Design Tools

Below are some of the design tools that I use. Feel free to explore them and see how they work for you.

Module Planner

This is a unit planner that I use to develop learning modules. I began with Understanding by Design as a framework. But made certain alterations that reflect the challenges that I have encountered in my experience teaching. This type of module planner is designed to help backward plan a unit, chapter, module, etc.

Assessment Design Checklist

This assessment design checklist is used to assess an assessment. The checklist includes the key questions one should ask when evaluating an assessment along with suggested evidence of understand and theoretical rationales for these criteria.

image of Assessment Design Checklist

TPACK Masher – Get Unstuck!

Solving wicked problems requires novel solutions. And given the number of variables involved and the competing interests, it feels like most teaching problems of practice are wicked problems. Therefore, in order to solve these problems we are going to have to think differently. I am reminded of a passage from one of my favorite children’s books, Top Secret by John Reynolds Gardiner. In it, a boy is stuck on a problem for his school science project, his grandfather gives him sage advice:

Demo Video for the TPACK Masher

“But I’ve tried, Grandpop. I’ve tried putting the pieces together. I just can’t seem to see the picture.”

“Have you tried thinking crazy?”


“Learn to think crazy, Allen. Let your mind go. Don’t be afraid to think of silly things, stupid things, things so ridiculous that you burst out laughing at the mere thought of them.” (Gardiner, 1999, p. 33)

One of my favorite tools for “thinking crazy” is the TPACK Mashup. We first encountered it in cooking with TPACK. I have been so taken with the practice that I actually designed an app to make TPACK-mashing easier. You can see a demonstration below and download the app here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *