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The Power of PANDA!

First off, what is PANDA and how does it work?

The PANDA methodology is a way of breaking your VLE content up so learners know where they are in the learning process, and it’s particularly useful to blend your online content around your classroom delivery using this simple approach. It also doesn’t care for the technology used, so don’t worry if you only know how to set up Google Classroom or Canvas, they can both have PANDA structure your content.

PANDA has its roots embedded within SAMR, a technology integration framework which ties really well to Blooms Taxonomy. There are resources at the bottom of the page for more detail on these important aspects.

PANDA used within Canvas

What does PANDA stand for?

PANDA is an acronym for Prepare, Activate, Navigate, Demonstrate and finally Articulate. In practice this means creating five elements, then each week, duplicate them and change the content to reflect the weekly tasks and activities. Let’s break these down a bit more, to give you a better understanding of each element.

PREPARE: Within this element, you are preparing learners for the coming week or topic. Set the scene, direct them to what they should be aware of, items to bring with them, what they should expect and what is expected of them. This doesn’t have a be a crazy, full on resource but something that draws the line, sets the expectations, objectives or goals.

ACTIVATE: Now you are guiding them with questions. Activate prior learning with video clips where they can even set their own goals is great in this element. Use text to set questions or get them thinking around a resource added to a page.

NAVIGATE: When lecturers and tutors add resources to VLE’s this is the element they normally hit. This might be your online learning resources, or it could even be what you do in your lesson if blended. If you have lesson content all in the same resource with aims and objectives and summing up of your lesson, remove it and add it to the other PANDA elements.

DEMONSTRATE: Again this could be an element you do in a classroom where a Learner demonstrates the learning taken place. If it’s online learning, create a zero point, formative assignment in Google Classroom or Canvas. Let them repeat a quiz they can learn from, let them fail and understand why with meaningful feedback. Remember Hattie? That has a great effect size, and is really valuable.

ACTICULATE: This is where learners post their understanding of what they have learnt. Peer review and support is a cracking tool in this element so use online discussions to form collaboration.

I’d just like to point out that this structure isn’t new within teaching. If you’ve taught anytime in the last 20 years you’ll know this as active learning. Its a structure that Instructure (those who built the Canvas LMS) uses within there courses to great effect.

Create some structure with PANDA!

So, what’s next?

Grab a lesson you have already created. There’s no doubt that you may already be using a similar structure but you currently add it all within a resource like one Google, Moodle or Canvas page, website or PowerPoint presentation.

Structureless within Google Classroom

The key to the PANDA methodology is to create the week in five steps, but remember this is only a guide. Maybe use two Google or Canvas page resources for the PREPARE and ACTIVATE elements, add video clips of your lesson in the workshop or digital teaching material within the NAVIGATE element, add a formative assignment for them to submit evidence of learning within the DEMONSTRATE element, then complete the cycle by adding a discussion element for ARTICULATE where they can gain peer feedback and support.

PANDA used within Google Classroom

Blend your online content around your classroom delivery with this simple approach.

Week after week you can duplicate this structure. Don’t worry if you think this is too repetitive, its not, it’s structure and builds on the SAMR framework which we will go over in the next part of the series. It’s the content which differentiates, personalises and engages, so stick with it.

Within the next part of the series we will look at the foundational framework which underpins PANDA and the first two elements in more detail, before moving on to the other elements which can change the emphasis from a teacher-led session to a student-led one.

Do you already use PANDA or a similar approach?

We’d love for you to share this good practice, so add them to the discussion below to get the conversation started.

Where do I go for support?

Not sure how to set up Google Classroom or Canvas as described above? Contact us to get up to speed over the summer.

More Resources

Visible Learning (Hattie)

Visible Learning Matrix

A Powerful Model for Understanding Good Tech Integration

Center for Teaching: Blooms Taxonomy

Next Up

Part 2: Preparing & Activating coming soon!


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