It has been a while since I read this chapter of Creating Significant Learning Experiences and have just had a glance over it again.  It is the biggest chapter so far around 42 pages and is really part I of II.

In this chapter m Fink covers 3 of 12 steps of integrated course design.  I have finally figured out why I have problems with some of this approach but before I address those I will explain the 3 steps considered.

The first step is identifying situational factors.  What is expected of the unit being taught?  Is it easy to digest as it is introductory? is there just a right answer to a question?  what is expected by stakeholders?  and what is the nature of the teacher?

The second step is to formulate significant learning goals.  This is actually illustrated nicely across a series of fields for demonstration purposes.

The third step is to formulate feedback and assessment procedures.  How do we mark and how do we give feedback?  This is not an easy issue.  One issue of the feedback requires is that it should be high FIDeLity – Frequent, Immediate, Discriminating and done Lovingly.

I now remember why I love this book as it makes suggestions as to how to do all these things in a very practical manner.  I also realise why I have a problem with this as in the Australian situation many of these items are created away from the lecturer in accreditation documents and need lots more time than is given to them.

Now if I start to apply this to church I realise why I like some of Andy Stanley’s writings as I think he embodies these sort of ideas.  I notice more pastors are becoming intentional about their thinking on what should be preached (learning goals).  Some pastors are aware of the limitations of the audience, the audience’s expectations and the place where they minister (situational context).  Finally good church leaders will give high FIDeLity feedback when something has happened.

In other words, like I have been thinking, a good church and a good educational environment will be similar,  but more of that another time.