Context & Learner Analysis
Context has a complex and powerful influence upon successful performance-based learning. Contextualizing instruction makes abstract concepts more concrete, promotes understanding and retention. (Tessmer & Richey, 1997)
Why use Contextualized Teaching and Learning?
- Makes learning relevant
- Engages and motivates hard-to-reach students
- Increases learner confidence & enthusiasm
- Enhances interest in long-term goals & education
Situational Factors to Consider
Reflect on the questions below to help guide the (re)design of your course.
- Specific context of the teaching/learning situation:
- How many students are in the class?
- Is this an undergraduate course? Graduate course? Required or not?
- How long and frequent are the class meetings?
- How will the course be delivered? Live, online, lab, field? Blend, flexible?
- What physical elements of the learning environment will affect the class?
- General context of the learning situation:
- What learning expectations are placed on this course or curriculum by: the university? Department? Profession? Society?
- Nature of the subject:
- Is the subject primarily theoretical, practical or a combination of both?
- Are there important changes or controversies occurring within the field?
- Does your course relate to other courses in the dept? at UBCO?
- Characteristics of the Learners:
- What is the life situation of the learners (working, family, professional goals)?
- What prior knowledge, experiences and initial feelings do students usually have about this subject?
- What are their learning goals, expectations?
- How will the diversity of your students impact how you teach? EDI (equity, diversity & inclusion)
- Characteristics of the Instructor: (Your principles will guide selection of content, strategies and assessment.)
- What beliefs and values do you have about teaching and learning?
- What is your attitude toward: the subject? students?
- What level of knowledge or familiarity do you have with this subject?
- What are your strengths in teaching?
- What is your teaching philosophy? grading philosophy?
- What are your goals and purposes in teaching this course?
Tessmer, M., & Richey, R. (1997). The Role of Context in Learning and Instructional Design. Educational Technology Research and Development, 45(2), 85-115.