Stackable Lessons

Stackable LessonsTM

At TEL Library, we innovate content design, development, and delivery through our Stackable LessonsTM model.

In this model, each Stackable LessonTM page is created as a self-contained learning experience designed to guide students toward ownership and mastery of a specific topic or concept. Like successful software applications, we design and construct these lesson pages using modular sections building blocks of content. These are carefully structured and ordered to promote the highest possible level of learning. This means moving students from contextualization and elaboration to relevance, or personalization, and then helping them take ownership of the information and mastering it.
We design the content and media section of our Stackable LessonsTM to scaffold and reinforce our learning progression model, and to ensure that we are presenting learners with the amount of information that they can realistically absorb and learn.
Our goal with the Stackable LessonsTM model is to move learners, via an intentional, scaffolded narrative, through a learning sequence that begins with contextualization and results in their ownership and mastery of the information presented. We accomplish this through a sequence of nine content/activity sections.

Contextualization

This model begins by providing a solid context for the information that will be presented to learners throughout the lesson. Our goal of this section to give help learners establish a personal framework that will allow them to appreciate and absorb lesson content. From a pedagogical perspective, we focus on inquiry, and prompt learners to think of a single “big” question that will help them grasp why the information matters and how it might apply to them personally. Our goal is to use this as a common thread for the lesson narrative.

Elaboration

Having provided learners a meaningful context for lesson information, we move to the elaboration phase and begin presenting our information. We do this via two content sections: (1) a video overview section, and (2) a reading section that contains core information content. These sections are tied closely to the “Big Question” or inquiry from the contextualization phase.

Relevance

At this point in our lesson, we want to move learners toward the relevance, to help them personalize lesson information. We do this in two ways. First, we insert a poll or reflection activity to remind learners that the lesson information has significance in their world. This reflection is related to the Big Question or lesson inquiry and is intended to reinforce the lesson narrative.

We also emphasize relevance in an expanded reading section, which is designed to provide a deeper and more “applied” look at the main lesson content.

Agency

Having established context, elaborate core lesson information, and demonstrated the relevance or personal importance of our lesson information, we can move learners toward information ownership or agency. We encourage this in our Stackable LessonsTM page model through a resource Toolbox that encourages learners to explore the concept further on their own.

In our courses, we provide an in-depth Evidence activity that requires learners to synthesize the information from module lessons and show ownership of the core information.

Mastery

As a final step in our model, we want to take advantage of the learning momentum created through relevance and agency, and have our learners develop content mastery. At the lesson level, we simulate this via a Check Your Knowledge quiz. For a course module, which contains 4-5 lessons, we aggregate our assessments into a longer formative summative quiz.

For college-credit courses, we supplement these items with two summative exams.