Basic Instructor Training Course NavigationLesson Plans!

Finally, you say, We get to the reason why I am here in the first place. . . to learn how to write a lesson plan.

Attempting to write a lesson plan without prior planning would be the same as the old classic example of "Getting the cart before the horse." Prior to putting a pen to paper to develop a lesson plan, you should have already completed and researched your subject material and carefully reviewed and developed your training objectives, and determined which method or methods of instruction you will use.

This is the first step in any instructional design, these steps help you consider how best to present your course material based on the psychology of learning, these are the critical first steps leading to your success as an instructor. If you skip any of these steps in the process and jumped straight-in and started writing your lesson plan, then you may have unknowingly decided to sell both yourself and your potential students short as well!

The time you invest in doing your homework is a very small price to pay in comparison to the pay back you may receive once you reach the classroom and see all those faces staring at you.

Nevertheless, before we get into the actual mechanics of writing a lesson plan, you should have already completed your (a must do step!) "Research" of the subject material. Question; is an instructor expected to be a research scientist or a specialist? Not exactly. Instructional research is nothing more than getting together all available information you can on your subject then use what is relevant information for your lesson plan. You may think your an expert on your subject matter. So doing your homework will only reinforce your knowledge and your status if you are one. An expert that is, or you might want to define the true meaning to the words "expert or assume."

An important part of doing your research is it allows you review all supporting materials and training aids that could or will be used along with the lesson plan to support your training program and your training objectives. During this phase its important to consider and develop your training sequence and trainer notes and checklists) that will be as guides throughout the course of instruction.

Proper sequencing of training is an very important part of your planning prior to writing your lesson plan. Why? Because you want your training to flow in a natural of order of things. Let's take a simple thing like putting your shoes on. The first step of course is finding them, second step is making sure you put them on the right foot. Sounds simple huh! Now, lets assume your teaching a child how to put there shoes on for the first time! Now you have to stop and think about what sequence is best to use to insure the child learns how to perform this simple task by themselves, but to a child this is not a simple task. In some training environments you will need to develop a pre-training checklist, these checklist are normal used to insure the trainer has all the required training supplies and equipment available and ready to use during training. And finally, writing trainer notes, these trainer notes are used to alert the trainer they need to do something. The trainers note can be anything from telling the trainer to emphasize a main teaching point or procedure to use or  which graphics to use next. Normally these trainers notes are written into the lesson plan where a new trainer can clearly read them.   

And of course they must be checked for accuracy and usefulness, and are they current and up to date? Before you begin writing your lesson plan, you need to answer these questions . . . will this help me and my students meet their learning goals and our training objective (s)? "Theirs is too learn and yours is to teach them actually."

Let me say it again, about doing your homework first!  The magical word here is You benefit directly from all this research that you do up-front, because, you become more knowledgeable and current on the subject material that you are about to teach your students."

Your job is to teach your training objectives, not passing on what your "Grand Papa or Grand Ma" told you how they did it in the great winter of 1864. Your students might enjoy the story and could certainly be amused by it. However, they won't be very amused when they find out you can't  answer their questions on the material you are teaching them.

Next, you must incorporate all of your objectives into the lesson plan. Objectives are the foundation, the base of the entire instructional pyramid. Presenting them to your students is the most important part of your instructional lesson plan development process.

I know this may be a bit redundant, but if it was not that important, we would continue on. But it is, so let's do a quick review again to highlight some of the main points of an "objective."

The Objective statement:

The objective statements in your lesson plan must be clear, honest, complete, and unquestionably correct!

A complete objective will contain a:

Task:  (Description of Performance) The objective statement contains an action verb that describes doing something that can be seen and measured.

Condition:   (Conditions under which behavior will be observed) The objective statement will contain the conditions under which action will take place.

Standard:   (The standards the students must meet) The last part of the complete objective statement is the standard of effectiveness. They set the standards of skills which must accomplish before the learner is considered to be proficient at performing a given task or tasks.

THE LESSON PLAN FORMAT!

Somewhere I read that it would safe bet to say, there must be a 1,000 or mare ways to do a lesson plan. There also must be at least 10 different ways to format each one of them. Who ever said that is right! The point here is, this is a means to an end. The best constructed lesson plans on paper will not make you a great instructor/trainer, nor will it make your students motivated and retain the information your presenting or even like you. And yes. It's very true, there is a whole lot more to being a good instructor/trainer than your lesson plan format. Please do not get wrapped around a lesson plan format. This is merely a written outline for you to use to disseminate information from, ensuring you cover everything, and do it within your allotted time frame. 

What follows is a good guide to use for a lesson plan. But you need to make this work for you and use it as a tool that you can use and teach from. And remember the lesson plan. . . outlines what will be taught and the order of disseminated information.

Formatting of your lesson plan using the typical outline format seems to be the acceptable general methods used in most training environments, exception to that is, if there is a predetermined lesson plan format policy where you are teaching at.  

To list a few purposes of a lesson plan:

  • Consistency of information from class to class.
  • Records what will be taught so that a back-up instructor can disseminate the same information in your absence.
  • Allows for planning of the class length.
  • Allows for revisions based on student evaluation. If it is not written down, how do you know what to revise?

During the course we will discuss more about lesson plan on there formats.

Now, we get to play a little with pictures and things, because our next topic is creating visual aids  Go there now or go back to the top! It's your choice!

 

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