What Other Teachers Do When Teach Similar Course

An Online Database Exploration Lesson
for Pre-Service Teachers (College Level)

Designed by Su Tuan Lulee



Introduction | Acquaint | Ask | Arrange | Apply | Evaluation |Credits |Home


A good lesson plan is essential to a successful course. A lesson plan contains your most precious asset - your teaching ideas. Your lesson plan is your genius and creativity that can be used to reach your students in ways they had never imagined before!

To design a lesson plan, we will need all our creativity. Although it's an enjoyable task, we all have a time that innovation idea just won't come out or we were wondering if there is better ways to teach the lesson. What will other teachers do when teach a similar lesson? What materials will other teachers choose? What activities will other teachers deploy? Will they leverage technologies? There are many things to consider when planning for your courses. This database explore learning activity will provide you with the chance to reference some important information about your lesson plans as well as allow you to investigate from a point of view that you may not have considered before. The stones of those hills may be used to polish gems. Look at what other teachers do when teach similar course with you can really inspire you with great idea.

Acquaint Yourself

In this lesson you will be provided several websites that contain rich resources of various lesson plans. Click here to go to one of the web site. For practicing, choose Science from Lesson Plan category section, then select Steller Web Spinning Mystery from the list that is opened to you on the new page. You will be lead to a complete lesson plan. Spend about 5-10 minutes exploring the lesson plan and related materials. When you are done, use this form to describe what you have observed. Once you have written down the information, check with your fellow students to see if you have similar record.

Ask for Information

In this lesson you will explore websites that contain rich resources of various lesson plans. They are,

You need to begin by thinking of the subject that you are interested in. Once you have decided on your subject, go through all four websites, look for lessons in your category, to find the following information on each lesson plan:

  • Teaching activities for different teaching phases
  • Required readings
  • Material (flash cards, plates, and etc.) used in the lesson
  • Media (video, audio, websites, and etc.) used in the lesson
  • Methods for evaluating learning outcomes
  • Cross-curricular Extensions
  • Real-life connections
  • Additional resources

Write down your findings for each lesson on the work chart. Different lessons might describe similar information differently so be sure to read between lines and dig out all information you need.

Arrange the Answers

Now that you have recorded the information of lesson plans, you need to organize the information in a way that will allow you to analyze the information easily. You might like to arrange your data on an Excell spreadsheet. Take the row heading on work chart as the row heading in spreadsheet.

In order to sort by category, you need to use exactly the same words or phrases to describe the information that falls in the same category, e.g., music and recorded lecture are both in the category of 'audio', you don't want to use different words for them in your spreadsheet. Use 'audio' to describe all acoustic media; use 'video' to describe all visual media; use 'solo' and 'group' to describe format of teaching activities; use 'quiz', 'writing', 'presentation', and 'project' to describe methods for assessments; and etc. Enter all your data from your work chart.

When you finish key in data, sort by whatever key words that might have meaning to you with Excel (Find Sort feature in Data menu. You can also find more details about sorting in online help in Excel). For example, you could sort by 'quiz' to find out how often does teachers use quiz to evaluate students' learning outcomes. Play with different key words, find the patterns for your subject teaching.

Apply What You've Learned

Now that you've organized your findings, it's time for analysis. What does the data tell you? Anything that you didn't know or notice before? How will you modify your original course design? Write a report paper (1000 to 2000 words) to depict your reflection and join us in the discussion forum next Monday.


Your performance will be evaluate using this rubric:

1 = not acceptable       2 = could be better     3 = acceptable     4 = outstanding

The database was adequately searched.        
The work chart was adequately recorded with more than 10 lesson plans.        
The key words used in the spreadsheet could adequately categorize the information.        
The report contains solid content, was focus to the topic, and was well-structured.        
Actively participate in and contribute to the reflection discussion forum.        





Design a course won't be easy. You'll need all your creativity. This activity was designed to let you know how you could learn from other teachers when you feel that you have run out of your innovative idea or you have a very limit of time for preparing a lesson plan.

You will benefit more if you explore deeper into the lesson plan databases by thinking questions like,

  • Does the lesson plan meet the national or state standard?
  • How technologies facilitate teaching?
  • How to seperate a course-long activity into phases?

There is no limit to knowledge!

Credits & References

Image was provided by Gao Min After School, photographed by Susan Lulee.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License.

Last updated on July 4th, 2007. Based on a template from EDTEC 570