Estimated Time to Complete: 2 hours

This module reviews durable theory as well as up-to-date research on instruction. Understanding the relevant theory and research enables educators (e.g., DLT members, BLT members) to reach consensus about the high-quality instructional practices that best fit with their district’s priorities and needs.

This module includes research and information around the following topics:

  • Learning and Instruction
  • What is Effective Instruction?
  • Explicit Instruction
  • The Events of Instruction
  • High Leverage Instructional Practices
  • Ways to Determine Which Instructional Practices Are Effective
  • What Works' Generally?
  • Effective Instructional Practices Keyed to Instructional Events
  • Designing Effective Instruction
  • Designing Instructional Materials
  • What is 'Opportunity to Learn'?
  • Increasing Opportunities to Learn

The content presented in this module aligns with the content of two other OLAC modules because the three are interrelated: Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction.

The content also connects closely with two areas in Ohio’s Leadership Development Framework:

  • Area 1: Data and the Decision-Making Process
  • Area 3: Instruction and the Learning Process

Discussion Questions

  1. As a DLT or BLT, discuss team members’ beliefs about what constitutes effective instruction. In what ways do the team members’ views line up with ideas presented in the module? In what ways do they differ? To what extent (and in what ways) do team members’ views represent a consensus about the practices that constitute effective instruction?

  2. On a scale of 1 to 5 (with "1" being "not at all" and "5" being "to a high degree"), to what extent do the TBTs in your school use the OIP 5-Step Process as a way to determine the effectiveness of the instructional practices that the educators on the team are using? If the teams use the 5-Step Process as it is intended to be used (i.e., to support inquiry and collective learning), what areas can be strengthened in order to more systematically gauge the effectiveness and impact of the instructional practices being used? If team members do not use the 5-Step Process as intended (e.g., because they see it as a mandatory compliance activity), what can be done to help team members use the process to improve the quality of instruction provided across the school? What assistance might be needed to support teams in this process?

  3. Sometimes explicit instruction and thinking routines (i.e., instruction with a focus on “higher-order” thinking) are thought to be incompatible, even competing, approaches. But they are not necessarily incompatible. How might school and district leaders help teachers decide when and how to use each of these approaches effectively in order to improve all students’ learning and thinking?


Introductory Activities

  1. Ensuring Opportunity to Learn for All Students

    As a DLT or BLT, review the module content on the relationship between instructional practices and opportunity to learn. Gauge your district or school's use of practices that support opportunities to learn and practices that inhibit or reduce opportunities to learn for some students or groups of students. Identify two short-term and one long-term action your district or school can take to ensure that all students have opportunities to learn.

  2. High-quality Instructional Materials

    As a DLT, talk about the process the district uses for selecting high-quality instructional materials. Does the district review evidence about the instructional materials under consideration? If so, what evidence is reviewed? Do you think the district should be looking at other sources of evidence? If so, what other evidence should be considered? Unless the DLT is completely satisfied with the current process, develop a list of changes to the current process that would improve its focus on evidence.

Advanced Activities

  1. Events of Instruction

    Review the material presented in the module about events of instruction. The following events are discussed:

    • Orienting the learner
    • Fitting new learning into a schema
    • Presenting content
    • Scaffolding learning
    • Guiding practice
    • Providing feedback
    • Assessing students' learning
    • Ensuring mastery and transfer

    Using this list as a guide, examine the walkthrough checklists or rubrics that the district or school uses. Do these assessment tools focus on all of the events of instruction or just some? Which events are missing? What changes might be made to the checklists or rubrics to ensure that they focus on effective practices that are keyed to ALL of the events of instruction?

  2. Student Engagement

    What will the agenda include? Will other participants be invited who are not yet members of the DLT? What procedures will you use to elicit differing views? How many sessions do you anticipate will be needed to air the issues, reach consensus on a few issues to address, and plan how to address them (hint: more than one, and likely as many as three or four)?

    • As a DLT or BLT, first consider this question:

      “What existing data that the school or district collects shed light on student engagement school- or district-wide?”

    • Then, once you identify applicable data, use it to look for patterns.

      For example, if you think attendance data can shed light on student engagement, examine three-to-five years of attendance data by school, by grade level, by student group, and so on. What patterns emerge? Or if you think student data from a climate survey can shed light on student engagement, what patterns are evident in those data?

    • Finally, once the DLT or BLT has discussed these patterns, talk about ways to modify instruction in ways that would be likely to improve student engagement.

      For example, if the attendance of high-school students with disabilities is particularly low, what changes to instruction might encourage these students to attend school on a more regular basis?

You can earn credit and contact hours for modules, webinars, and podcasts completed on the OLAC site.

For more information, visit the Credit Corner. If you’re seeking credit for the Gifted Education Professional Development Course or the Culturally Responsive Practices Program courses, you can find that information on the course overview pages.