Webinar: How to Leverage the Explore and Learn & Practice Phases in Your Classroom

Access the presentation slides here: How to Leverage the Explore and Learn & Practice Phases

Webinar Transcript

Laura here from the Customer Success team here at AES and today's session is going to be about the four phases.

Today is part one, so we will go over the Explore Phase and the Learn & Practice Phase for your classroom.

Let's go ahead and get started.

What Are the Four Phases?

The four phases are a combination of all of the materials that we have, but broken out into four different phases:

  1. The Explore Phase
  2. The Learn & Practice Phase
  3. The Reflect Phase
  4. The Reinforce Phase

And these are a combination of lecture materials, hands-on, activities, and projects that you can do in a traditional classroom setting and additional eLearning lessons which is really the meat of what we have to offer.

Where Are the Four Phases Located?

So where are the four phases located within the curriculum? So let's go ahead and take a look at a live site. So we can see where those are located within the AES system.

If we select a module, you'll be able to see all the four phases are located within a module, laid out in order from Explore all the way to Reinforce.

Today we will only be covering the Explore phase and the Learn & Practice phase.

To learn about the Reflect phase and Reinforce phase, watch The 4 Phases, Part 2 session .

What Is the Explore Phase?

So to break it down for you, the Explore phase is the introduction to the topic of the module.

The Explore phase only includes teacher-led activities, the students will not see in their accounts. These are activities that you can share with students, optionally.

These activities are designed to hook your students interest into the topic of the module and can be hands-on or have a different approach in the project realm.

What Does the Explore Phase Include?

The resources included in the Explore phase are going to vary based on the module topics, so every module is going to be a little bit different as far as what that activity will entail.

Some examples of the Explore activities include:

  • Role playing scripts, where the students will role play with each other as a class or in groups
  • Equipment demonstrations
  • Discussions, which you can then transfer into a discussion board
  • Topic introductions for the overall topic of the module

So let's take a look at some of the examples for explore activities.

One example of an Explore activity is here within our Healthcare Systems module:

You'll notice that this activity only has a lesson plan, which will give you instructions to give to your students for how you'll complete this activity.

But if we look at some additional modules, the Explore activity will look a little bit different.

This one, for example, has both teacher and student resources and the students will have a script for this one:

For each module, there's going to be between one and two Explore activities that you can use in your classroom, optionally.

How Can I Use the Explore Phase in My Classroom?

We have four recommendations for using the Explore phase.

One way is just use it as an icebreaker or an introduction to the topic. It's a great way to get the students really psyched up about a topic and ready to dive into the Learn & Practice section within the module.

You can also use this as a transition between module topics. So when you end one learning module with the module test and you're about to jump into a new module, instead of going straight into the interactive lessons within the Learn & Practice section, you can use the Explore activity to transition them smoothly without going lesson by lesson every single day and do a little bit more hands-on work.

You can also choose to not use it in the beginning of a module and instead use it in the middle of a module during the Learn & Practice section.

So you can take it and use one of the Explore activities between units, just to break up the work. So the students aren't monotonously going through the eLearning lessons.

We also encourage you to make these activities, your own. For example, this year, it's a little bit different for everyone and you might be doing distance learning.

You can take some of these Explore activities in make them more suitable for distance learning.

For example, I know we have some discussion questions in some of our Explore activities and you could take that and make a discussion board so it could be for remote learning.

Why Do Some Modules Not Contain Explore Activities?

A popular question we also get about the Explore activities is: Why do some of the modules not contain the Explore activities?

And the reason for that is some of the modules are just too short. They only contain one or two lessons for the entire module or it's only a single activity. In those cases, it doesn't make sense to create an entire activity to introduce this topic.

Another reason is that the module content is not applicable to creating an Explore activity.

For example, in our Microsoft Office modules, the modules are really geared towards students learning the Microsoft Office applications.

So, it's not really suitable to have an extra activity where the students would do something hands-on, when really the point of the module is for them to learn the Microsoft Office application.

What Is the Learn & Practice Phase?

The Learn & Practice phase is really the heart or the meat of the AES curriculum. It's where the majority of the standards that you're going to need to cover in your classroom are going to be covered.

And it's the curriculum and section that the students will see within their own accounts, like the eLearning lessons which are really the meat.

What's Included in the Learn & Practice Phase?

The interactive eLearning lessons are really the meat of what we have to offer, but there are additional teacher resources and student resources.

That teacher resources include lesson plans for every unit, lecture PowerPoints that will coincide with every eLearning lesson, and quiz keys for the formative unit quizzes.

The student resources will focus mainly on the electronic worksheets or PDF worksheets and the additional handouts that students might have, for example, if you are teaching health, some of our health modules will have skills checklists.

Related Resource: The HealthCenter21 Student Experience

Where Are the Learn & Practice Resources Located and What Do Students See?

So let's take a look at where these resources are located how students will see these and some different examples of some of the resources.

Within the module the Learn & Practice phase is the green bar and underneath that you'll have all of your teacher resources, student resources, and the lessons that the students will go through within their account:

Within your Catalog tab, you have a View Student Curriculum option when you're previewing a module that you can use to preview what your students will see.

The students will go through the interactive lessons while filling out the worksheet, either electronically or on paper, and once they've completed the lessons, they'll take the formative quiz.

If you are teaching health science, the students may also have checklists where they will need to complete hands-on activities that go along with the interactive lessons. The students will also see these checklists within their own account so they'll be able to print the checklist out in order to practice with them.

If you are teaching Microsoft Office applications, then the students will also have some additional resources that go along with the eLearning lessons.

These resources are going to be the files that the students will be completing within the lessons in their Microsoft Office applications modules.

How Can You Use the Resources Provided in the Learn & Practice Phase?

Teacher Lesson Plans

Let's start with the lesson plans. The lesson plans show what the overall objectives are within the lessons in a unit.

You can take these lesson plans and use them to create a syllabus.

You can also share these with an administrator if you need to create a binder at the beginning of a school year for what you're going to cover.

And these also helped to shorten the planning time that you have, so you don't have to create lesson plans from scratch to cover all the objectives and standards you'll need to within your class.

Student Worksheets

The student worksheets are available both electronically and in PDFs and you can use these a variety of different ways.

You can use these as simple note-taking forms where students will pull out the most important information within the lesson.

You can also use them as study guides and there are some features within AES that allow you to have students print their PDF version of completed worksheets that they can take and use as a study guide.

You can optionally use them as a quiz grade and input the grade for a quiz into your school grading system.

And this is a great way to kind of surprise students, you can pick one worksheet out of all of the worksheets within a module, don't tell the students which one, and then grade that as a quiz grade.

You can also use them for homework grades or participation grades. Within the Grades tab of your classes, you will be able to see the completion rate as students are working through those worksheets.

You can also use these as open book assessment materials. So, if you have students do open book assessments or would like to try it out with your students on either the unit quizzes or module tests, these can be great options for that.

Teacher PowerPoint Presentations

You can use the lecture PowerPoints to introduce a topic for the eLearning lessons before the students go through those eLearning lessons.

Or you can do the reverse and use them as a reinforcement. So, the students will go through their eLearning lessons first within the system, then they will be able to ask questions while you are reinforcing the topic by presenting the lecture PowerPoints after they've been exposed to the material.

And then lastly, we really encourage you to make them your own. Once you download the PowerPoints, you can shorten them to only cover main points or you can add links and additional materials that you would like to cover.

In addition, please use the speaker notes! There are lots of good information in those speaker notes and I've even seen some teachers use the speaker notes to develop some of their custom exam questions.

Formative Unit Quizzes

The last thing I want to talk about today with the Learn & Practice phase are the formative unit quizzes, because there's a couple of different ways you can use these.

And the first thing I want to talk about is: What is a formative assessment?

A formative assessment means the students are still forming their knowledge for the topics that they've just learned.

So they might not have a good grasp of the topics but they are still processing them and haven't reinforced them with any additional activities yet. We offer these formative assessments with multiple attempts that you can set up on your Assignments tab.

There are a few ways you can use the formative unit quizzes.

You can use these formative assessments on paper, so you can print these out and have your students fill them out on paper.

The paper assessments will have to be manually graded. You'll have to do that yourself versus the electronic version where the students will go through question by question and answer each question will be automatically graded and you'll be able to see that in your class gradebook.

While we're talking about grading, a couple of different ways you can grade the unit quizzes, is you can lower the grade weight for those formative assessments. Within AES we don't currently weight anything, so you can export it, lower the grade weight, and then put it into your school grade book.

You can also optionally not take these quizzes seriously and only use them as participation grades or homework grades.

And then optionally, like I said earlier, maybe use a worksheet as a quiz grade to mix it up for the students, so it's a bit different each time and the students don't know what to expect. This can often lead to less likelihood of cheating in the classroom.

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