Planning an Effective Lesson

Importance of Planning

Planning is a vital component to being an effective instructor. When you plan more, you will see an improvement in the flow and delivery of your content. Your students will also see a competent instructor who has an organized class and this is something students appreciate!   It is important that you take time to lay out a plan for your classes to ensure success for both you and your students.

Learn more about: Importance of Planning

Four Key Questions

Before planning can begin, consider the four questions listed below:
The answers to these questions will help you begin your class planning process.

  1. What shall I teach?
  2. How shall I teach?
  3. How can I organize it?
  4. How can I assess it?

Look at the two flowcharts below. Consider the differences between how instructors teach versus how instructors plan.

How Instructors    Teach

How Instructors    Should Plan

How Instructors Teach Versus How Instructors Plan

In the preceding flow charts, did you notice any differences between how instructors teach versus how they plan? Inexperienced instructors tend to plan in the same order as they teach, but soon learn that this is not an effective method. Here is a brief explanation of how an instructor should consider planning.

Learn more about: How Instructors Teach Versus How Instructors Plan

Overview of the Student Learning Perspective

Model of Student Learning

This diagram depicts the model of how a student learns. A student arrives in to a learning experience with previous experiences and knowledge. They also have a perception of the learning and various approaches to how they’ll learn that significantly affects how much they will learn and to what quality. When we do not consider the perceptions and approaches to learning and jump directly to learning outcomes, we inaccurately design learning experiences without considering all the student perspectives.

Model of Student    Learning

Note: there is not a direct link from course/departmental learning context to achievement of learning outcomes – rather we must consider students’ perception of the context and this influences their approach to learning

Watch the Art of Teaching Video

VIU faculty members featured in The Art of Teaching include professionals with a range of experience from those with just a few years in the classroom to others who have found ways to keep their approach fresh after more than 30 years on the job.

Lesson Plan Resources

Sample Lesson Planning Template

An example lesson plan with examples built in. Take a look at this handout if you want to see an example lesson plan already created for you.

Sample Lesson Plan

VIU Lesson Plan Template

This template is partially filled out and is a good starting place for someone who wants an easy to follow format for a lesson plan.

VIU Lesson Plan Template

VIU Lesson Plan Template - Blank 

For those who have experience or are wanting to develop their own lesson plan - this blank template gives you an opportunity to build your own format for a lesson

VIU Blank Lesson Plan Template

Planning Experiences

A checklist that will help you see how you plan and what you do to plan most of the time.

What Are Your Planning Experiences