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BHAG and Designing a Professional Development Course

Planning with the End in Mind

For my innovation project, I developed a course design using Fink's (n.d.) guide in order to create significant learning to be used for my blended learning of professional development of technology integration. At first, I was intimidated to write a whole course guide but then I fell back on my curriculum writing experience. The two are not so different, both start with you thinking of your end goal and then you work backward to determine the skills needed to get you there.

I started by developing a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) for my learners; educators

that I was assisting to integrate technology into their classroom. I asked myself what did I want them to remember and be able to do 2 - 3 years after they completed my course. My BHAG is that learners will create a blended learning environment for their classroom which provides their learners Choice, Ownership, and Voice through Authentic learning opportunities (COVA). From there I examined my learners and myself using questions from Fink's (n.d.) guide covering the following topics.

  • Specific Context of the Teaching/Learning Situation

  • General Context of the Learning Situation

  • Nature of the Subject

  • Characteristics of the Learners

  • Characteristics of the Teacher

Finally, I used Fink's Taxonomy of Significant Learning to develop goals for each level of learning in the 3 column table below. I combined the human design and caring components into one goal. You can see my working document here.

I enjoyed working with Fink's design as it made me reflect on myself as a learner and it helped me to focus on what is the most important things I want my learners to remember. I even applied the idea of setting the goal first when planning my ISTE experience. There are so many sessions to choose from! My ISTE focus will be on ways to incorporate student choice, ownership, and voice in authentic learning environments and learn creative ways to apply that to professional development. Once I determined my focus, it makes session choices much easier.

I am excited to incorporate my course this coming school year! I'm ready to make a difference in my district and spark the flame of the learning revolution by creating significant learning environments one classroom at a time.


Fink, L. D. (n.d.). A Self directed guide to designing courses for significant learning. Retrieved from

Harapnuik, D. (n.d.). COVA. [online] It's About Learning. Retrieved from [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

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