When it comes to incorporating an instructional model in your planning, it is important to complete the model fully to maximize student learning. The workshop from the original post was revamped to make sure all components of the 5 E inquiry based learning cycle model were incorporated appropriately. The original workshop was missing the exploration and elaboration piece of the model. These pieces were pulled due to time constraints. However, it proved to greatly impact the learning that took place in a negative way.
Generally, the 5 E learning cycle begins with Engagement of learners followed by an opportunity to Explore what is being learned. Next, the content or skill is Explained followed by opportunity for the learners to Elaborate on what has been learned. The 5 E learning cycle then moves into Evaluation of the learning. If appropriate, the cycle begins again. This is a wonderful learning model to use for inquiry based learning.
So now that all the pieces of the learning cycle are in place , what was the difference in learning results? Because the students were allowed to play with what they had learned, regarding differentiation of instruction, they began to move into the Evaluation mode of the cycle naturally. Questions arose, scenarios where being discussed, and the language of the instruction was being used appropriately. The learners were confident and left with ideas of how to take the learning back into the work place. This was a drastic difference compared to the first version of the workshop. So yes, it did take a little bit longer, but the results prove that the time was worth the investment.
So what’s lesson here? We all know that time is valuable and limited. So to maximize student learning within the given time have a good instructional model in place and don’t take any shortcuts because you “think” you don’t have enough time. If you take the shortcuts, chances are you will end up spending twice the amount of time and run the risk of still not being effective with your instruction.