Learning Experience Design

Learning Experience Design
Relevant Background: This is the first lesson of the final module, of the final course for HiSET students. In this course, they have already learned grammar and sentence structure plus how to write a five-paragraph essay. In this module, they will apply all of their learning to the essay they must write for the HiSET Language Subtest. The timed essay is based off two passages, which each present one side of an issue. Students must read the passages, form an opinion, and write a 4-5 paragraph essay.  At the end of each lesson, students will apply the material to a real-life situation, culminating in well-written email addressing a current situation.
Design Elements:  Applying the AGILE model, a version of this course was published for instructors to use with their students in a hybrid or online setting. The instructors and students provided significant feedback and I collected data on the students’ essay scores. With those pieces of feedback, plus what I have learned this semester, I restructured the course and the instructors elected to be a bigger part of content creation. While this is one lesson I have recorded, other instructors will record the other lessons.

Warm Up

What’s Your Opinion?

Inside Canvas, this video (and the rest) will pause and a question will pop up. After students answer, they get feedback and they get to see other students’ answer. Vid-Grid doesn’t play nicely outside of Canvas, so the question is not showing up here.


From Opinion to Position

Students evaluate these statements as opinions or facts:

  1. All students should be supplied with computers for free. 

  2. Advancements in technology are always beneficial.

  3. Experts say we should eat three meals a day. 

  4. The blue whale is the largest ocean animal.


Form a Position from Paired Passages

(The same video is used for the Introduction and Modeling)

Students read two positions and form their own:

  1. Passage 1: The government should invest in further space exploration.
    Passage 2: Further space exploration at this time is a waste of money.

  2. Passage 1: Tattoos and piercings should not be regulated by employers. 
    Passage 2: Employers should regulate the tattoos and piercings of their employees in order to keep the appearance of their company professional.

Guided Practice

Read Two Positions and Form Your Own

Inside Canvas, I coded tabs to break this learning into small chunks. Each step is its own tab, and there is one that has the two paired passages.

Click the PDF for the content of this section


Timed Assignment in the Performance Context

Set up as a quiz in Canvas, this assessment is as close to the performance context as possible. It is timed and uses actual HiSET essay topics and passages. Students will see these passages again and will build on the position they write. At the end of the module, they will have written an essay one step at a time.


Write an Opinion Statement in a Real-World Context

Applying Adult Education theories, particularly contextualization and transformative learning, this is my favorite part of this module. In this assignment, students are introduced to a real-world situation and asked to develop a position statement on how to handle it. In each lesson, they will apply their new skill to the situation and their end result will be an email structured as an argumentative essay they could send to their neighbors.

Context: Your neighborhood has been experiencing some break-ins. Cars and homes have been targeted and the situation is escalating to break-ins nearly every weekend. Last week your neighbor across the street found his home had been broken into and nearly $5,000 worth of items had been taken. To combat the situation, some of your neighbors are organizing a neighborhood crime watch. They want to hear from each household how to best stop the crimes.

Assignment: Write an opinion statement that expresses your own ideas on how to monitor, report, and/or stop these break-ins.