Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

gear iconFuture ready curriculum, instruction, and assessment begins with involved and innovative leaders who support educators and learners in using data to create a learner-centered environment. Educators ensure equity in opportunity, and design academic content and instruction by leveraging adaptive technologies, tools, pedagogies, and resources to ensure relevance and deep understanding of complex topics. Access to multimodal, multiformat, and multi-sourced high-quality academic content greatly improves learner experience and promotes equitable academic opportunities. Educators apply innovative approaches to content design to accommodate for learner variability. Learner-centered, culturally relevant instruction creates opportunities to provide multiple perspectives on and around content, engage locally and globally with peers and experts, personalize learning for students, and encourage learner reflection on their own work and that of others. Educators assess competencies more fully as learners leverage technology to offer multiple pathways to demonstrate and deliver learning outcomes. Intentional collection of learners’ understanding and progress is central to a responsive learner-centered environment. Learner data provides countless avenues of insight, serving as building blocks of assessment (diagnostic, formative, and summative); indicators of interest; and metrics of progress. Future ready educators rely upon data to inform instruction and improve the efficacy, expediency, and efficiency of learning. Similarly, future ready students develop data familiarity and fluency as well as the skills to better self-assess content mastery progress.

Future Ready Skills for Deeper Learning

Future ready curriculum, instruction, and assessment are based on clear expectations that all students will leave the K–12 education system sufficiently and successfully prepared for college acceptance, career pathways, and workplace readiness. These expectations not only mandate solid grounding in standards-based content but also require intentional integration and support of future ready skills like critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, innovation, and self-direction. Instructional leaders emphasize a comprehensive and inclusive K–12 digital citizenship curriculum designed to introduce and support the complexities of media literacy. A robust digital citizenship curriculum addresses three comprehensive themes: (1) respect, (2) educate, and (3) protect.

Respect includes the following topics:

  • digital accessadvocating for learners rights and access;
  • digital etiquettepracticing appropriate online conduct; and
  • digital lawunderstanding legalities of digital work, identity, and/or property.

Educate includes the following topics:

  • digital communicationdeveloping awareness and fluency of multiple digital communication media and making appropriate decisions for use;
  • digital literacylearning in a digital society; and
  • digital commercebecoming informed and effective consumers.

Protect includes the following topics:

  • digital rights and responsibilitiesinforming and protecting basic digital rights (e.g., privacy, freedom of speech);
  • digital safety and securityunderstanding how best to protect information housed online and/or in digital media; and
  • digital health and wellnessunderstanding the health and wellness implications (e.g., physical, mental, emotional) of technology.

Future ready classrooms embed culturally relevant literacy into course content and provide opportunities for authentic learning in the context of today’s diverse, globally and digitally connected society.

Personalized Learning

Personalization involves tailoring content, pacing, and feedback to the academic, social, and emotional needs of each learner. This includes developing multiple pathways through which learners are empowered to design, approach, and solve complex issues. Educators feature anti-racist, diverse and inclusive learning resources and materials, leverage technologies, and employ data collection and analyses to personalize learning experiences for each student. In doing so, conditions are created for learner autonomy, increased engagement, and individual goal setting.

Collaborative, Relevant, and Applied Learning

In future ready learning environments, curricula and content are embedded authentically within global and problem-based challenges, similar to the work of professionals in the larger society. Students collaborate with educators, fellow students, and others outside of the school environment on projects that often (1) involve the creation of knowledge-related products, (2) foster deep learning, and (3) have value beyond the classroom walls. Technology is used as a tool to enhance learning, such as when students connect with a school across the country on a community issue to identify and create solutions collaboratively.

Leveraging Technology

Future ready educators support and challenge student learning by integrating adaptive and emerging technologies appropriately and seamlessly into teaching and learning cycles and processes. Educators skillfully evaluate, adopt, and integrate multiple highly effective learning technologies to support a diverse range of learners, and ensure equity in access in the process. As content structures and needs fluctuate, educators respond with agility, fluency, and confidence assuring chosen pedagogical practices, instructional resources, and tools best reflect intended learning goals.

Assessment—Analytics Inform Instruction

Districts and schools use technology where appropriate to diagnose students’ learning differences. Through authentic formative and summative assessment, educators use performance data to change the pace and breadth of content to meet students’ needs. School systems have mechanisms such as team data meetings that result in clear next steps after analyzing data (i.e., processes and digital environments) that help educators use data to improve, enrich, and guide the learning process for all students. Educators actively use data to guide decisions that impact all students to improve learning most effectively. Similarly, students use data as confident self-directed learners, analyzing and assessing metrics to inform next tasks, resource acquisition, and content engagement strategies to meet personalized learning goals.

Featured Resource

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[Blog] Supporting Exceptional Students Through Student-Centered Learning Strategies

Learn the unique approaches educators and leaders can apply to ensure that students with disabilities have the resources they need to engage in personalized student-centered learning

Implementation Guide

Alignment to Learning Sciences and Evidence

Implement instructional strategies that align with and build on learning and human development research.

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