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Stages of the Maturity Model 


Blocks showing five steps in the Maturity Model

1. Do

Get started with what you have.

The Do Stage is where we all start out and, for many, getting to this stage involves an initial venture into on-line teaching. As we shift from traditional classroom modalities into an on-line learning management system, we are challenged to simply convert and rethink those classroom-based pedagogies and assignments. For some, getting to active or adaptive learning is far in the future. We just want to figure out how this all works.

Characteristics & Examples:

  • Video recordings of traditional 60-90 minute lectures

    • Or even the most difficult concepts 

  • Assignments “handed out” and submitted via learning management system (LMS)

  • E-mails to instructor as principal online connection

  • Traditional readings and assignments

  • Brief (5-10 minute) activity to engage students/firm up learning

  • Formative assessment using online tools to guide the lesson

  • All quizzes placed in LMS for online completion

2. Ramp Up

Commit to learning and doing more

The Ramp Up Stage usually involved getting past the technical issues of learning and using the features of our learning management systems, and begins looking at some early best practices for changing the way we think about our teaching in the digital realm. We might still struggle to let go of some of our analog-world ways, but we begin to see the new taking form in our teaching more and more, and we stop seeing online tools and leadership mandates as a burden to be endured.

Characteristics & Examples:

  • Discussion infrastructure in place for interactions

  • More topical video instruction in smaller chunks

  • Learners pull more than instructors push

  • Topic or unit level stand-alone assignments

  • Small group work online

  • Using online tools to provide online office hours outside of normal school hours

3. Apply

Create your new normal.

The Apply Stage is where a lot of the transformation takes place. We stop seeing ourselves as analog instructors, and start to see ourselves as digital instructors who can do even better. We can be at this stage for a long time because there is so much opportunity to do more using creative tools and capabilities that seem to arise all the time.

Characteristics & Examples:

  • More things to do, fewer things to read

  • Driven by learner-to-learner discussions

  • Assignments span units incrementally

  • Instructors as moderators and coaches

  • Create/use interactive videos in place of passive videos, use the data to adjust instruction as necessary 

  • Formative assessments allow students to keep “failing forward”

  • Connect students to help them form their own communities of learning

  • Frequent quizzes/tests on a steady schedule support knowledge retrieval

  • Use of alternative enhanced discussion boards that allow for video posting to increase online presence

  • Accommodate student choice and preference in assessments--assessments are flexible enough for students to be able to focus on subject matter/topics of most interest to them. 

4. Flip

Challenge and discard assumptions.

The Flip Stage requires us to rethink the role and character of our students in our classes. There’s a small danger of getting stuck, plateauing, in the previous stage. Getting to the Apply Stage, we saw major changes in our instructional design and methods, and probably some change in our pedagogy – but much of what we achieved getting there didn’t necessarily challenge our thinking about learning theory or the organizational development of our students. As we mature our capability, roles sometimes get reversed, and the responsibility for the breadth and depth of content and learning start to shift in ways that can make us uncomfortable as we have to let go of some of the control we’ve always relied upon.

Characteristics & Examples:

  • Learners choose from available pathways

  • Learner-generated content supersedes direct instruction

  • Peer-to-peer interactions and assessments dominate

  • Short content (instructional videos) - learners view prior to live interactive virtual classes 

  • Students have choices on how to create multimedia assignments

  • Have students create videos of their learning - eg. solving a problem and walking through how they did it - share with the class/teacher

  • Good content scaffolding allows students to fail, learn from it and move forward

  • Use of adaptive learning technologies for assessments

  • Allow students to generate the thread of the discussions by eliminating the predetermined prompts.

  • Incorporate problem-based learning--either structured or ill-structured problems where collaborative groups determine methodology/approaches for solving the problem themselves

5. Transform

Reinvent teaching and learning.

The Transform Stage is an ongoing journey stage. Our ability to adapt in our courses and learning is continuous and is never really complete. In fact, with new research coming out all the time, the meaning of transformative active learning can be expected to evolve and expand into the future. 

Characteristics & Examples:

  • Learners personalize specialization of content and delivery

  • Assessments create and share something real

  • Courses interact with the world in real-time

  • Students create/contribute to a body of knowledge created through collaboration

  • Students practice/apply 21st century skills that will be leveraged beyond formal courses into careers and global citizenship

  • The instructor acts as a facilitator enabling learning rather than controlling the learning

  • Presentations of case studies/scenarios

  • Sharing of problem or situation analysis connected to learning