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Teaching Using the Instructional Design for Teachers Model

and Applying it to Everyday Practices

Shalice Toney

Seton Hall University


Teaching Using the Instructional Design for Teachers Model

and Applying it to Everyday Practices

As a teacher, I am comfortable saying that teaching is a multifaceted vocation with many

complex layers. The classroom for a teacher is analogous to the stage for a Broadway performer

in that, every day they must perform a lesson designed for their students. Each class holds a

different audience and therefore, no two classes are the same, however the curriculum standards

and messages delivered are. How can a teacher effectively reach all of their students in any

given class effectively? How do they assess their progress without ticket sales or reviews? The

truth is a good teacher must assess the successes and failures of their lessons in order to ensure

the best of their students. “Students need us, not because we have all the answers, but because we

can help them discover the right questions” (Fried, 2001, p. 29). We are constantly challenged to

be better, and work in a way that benefits each of their students. Consequently, in today’s

society, a good teacher must be flexible, hardworking, willing to approach challenges with a

learning attitude, and be a person who loves the job that they do. Maintaining the passion can be

difficult when given restrictions and parameters outlined by the district. Nonetheless, the tools

evident in Alison A. Carr-Chellman’s text, Instructional Design for Teacher provides a

framework for developing lessons and classroom practices that address these concerns.

Planning lessons and developing ideas for the classroom is, at times, a daunting task for

teachers. Weekly, we are tasked to develop lesson plans that outline our daily practices, align

with state standards, provide lesson objectives, implement lessons, reflect on teaching, and

provide feedback/graded materials to students. As much as people are sometimes daunted with

the task of writing them, they are extremely important; lesson plans are the roadmap to teaching.

They tell the teacher what it is that he/she plans to do, and how they are going to get there. In

essence, they are the script for the classroom. Without comprehensive plans, how can anyone in

this field grow?

In short, our practice is full of instructional design; planned accounting for students.

However, studying instructional design for teachers (ID4T) reveals that there are several

additional components involved that would increase productivity, because the plan is data driven,

student centered, and research based (Carr-Chellman, 2016, p. 3). This method gives each of the

steps to the lesson credence and asks the teacher to deliver a lesson after extensive pre planning

to ensure the best results in instruction and student progress. The author defines instructional

design for teachers as, “the process by which instruction is created for classroom use through a

systematic process of setting goals, creating learning objectives, analyzing student

characteristics, writing tests, selecting materials, developing activities, selecting media,

implementing and revising the lesson” (Carr-Chellman, 2016, p. 3). This means, that there is not

a quick methodology to instructional design. ID4T goes several steps beyond “teaching,”

because it focuses on the practice of gathering information, explaining intention, and ensuring

that students understand how and why they are completing the tasks that they are encountering.

This reflection will focus on the idea of setting goals as presented by Carr.

The first part of her “Instructional Design for Teachers” is learning goals. When I first

became a teacher, I was trained in the three part objective. This method included: describing

what the students will be able to do. Second, the conditions under which the student will perform

the task. And third, the criteria for evaluating student performance


objectives/components-learning-objectives/three-parts-objective/). For example, a complete

three part objective could read, students will be able to read, annotate examples of theme, tone

and mood, and discuss a short story in a Socratic seminar to be evaluated using a 25 point

Socratic seminar rubric. The condition is that they can read the text. The behavior is that they

will annotate using highlighters and the criteria is the Socratic seminar. This objective outlines

the totality of the lesson. Students know the goal and they understand the expected outcome.

This strategy makes the learning between the student and the teacher a partnership, where the

teacher will work with the student, and the student will understand the success based on the

assessment tool that is to be used. As a new teacher, I sometimes found writing objectives more

complicated than writing lessons; in many ways it was comparable to an introductory paragraph

(I typically write them after I complete the body paragraphs) in that it had to encompass the

entire lesson in three descriptive sentences.

Following a few years with the three part objective, I was told to transform these into

SMART goals, in which goals had to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time

based. Similar to the three part objective students are told what it is that is expected of them,

they are given the measure that they are to be assessed, provided a realistic goal that can be

accomplished in the time allotted, informed the importance of the lesson or how it is relevant to

them and in what time they had to complete the task. The most important aspects of the

objective or learning goal are to keep the student informed, use the information you plan to

teach, and hold the students accountable for the teaching. In essence, a student cannot say they

did not know what happened if they learn the importance of the objective

( Setting expectations and requiring

students to meet them is a key tool in staying organized and keeping the class momentum going.

Additionally, looking at your objective can be a great way to note key elements to lessons. What

worked? What did not work? How can you modify your teaching to best meet the needs of your


Similarly, to the system that I was taught, in Carra-Chellman’s text, the first three parts of

Instructional Design for Teachers is to set learning goals, write learning objectives, and write

matching test items. She defines her learning objectives in similar terms to the ones outlined in

the previous paragraph. Specifically, she says that teachers should stay away from words like

“learn,” “know” and “identify.” This logical statement comes from the idea of measuring the

goal which is further explained in Benjamin Bloom’s taxonomy. In his text he explains, a

framework for categorizing educational goals. Today, his framework has been remastered into a

pyramid which places “recall” (remembering) on the lowest level of understanding and

“creating” on the highest level (

In order to ensure that the teacher has been successful in his or her task, there has to be a unit of

measure-hence a product that the students are creating that can be evaluated. Most often, we

provide students’ scores to show mastery. Receiving an A becomes synonymous with full

comprehension were lower grades show areas that need improvement. If a teacher were to tell

their students that he or she would, “learn the periodic table” how would the teacher explain

what that means? What are they learning about it? How do you know if you were successful?

How would you determine how to improve the lesson? Without those higher level questions

having real, data driven answers, there is no success.

Objectives taught me to delve deep into my lesson design. If I am going to spend a class

period asking students to successfully cite and paraphrase information, I am going to need to

convey that. At times, teachers can lessen the value of what they are doing by composing

objectives that are not reflective of the work. For example, if teaching new vocabulary terms, a

teacher should not write, “determine the meaning of the word.” This could be completed in a

matter of minutes. When in reality students are learning the connotation, denotation and

application of SAT level words to use in SAT practice exercises. Without giving student the

context, you run the risk of them saying, “we didn’t learn anything” which is paying a disservice

to you and them. Only the teacher knows his/her intent. The objectives showcase the intent for

the students and allows them to clearly delineate the expectation. The outcomes of the lessons

show what to do to improve or what can be maintained.

Despite my experience with writing objectives, I too struggled with who the objective

was for. During a post observation with my administrator, he explained that I needed to work on

simplifying my objective. He stated, that he knew what I was talking about in the word choice,

but was leery that the students would not understand based on the phrasing. Writing objectives

and setting goals is always something that must keep the student in mind. In this case, the

objective is showcased daily for the students. His feedback was to provide a simple overview so

at a glance, students can discern the daily agenda and goals. Instead of a detailed objective, the

board now held more of an agenda, whereas the lesson plans held the full objective.

Objectives written, will lead to eventually developing some sort of assessment, the

dreaded test. My strategies for designing tests was always to develop the test throughout the

lesson. Meaning, I kept notes during the lesson and dated material so that the test I gave always

reflected the material that I went over in class. Essentially, in some capacity students always saw

the test before they took it. Carr’s step goes further with using the objective to develop the test.

The positive aspects would be that students could develop their study guides throughout the unit

leading up to the test. Basically, the objective could act as the study guide. Students can then

use the objectives as a basis for what is expected on the test. This notion of organization allows

students to be a part of the instruction. They will have in their arsenal all that is expected of

them. It also helps with the autonomy of the classroom. Having freshman high school students,

it is important that I not only focus on the content, but also incorporate study skills and

organization. Additionally, and equally important, developing questions in accordance with

lesson objectives guarantees that the overall assessment stay true to the core of what will be

covered in class.

The next three parts of this design are a bit challenging to conquer. They include:

Identifying prerequisites and learning characteristics, select learning materials, and creating

specific learning activities. In each of these steps knowledge of students, resources and

activities must be assessed prior to instruction. Throughout the year, teachers spend time

assessing the needs of their individualized classes. In particular, as an English teacher, there are

many times when conversations become heightened and sensitivities rise. Therefore, when

determining seating, desk arrangement, groups, and activities are all things that must be factored

in. I admire Carr’s ability to assess these in the beginning. In my practice, I feel that I consider

several of them when writing plans, but very often unforeseeable occurrences cause me to

change my original plan to meet the needs that day.

The final part of her text that resonated with me was the idea of “evaluating and revising

the instruction. ” In the text, she states that, “the first is aimed at improving, and this is called

formative evaluation. The second is aimed at decision making and assessing effectiveness and

it’s called summative evaluation” (Carr-Chellman, 2016, p. 79). In particular, this reminds me of

the dreaded Student Growth Objective (SGO) process. In SGOs, teachers are expected to

analyze data to determine necessary areas of teaching, according to the NJ Department of

Education website the “SGOs provide a method by which teachers can improve their practice

while clearly demonstrating their effectiveness through student progress” (Department of

Education 1). Using instructional design can take the ideas from the SGO (which is completely

data driven) to determine a unit that incorporates the concepts addressed in the SGO naturally

without making the mistake of teaching to the test. “To have the greatest impact on student

achievement, SGOs must be grounded in data and be driven by high expectations” (Department

of Education 1). In accordance with Carr’s plan, the teacher wants the student to do well. The

data is not meant to be a tool to trap them, it is meant to exist to determine an area of weakness

in order to effectively improve a student’s performance. As a teacher, you must prepare a

student with your style of examination and ensure that the test is reflective of their learning.

Through scrutinizing the exam and developing data driven assessments teachers and students can

maintain a partnership and teachers can gain the trust of the student. Clarify and driving

instruction through proven criteria will best ensure quality teaching.

To conclude, I plan on revising this text before next school year. Carr did a good job of

explaining the complexity of a teacher’s job. There are too many positives to reflect on all of

them within this assignment. Nonetheless, I plan to take the ideas from her practice and infuse

them into lessons that I have learned through years in the field to improve on my practice. I

always tell my students that a teacher is a perpetual student. My love of learning is what keeps

me in the classroom. Every day I learn from them and it is my hope that they leave my room

feeling confident and that there are lessons that they will keep with them to be better students

and partners in their educational endeavors.



Carr-Chellman, A. A. (2016). Instructional design for teachers: Improving classroom practice.

New York: Routledge.

Fried, R. L. (2001). The passionate teacher: A practical guide. Boston: Beacon Press.

Mcdaniel, R. (1970, June 10). Bloom's Taxonomy. Retrieved from

SMART Goals: How to Make Your Goals Achievable. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Student Growth Objectives (SGOs). (n.d.). Retrieved from

Three Parts of an Objective. (n.d.). Retrieved from


Wong, H. K., & Wong, R. T. (2009). The first days of school: How to be an effective teacher.

MountainView, CA: Harry K. Wong Pubs.