Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment – Investigating


Element: 21st Century Skills/Deeper Learning

Description: Curriculum, instruction, and assessment are based on clear expectations that all students will leave the education system well staged for college acceptance or for alternative paths to workplace readiness. These expectations mandate solid grounding in standards-based content, but also intentionally integrate elements of deeper learning, such as critical thinking, creativity and innovation, and self-direction; as well as providing opportunities for authentic learning in the context of today’s digital society.

Possible Next Step: District leaders familiarize themselves and staff with new state learning standards and with research-based principles and strategies for 21st Century skills/deeper learning. Attention is given to the assessment of these skills as well.

Element: Personalized Learning

Description: Educators leverage technology and diverse learning resources to personalize the learning experience for each student. Personalization involves tailoring content, pacing, and feedback to the needs of each student and empowering students to regulate and take ownership of some aspects of their learning.

Possible Next Step: District leaders research personalized learning and document the characteristics of personalized learning environments and the requirements for building these characteristics.

Element: Collaborative, Relevant, and Applied Learning

Description: In digital learning environments, students do work similar to that of professionals in the larger society. They collaborate with educators, fellow students, and others outside of the school environment on projects that often (1) involve the creation of knowledge products, (2) foster deep learning, and (3) have value beyond the classroom walls.

Possible Next Step: District leaders review the research related to rich, authentic learning, including variants, such as project- and problem-based learning. Teams have also gathered research and best practices on promoting and leveraging collaboration.

Element: Leveraging Technology

Description: Educators in digital learning environments integrate learning-enabling technology seamlessly into the teaching and learning process. These educators have the skills to adopt multiple, highly effective learning technologies and adapt to diverse, evolving learning structures to assure that the use of technology adds value to the learning process.

Possible Next Step: District technology and curriculum staff members collaborate with other key stakeholders in an investigation of the latest research and best practices related to technology-enabled learning.

Element:Assessment—Analytics Inform Instruction

Description: The district and its schools use technology as a vehicle for diagnostic, formative, and summative assessment. The school system has mechanisms (i.e., processes and digital environments) for using data to improve, enrich, and guide the learning process. Educators actively use data to guide choices related to curriculum, content, and instructional strategies.

Possible Next Step: District leaders are becoming more deeply informed about the type of assessments they will need to evaluate student progress in content and process standards as well as 21st Century competencies. They continue to investigate and confirm findings.