The educator designs and reflects on the implementation of curriculum (in terms of unit planning) which uses computational thinking to address big ideas.
If we want students to be able to apply what they learn in school and use it in new situations, teaching should support students in constructing enduring understandings of course material. Learners construct understandings by becoming aware of the relationships between individual ideas and skills, and perceiving deeper structures which make them part of a cohesive whole. Computational thinking is well-suited to developing understandings of core ideas in many content areas. In addition to providing new ways of understanding those ideas, the application of computational thinking to different subject areas has also led to new ideas which have expanded and transformed those fields.
Backwards planning is a broadly-accepted pedagogical best practice. In backwards planning, an educator starts with the big ideas or essential questions they want students to understand, considers how students might demonstrate such an understanding (assessment), and then designs activities which will help students grow from what they can already do to being able to successfully demonstrate understanding. When backwards planning a unit that integrates computational thinking, it is important to integrate computational thinking at each step:
To earn the micro-credential, you must earn a ‘passing’ evaluation for Parts 1 and 3, and a ‘Yes’ for each component of Part 2. In the assessment of this micro-credential, an educator will plan and teach a curriculum unit in which students use computational thinking to construct understandings of an essential or big idea. The educator will submit and explain a backwards-planned plan for the unit, and will submit a portfolio of student work showing how students used computational thinking to construct an understanding.
(300-word limit total)
Please answer the following questions about your teaching context. In Part 2, you will be asked to explain why the curriculum unit you designed is a good fit for your students and your subject area.
To earn this micro-credential, please submit the following:
1) Unit plan design
Submit a curriculum unit plan in which students use computational thinking to construct and demonstrate understanding of a question or idea. As a rough guide, the unit plan’s scope should be 10-30 hours of class time. The unit plan should clearly articulate:
2) Portfolio of student work
Additionally, submit a portfolio documenting two students’ learning over the course of the unit. The portfolio should include at least two artifacts per student showing each student’s growth over the course of the unit. These artifacts may include work created by the student, a student reflection on the lesson, the teacher’s or a colleague’s observation notes, a video recording, etc.
(500-word limit total)
As you answer the following questions, refer to specific examples in the unit plan and the portfolio. The scoring guide in this section focuses on your responses to these questions; the unit plan and portfolio are only considered as supporting evidence.
Reflecting on the lesson, what might you change that would support one or more students (not necessarily the students whose work was considered in Part 2) to more effectively use computational thinking to develop or demonstrate understanding of the big idea or essential question?