Course Templates

Building a Lesson Plan

Welcome! Provided here are the resources that teachers can use to build a lesson plan, according to a given standard, which includes a system for continuous student self-report, accountability, performance tracking, and optimal one-to-one and student group engagement. This system was developed to facilitate an optimal communities of inquiry structured learning environment as described in the link [APSTR - Blended Learning]. The available technology continues to change somewhat and the framework can now include tablet PC's and mobile devices. Please note that all of the templates presented on this page function most correctly when downloaded to your device by clicking the download button in Google Drive view.

In the State of Colorado, some example templates are available as a part of a sample curriculum project. Access to the State of Colorado samples is at this link. Sample templates are a great strategy for implementation.

This course template is designed to eventually develop into a new software platform and blended learning system that will keep track of student self-report and performance statistics per rubric, and currently an excel worksheet template is provided in order to keep track of this new kind of assessment which is developed around a Likert-scale confidence inventory instrument as shown in the example lesson plan resource on this site.

The first step in developing a course is to decide the standard for the course, in Colorado there are common-core standards available for each course which are available publicly online (CDE, 2015). Goodwin & Hubbell (2013), created a system for managing classroom time and facilitating optimal student performance as measured against rubrics that are derived and created from course standards, this re-frames the striving for optimal success in the classroom maintaining the instructor's position as an ally in reaching individually set student performance goals. The foregoing lesson plan template allows the instructor to determine the course standard, the expectations for the course, and the set of five procedural rubrics to be instructed throughout the entire course. Clicking the image will provide the lesson plan template file for download.

Figure 1. Lesson Plan Template As Seen in Microsoft Word View

After the procedural rubric has been determined, in step two the formative assessment can be developed. Note that the lesson plan template allows for the development of precisely five rubrics or essential questions for the course overall. Each week an error-checking formative evaluation based on a Likert-scale will be given in order to track student goals and each student's self-report of progress and confidence according to the unpacked skills and essential questions in the standard. Likert-scale inventories are commonly used instruments and are usually employed as a self-report measure of confidence (Stangor, 2011). Silver, Smith & Greene (2001), write a good example of a self-report system designed to measure student confidence and self-efficacy. The template available for download here allows an instructor to convert the performance rubrics for each given week in a course into a self-report scale that tracks individual student progress throughout the course term. Clicking the image shown will download the template for student self-report assessment. The form is completed by designing essential statements for each of the five declared rubrics and filling them into the self-report instrument. Acquiescent responding is a known phenomenon in Likert-scale inventories (Stangor, 2011). To detect and prevent acquiescent responding the instructor reverses the intended statement for two of the statements in the inventory.

Figure 2. Likert-scale Instrument Template As Shown in Microsoft Word Format.

Note that in each assessment a performance rubric is created and given to each student. This can be the overall course rubric or the rubric containing expectations for the upcoming week. In a communities of inquiry format, rubric measure number five always includes a combination of class participation and summative evaluation. The summative evaluation is developed according to the instructor's discretion, though a 10-20 question multiple choice assessment is recommended as a part of the final grade for the course. Goodwin & Hubbell (2013), add that multiple choice assessments are a great way to check in on student progress according to the course rubrics, and that open ended questions may also be used in this type of assessment.

For step three and throughout the course the Likert-scale inventory can be given on a routine basis to track student progress and to facilitate the engagement for instructor-student discussion and processing of feedback. In the course plan fifteen minutes is designated for the instructor to work with students individually and discuss the feedback presented through the instrument, and also for students to complete any individual assignments as the instructor is working in one-to-one sessions. In step four as the course develops, the instructor completes this self-report tally sheet to track the progress of the class, saving one workbook for each assessment given. Clicking the image will allow for the download of the Microsoft Excel workbook for tracking weekly statistics.

Figure 3. Weekly Tally Sheet As Shown in Microsoft Excel View.

This tally sheet allows for the measurement of student self-efficacy as it is directly related to each of the rubrics created for the course. In step five it is recommended that the assessment be given weekly or on a regular meeting basis, and then a chart be generated showing the means of student outcomes by rubric within Microsoft Excel. An additional workbook could be created to compare the mean scores for the class according to each rubric on a week by week basis, using charts like the one shown.

Figure 4. Example Weekly Rubric Mean Score Progress Chart By Rubric

By continuously tracking student self-efficacy and progress according to the procedural rubric developed previously in this example, the instructor can tailor the instruction of the course to focus on the subject of the most need among participants. This system also allows for timely feedback every time the class meets, and helps to facilitate participation and confidence in a communities of inquiry setting. The assessments are then used to measure student performance on the final grade, along with summative assessments given in the course and the instructor's assessment of student participation in class as provided in the procedural rubric created in step one.

This concludes the presentation on the development of a student efficacy-based accountability system for use in the classroom, according to common-core standards and procedures developed in the State of Colorado.


Colorado Department of Education CDE (2015). Colorado Standards. Retrieved from:

Goodwin, B. & Hubbell, E. (2013). The 12 touchstones of good teaching: A checklist for staying focused every day. Denver, CO: McREL.

Silver, B., Smith, E. & Greene, B. (2001). A study strategies self-efficacy instrument for use with college students. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 61(5), 849-865.

Stangor, C. (2011). Research methods for the behavioral sciences (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.