Differentiated Learning

Differentiated Learning

In order to realize our vision of classrooms which are student-centered, technology-enhanced, academically-strong, innovative learning environments, Notre Dame employs the following learning modalities throughout the academic environment:

Active Lecture

Instructor-led presentation of course content will begin with a specific stated objective and will be accompanied by integration of the iPad learning platform and the Notability App for structured note taking. Presentations will be accompanied by effective use of multi-media including keynote, Apple TV, video presentations and web content. Integration of the iPad learning platform and Notability App is required. Students will be instructed on how to use specific note taking strategies and will follow each Active Lecture with rewriting and collaborative revisions of notes. Following lecture and note taking, students will apply lecture content to an assignment or activity to reinforce the materials.

Discussion/Group Analysis

Through the use of Socratic Method, students will be presented with a topic for discussion which relates to course content with specific objectives. Methods will be used to solicit maximum participation from each student. Use of the iPad learning platform should include active discussion threads and active note taking utilizing Notability. Classroom discussions will be followed by a summary assignment analyzing and synthesizing the discussion content, such as op-ed piece or short position essay.

Collaborative Learning/Small Group Activities

Collaborative learning involves grouping and pairing of students for the purpose of achieving an academic goal. Students at various performance levels will work together in small groups toward a common goal prescribed in the learning objective. The students are responsible for one another’s learning as well as their own, such that the success of one student helps other students be successful. Culminating assignments can be group projects, individual projects, or both.

Individual Learning Activities

Individual Learning Activities will be used to reinforce course content and to meet specific learning objectives. Traditional assignments such as research papers, essays, problem solving, reading assignments, and review questions will be complemented by iPad platform assignments such as electronic publishing, video productions, and Keynote presentations. The iPad learning platform will be used to complement all individual learning assignments.

Projects/Project-Based Learning

Traditional projects follow the instructional process and are used to analyze and synthesize the content related to the stated objectives. Projects can be individual or of a group nature. Projects are often used as alternative assessments to determine student mastery of the specified learning objectives.

Project-based learning is a dynamic approach to teaching in which students explore real-world problems and challenges. With this type of active and engaged learning, students are inspired to obtain a deeper knowledge of the subjects they’re studying. Students utilize questioning, inquiry, and critical thinking skills in order to solve real-world problems. Instructors use problem-based learning to teach through the project, not as a culminating assignment that follows instruction. With project-based learning, the inquiry process starts with a guiding question and lends itself to collaborative projects that integrate various subjects within the curriculum. Questions are asked that direct students to encounter the major elements and principles of a discipline.

Modality Ratios

In order for Notre Dame Learning Environments to be student-centered, technology-enhanced, academically-strong, innovative learning environments, the five Preferred Learning Modalities will be present in every classroom in proportions appropriate to each class level. Just as students have different learning styles, those styles develop and evolve as students mature. Therefore adjusting the ratio of the learning modalities is necessary to meet the developmental needs of each learner in each grade level.
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