What to Do with the What For

Okay, so that title won’t excite the search engines, but how many of you who use Dialogue Education go crazy with frustration every time you get to the What For step in your design process?

(For those of you who haven’t used the 8 Steps of Design, the What For is the 6th step in the curriculum design process in which you describe what it is the learners will have done with the content of each learning task, also known as Achievement-Based Objectives.)

I’ve been using Dialogue Education for a couple of years and am no expert by any means (I’ve taken Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach and SUREFire Meetings), but I’ve done enough designing to feel I should be used to the What For. Still, every time I get to that point I stumble. “What, what?” I always think, or, on my less patient days, “What the . . . ?”  Then I dig out the binder from my Learning to Listen course, and root around inside to remind myself what the What For is all about. Here’s a tip that’s worked for me:  use Will Have instead. It’s a great trigger, because every time it makes me think this:  By the end of the learning task the learner will have __________. Ahhhhh. No more stumbling.  And just when I thought I was being so original, I find that Jane Vella herself adopted the “will have” years ago (I should know this, working for Global Learning Partners . . . but, you see, we’re always learning!). Must be a good idea!

How have you modified Dialogue Education lingo to suit yourself?

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