Mini-Lessons Basics/BOPPPS Model for Planning Lessons (Teaching and Learning)

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Many models exist for planning lessons. The lesson basics used in Instructional Skills Workshops are sometimes referred to by an acronym. "BOPPPS" and are focused on the following six components[1]:

Acronym Name Description
1. B Bridge-in Begins the learning cycle, gains learner attention, builds motivation, and explains why the lesson is important.

Sometimes known as the "motivational statement" or "hook", the bridge-in helps the learners focus on what is about to happen in the lesson. Bridge-ins are usually short. Some simple strategies include: Providing reasons for learning this topic; explaining why this topic is important and how it may be useful in other situations; describing how it is a transferable skill

  • Telling a story connected with the lesson topic
  • Referring to something in the learners' realm of experience
  • posing a provocative question linked to a current topic or the learners' personal lives
  • Offering a startling statement or unusual fact
  • Linking current topic to material already studied or to future learning
2. O Objective or Outcome Clarifies and specifies the learning intention: clarifies what the learner should know, think, value or do by the end of the lesson, under what conditions and how well.

While a course may have a few broad general goals and a limited number of learning outcomes, individual lessons usually focus on one or more specific learning objectives to reach those goals or outcomes. Generally, an objective is written as one sentence that includes:

  • Who (always the learner or student)
  • Will do what (performance)
  • Under what conditions
  • How well (to what standard or criteria)
3. P Pre-assessment Answers the question, "What does the learner already know about the subject of the lesson?"

Pre-assessment can:

  • Reveal learners' interests
  • Identify learners who can be resources within the class
  • Allow learners to express their needs for review or clarification
  • Focus attention and signal the purpose of the lesson
  • Help the instructor adjust the lesson for depth and pace to better fit a particular group of learners
  • Enable the instructor to respond to individual strengths and weaknesses
4. P Participatory Learning This is the body of the lesson, where learners are involved as actively in the learning process as possible. There is an intentional sequence of activities or learning events that will help the learner achieve the specified objective or desired outcome. The lesson may include the use of media.

Some ways to encourage active participation include:

  • Small group discussion around a specific question or problem arising from the course material
  • Pauses in lectures for individual student reflection through writing or discussion, question development or short application tasks like solving an equation or a small problem
  • Critical discussions of the main point of the lesson by the learners-perhaps through a think-pair-share strategy
  • Prediction or forecasting (usually at the beginning of a concept or unit)
  • Individual tasks/presentations
  • Students working on a problem, then evaluating each other's work
  • Role plays, case studies, scenarios, simulations
  • Posing a "thought" question, one that is not answered until later in the activity
5. P Post-assessment Formally or informally demonstrates if the learner has indeed learned and is linked directly with the objective or outcome.

The post-assessment answers two questions:

  • What did the learners learn?
  • Were the desired objectives accomplished?

Basic knowledge and thinking (knowledge recall and comprehension) can be assessed by:

  • multiple choice
  • true/false
  • matching
  • completion
  • short written answer
  • short verbal answer (if testing through oral or interview format)
Higher level thinking (application, analysis, evaluation and creating) can be assessed by:
  • problem solving tasks
  • essays, critiques
  • creating a novel theory or interpretation
  • analysis of a scenario
Skill (doing) can be assessed by:
  • checklists
  • rating scales
  • products or examples of production using the skill(s)
  • performance or demonstration
Attitudes (values) can be assessed by:
  • attitude scales
  • performance
  • essays
  • journals and other personal reflection pieces
  • artefacts
6. S Summary/Closure Provides an opportunity for learners to reflect briefly and integrate the learning during the closing of the learning cycle.

The summary may include:

  • content review (either instructor or learners briefly recap main points)
  • group process (time for learners to discuss their group process)
  • feedback
  • recognition (acknowledgment of effort and achievement)
  • application (how to use this later; create a personal action plan)
  • individual voice (quick round-table for each person to have a "last word")


Online Resources

Note

  1. This information is made available with the permission from the ISW International Advisory Committee


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