Creating a Significant Learning Environment

Designed thinking combined with a Significant Learning Environment will have a motivational impact on my innovation plan.  The focus in my online course for the past five weeks has been on learning and how to create a significant learning environment and now we are piecing together the components.



We began learning by studying a New Culture of Learning. A New Culture of Learning is embracing what we don't know and asking questions in an effort to learn more. We learned the steps to take to set up an environment that allows for a culture to emerge.

Next we focused on our own learning which can improve critical thinking skills and provide a knowledge of logic. I reflected and developed my Learning Philosophy, a learning philosophy is something that suggests what a learner has discovered and come to believe.  So with my logic in check it was now time to focus on strategies for designing a course. First we studied  “A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning” by Dee Fink.  Fink's 3 column table is a useful resource for a more productive broader course and entails the overall goal for the course.  Designing A Balanced Blend  is an overview on Fink's 3 column table and it includes my Big Hairy Audacious Goal for the course I planned. Fink suggests that we engage in "backwards design" of courses beginning with the outcomes as a result of the course.Plenty of resources are always useful so we studied another template for designing a course, the UbD template. The UBD focuses more on purpose, it is useful for designing lessons within the course.   Understanding By Design by Grant and McThighe was a useful for completing my template,Making Magic with Backwards Design is an overview of the two models focusing on "Backwards Design".

Finally the last component for our strategy towards a significant learning environment was to develop a  Growth Mindset Plan . People with a growth mindset believe that they can increase their intelligence and improve their capabilities through effort and determination. A fixed mindset is when we believe we are either good at something or we are not good at it, we see ourselves with fixed intelligence and capabilities which can be harmful.  

A Growth Mindset and a New Culture of Learning go hand in hand it entails learning what we do not know and improving or becoming a better student through experience. In addition to a motivational impact, the templates will have an influence since it will guide educators with a good design—of curriculum, assessment, and instruction—focused on developing and deepening understanding of important ideas. All of these components combined will cultivate a Significant Learning Environment and facilitate learning for students.


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Dweck, C. (2006). MINDSET. Retrieved September 24, 2016, from

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