Lesson Planning: The Key to Be a Good Teacher

Lesson planning is an important step in the teaching process. A well-planned lesson or a lecture can keep students’ interest and help achieve the objectives of the teaching activity. You may be a natural ‘planner’ in teaching, i.e. you may plan your lessons carefully, breaking down the lesson into several sections and using specific strategies in each section without developing a specific lesson plan. However, a specific lesson plan helps you to carefully design your lesson, especially if you’re an early career academic trying to find the best combination of teaching tactics for you.

The following is a lesson plan prepared for a 90-minute lecture for an introduction to social media for undergraduate students in their first years.

Section Duration Objective Teaching Strategy
1 5 minutes Warm-up Warm-up Questions

The teacher asks several simple questions (e.g., Please raise your hands if you use social media, What is your favorite social media platform? Why do you like the platform? When was the last time you used social media)?

2 10 minutes Introduce the definitions Lecture

Teacher discusses the objectives of the lesson. Several definitions of social media are introduced to the class.

3 15 minutes Discuss the history of social media Group Activity

Students are put in groups of five and asked to develop a timeline that shows the development of social media platforms. Students are asked to use their laptops/celll phones to find information from the Internet. Then the groups are asked to share their timelines with the class and discuss what is missing in each timeline

4 15 minutes Introduce main theoretical perspectives in the field Lecture

The teacher spends 15 minutes to discuss several key theoretical perspectives in the field of social media studies. Names of the main scholars in the field are introduced, and the nature of the scholarly debate is described

5 20 minutes Discuss the main reading Group Activity and Class Discussion

  • Students are put in groups of three and asked to discuss the things they learned from/thought were interesting in the reading (10 minutes).
  • Without re-arranging the class, the following questions are asked: 1) What is the main argument made in the reading? What theoretical foundations were used by the authors to discuss the nature of social media platforms? Can we apply those theories to understand every social media platform? If not, what sort of platforms require new conceptual perspectives? (10 minutes)
6 20 minutes To critically examine the impact of social media platforms in society Video/Documentary

A 15-minute documentary/short video will be played by the instructor. The class is then asked to share their views on the documentary.

7 5 minutes Summarize the key points Lecture

The instructor reminds the objective of the session, and summarizes the lessons learned

You can see that the above lesson plan includes seven sections, with each section not longer than 20 minutes. The plan also uses several teaching tactics, such as short conventional lecture-type descriptions, group discussions, group activities, as a well as a video that the class watches together. this combination of different modes of teaching breaks the monotony and keeps the student engaged. If you have a heavy teaching load, preparing plans for each lesson might look too much work. However, careful lesson planning can greatly enhance the quality of your teaching.

Chamil Rathnayake

Traversing Bits

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