UbD Tree and Learning Cycles

I have made a lot of progress working on my course through the universal design, in part because I had an aha! moment the first day. I figured out that my biggest issue is needing to make everything I hope the students consider as key questions much more explicit and clear. I have been using key themes throughout for years, but underneath, there is my own sense of some of the complexity and depth of the issues, that I have introduced through quotes from famous visionaries and writers, etc. But I never have done anything with the quotes in the online classes, beyond introducing them. I realized the first day that for me, these quotes are extremely important encapsulations of the dialogue about the tension between knowledge (presented as standard sets of data and theories) and deeper understanding that sometime subverts the established wisdom about what was going on in any given civilization. I need to use these quotes in a very direct way to get the students to dig much deeper into the key themes and think about them with the insights of wisdom from these other thinkers whose quotes I am using. By asking the students to engage with these quotes and dialogue about them, instead of just reading them passively, I think the students will learn much more deeply and with an open, questioning process. It will be more controversial; it will be more challenging; I think it will add a lot of energy to the course.

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