This phase of the learning activity introduces the topic, and explains how the topic relates to previously learned topics or learning brought to the session. It should build expectations and motivate the learner by focusing on relevance and usefulness of what is to be learned.
This phase of the design is intended to establish and/or validate the learning objectives, and to ensure complete and correct understanding of what is expected during the activity. It is important that all participants know how achievement of the objective will be evaluated.
This phase of the lesson should provide an ‘experience’ for the learner to stimulate his or her curiosity, to stimulate a real-world problem or issue. A film, a role-play, reading or a case study all involve the learner directly in the experience. A lecture does not constitute an experience, but may be appropriate for some topics.
Having experienced an activity or a discussion, the next phase of the lesson should cause the learner to reflect on the experience. Questions, used effectively, will facilitate such reflection. Essentially this segment focuses on what happened. Small group discussions are commonly used for reflection.
Next, participants draw generalizations and state conclusions from the reflection phase. These might include do’s and don’ts for carrying out a task. This segment asks, “What can we learn from the experience? What new or revised skill, knowledge or attitude is being acquired (learned)?” This is also an appropriate time for the facilitator to add to any points that were missed.
In this phase of the lesson participants are asked to suggest ways they might apply their new skills and knowledge. In addition, the instructor should devise ways of having participants use what they have learned by way of a case study, a role-play, an exercise, and practice, practice, practice. This portion asks, “How can we use what we learned’?”
This section relates to the lesson objectives and provides a test of whether or not each participant has satisfactorily achieved them. As much as possible, this test should simulate real-world conditions and should provide measurable and observable evidence that skills have been developed, knowledge has been gained and attitudes have changed. This may be a pre and post test, or it may simply be asking the right questions.