere else, as this system is the master version.  I had intended to track and monitor students through the web application but it is hosted on my personal server I would have to adhere to the Data Protection Act and request permission from my employers, which is too much paperwork. This approach also means that a frequency count for each criteria can be completed to ensure that each objective is been assessed at least once, see table four.

Table 4: Criteria frequcny count across provision

Unit One (24) Unit Two (33) Unit Three (12) Unit Four (14) Unit Seven (14) Unit Eight (22) Unit Thirteen (15) Unit Twenty Nine (10)
1:1.1) 1
1:1.2) 1
1:2.1) 1
1:2.2) 1
1:2.3) 1
1:2.4) 1
1:2.5) 3
1:3.1) 2
1:3.2) 2
1:3.3) 2
1:4.1) 2
1:4.2) 1
1:4.3) 1
1:4.4) 1
1:4.5) 1
1:5.1) 1
1:5.2) 1
1:5.3) 1
1:5.4) 1
1:5.5) 1
1:6.1) 1
1:6.2) 1
1:7.1) 1
1:7.2) 1
2:1.1) 1
2:1.2) 1
2:1.3) 1
2:1.4) 1
2:2.1) 1
2:2.2) 1
2:2.3) 1
2:2.4) 1
2:3.1) 1
2:3.2) 1
2:3.3) 2
2:3.4) 2
2:3.5) 1
2:4.1) 3
2:4.2) 1
2:4.3) 1
2:5.1) 1
2:5.2) 1
2:5.3) 1
2:5.4) 1
2:5.5) 1
2:5.6) 2
2:5.7) 3
2:6.1) 1
2:6.2) 1
2:6.3) 1
2:6.4) 1
2:6.5) 1
2:6.6) 1
2:7.1) 1
2:7.2) 1
2:8.1) 1
2:8.2) 1
3:1.1) 1
3:1.2) 1
3:1.3) 1
3:1.4) 1
3:2.1) 1
3:2.2) 1
3:3.1) 1
3:3.2) 1
3:4.1) 2
3:4.2) 1
3:5.1) 0
3:5.2) 0
4:1.1) 1
4:1.2) 1
4:2.1) 2
4:2.2) 1
4:3.1) 1
4:3.2) 1
4:3.3) 1
4:3.4) 1
4:4.1) 2
4:4.2) 1
4:5.1) 1
4:5.2) 1
4:5.3) 1
4:5.4) 1
7:1.1) 1
7:1.2) 1
7:2.1) 1
7:2.2) 1
7:2.3) 1
7:3.1) 1
7:3.2) 1
7:4.1) 1
7:4.2) 2
7:5.1) 1
7:5.2) 1
7:6.1) 1
7:6.2) 1
7:6.3) 1
8:1.1) 1
8:1.2) 1
8:1.3) 1
8:2.1) 1
8:2.2) 1
8:2.3) 1
8:2.4) 1
8:2.5) 1
8:3.1) 1
8:3.2) 1
8:3.3) 1
8:4.1) 1
8:4.2) 1
8:4.3) 1
8:4.4) 1
8:4.5) 1
8:4.6) 1
8:5.1) 1
8:5.2) 1
8:6.1) 1
8:6.2) 1
8:6.3) 1
13:1.1) 1
13:1.2) 1
13:2.1) 1
13:2.2) 1
13:2.3) 3
13:2.4) 1
13:2.5) 0
13:2.6) 1
13:3.1) 1
13:3.2) 1
13:4.1) 3
13:4.2) 1
13:5.1) 1
13:5.2) 1
13:5.3) 1
29:1.1) 1
29:1.2) 1
29:1.3) 1
29:2.1) 1
29:2.2) 1
29:3.1) 1
29:3.2) 1
29:3.3) 1
29:4.1) 1
29:4.2) 1

 

Alongside this, a full list of awarding body criteria can be printed with the module and task number so that the IV and EV process can be quickly achieved, whilst ensure quality management across the system, see table five.    Ideally, the system would be used by the student to download the assessment front sheets and by the staff to completed the assessment feedback and thereby making a centralised system.

 

Table 5: Full list of awarding body criteria against module and task

Unit Sub Value Objective Module Task Number Task Title
1 1.1 Analyse the application of pedagogical principles in own area of specialism Creating Sharing Learning Resources Task 2a Resource, Inclusion, Pedagogy and Instructional Design
1 1.2 Evaluate the effectiveness of use of creative and innovative approaches in own area of specialism Creating Sharing Learning Resources Task 2a Resource, Inclusion, Pedagogy and Instructional Design
1 2.1 Use initial and diagnostic assessment to agree learners’ individual learning goals and learning preferences Planning Task 5 Assessing student learning to inform planning
1 2.2 Devise a scheme of work taking account of: Planning Task 2 Write a rationale for a scheme of work
1 2.3 Design teaching and learning plans which take account of: Planning Task 3 Create a scheme of work and associated lesson plans
1 2.4 Identify opportunities for learners and others to provide feedback to inform inclusive practice Creating Sharing Learning Resources Task 2d Theories of Feedback
1 2.5 Explain how own practice in planning inclusive teaching and learning has taken account of theories, principles and models of learning, communication and assessment Creating Sharing Learning Resources Task 2a Resource, Inclusion, Pedagogy and Instructional Design
1 2.5 Explain how own practice in planning inclusive teaching and learning has taken account of theories, principles and models of learning, communication and assessment Planning Task 3 Create a scheme of work and associated lesson plans
1 2.5 Explain how own practice in planning inclusive teaching and learning has taken account of theories, principles and models of learning, communication and assessment Planning Task 4 Analyse planning for inclusivity and theories of communication, learning, assessment and minimum core
Visualising Holistic Planning
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