For my unit-sized lesson plan, I prepared and delivered a four-session unit on “skills and values” for a Vocational Exploration course being tought by two of my colleagues. The course is one credit hour, pass/fail, seven weeks long, offered in the second half of the semester. In fall 2019, it met Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:10-1:00 pm, in a computer lab in the library. There were eight students in the class, ranging from first-years to seniors. Their majors included Business, Criminal Justice, and Psychology. I had existing relationships with four of them; the other four I did not know. The lessons that I taught were scheduled for the last two weeks of the semester, the weeks before and after Thanksgiving break.
Because I knew that I had access to the necessary technology, and I anticipated less than perfect attendance, I chose to create a website for the unit, using Google sites, which housed all of the activities for the unit. The website is linked below. In class, I projected the website and the big screen and encouraged the students to navigate to the website to access the learning activities. On the two Mondays, I lectured and facilitated activities completed online. On the two Wednesdays, I introduced the larger assignments, which would be part of the final assessment in the course. We used class time to work on these activities with the opportunity for guidance and support from me and collaboration with peers. They turned in their projects using Google Docs, and I gave feedback in comments, with the intention of iterated feedback and improvement prior to final submission to the lead instructor.
When I was invited to teach this unit, I was asked to teach about “skills” and “values.” I offered to do both. Other than some descriptive language in the syllabus about hat was meant by “skills” and “values,” and some general expectations, I was free to write my objectives, which are listed below. I wrote the résumé and cover letter projects into the objectives, but they seemed to me to be logical and valuable assessments of understanding for “skills” and “values.” The learning activies leading up to those assessments included lecture, reading, mind mapping, and survey activities, all meant to focus the students’ thinking toward the assessment.
Vocational Exploration: Skills and Values
- Understand what skills are (hard, soft, transferrable) and how they are acquired.
- Identify skills acquired from education and experiences that apply to career goals.
- Create a viable résumé that focuses on skills.
- Identify and articulate personal values related to employment.
- Create a cover letter that reflects employment values and communicates skills, etc.