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The Delta Module Two Professional Development Assignment, Part B

test Experimental Practice

For this part of the Professional Development Assignment, you plan, prepare and teach a lesson based on materials, a technique or an approach which is/are

  1. new to you and
  2. interesting to you as part of your development

For more on how to choose a suitable topic for the assignment, see the section on writing the Experimental Practice (link at the end).  This guide is only concerned to give you an overview of what you have to do.

Before you embark on this small project, you will be well advised to follow the guide on this site to doing classroom research (new tab).  It is quite long, almost a mini-course, but will pay dividends.



The Experimental Practice is limited to 1,500 – 2,000 words.
Included in the word count are:

  1. An essay-style commentary of 1,000 – 1,600 words (depending a little on the length of the post-lesson evaluation)
  2. A post-lesson evaluation of 400 – 500 words
    1. Evaluation of the lesson: 250 – 300 words
    2. Future action: 150 – 200 words

Not included in the word count are:

All of the above are Cambridge's requirements and invariable from centre to centre.  What follows is a general overview and may vary slightly from centre to centre.  Check with your tutors.


The Commentary

There are 4 parts.

  1. Introduction (200 – 300 words)
    1. State what approach / technique / procedure / lesson type you have chosen to focus on and briefly explain your reasons for choosing this area
    2. Describe your personal interest and how it fits in with your own professional development, beliefs and practice
    3. Link this to the work you have done in Part A of the assignment
  2. Background to the area of new practice (600 – 900 words)
    The word-count for this is limited so you will need to be selective and concise.
    1. Relate the theory to what happens in the classroom
    2. Explain the underlying theory and principles behind the area you have chosen and how they are implemented in practice.
      You may want/need to include some of the following but much will depend on your topic area
      • a historical context / origin: when it was first introduced
      • how it has developed
      • how it is viewed now
      • how it has been incorporated into published materials (where relevant)
      • definitions of key terms
  3. Relevance to teaching contexts (150 – 200 words)
    1. Say what is the value of this approach / technique / lesson type to the characteristics of the learners you teach
    2. Explain how you will use the approach in your experimental lesson.  Say why you have planned the lesson in the way that you have.  Include mention of any deviations or adaptations from the original approach
  4. Experimental objectives (100 – 200 words)
    1. Identify your Experimental Objectives for the lesson.
      • Say what it is that you want to find out about the approach / technique you have chosen and what your objectives are for the learners.  These objectives should be limited in scope and measurable.  These objectives are not the same as lesson aims / outcomes
      • Explain how you will evaluate your objectives, that is, how you will judge to what extent you have achieved them.  You should have more than one way of evaluating outcomes.  You should do this by, for example:
        • observing the learners’ behaviour and seeing if it has been affected by the lesson
        • giving the learners a questionnaire for them to evaluate the practice, or using another feedback activity such as a focus group to record their reactions
        • asking a colleague to observe the lesson and getting feedback.  Provide a clear and concrete task for the observer


The post-lesson evaluation

Note: it is not necessary for the lesson to be successful.  The important thing is to evaluate perceptively and draw logical conclusions from the experiment.

There are 2 parts.

  1. Evaluation of lesson (250 – 300 words)
    1. Evaluate the lesson in relation to your experimental objectives, referring to the data you gathered and including your own subjective observations.
    2. Comment on the success or otherwise of the experiment with reference to the planned aims and outcomes for both the learners and you
  2. Future action (150 – 200 words)
    Say how you may adapt / use this area in future lessons / work OR why you don’t think the area is worth further extension or adaptation


The Lesson Outline

This forms an appendix to the Experimental Practice section and is not in the overall word count.
It should not be a full lesson plan but must include:

You do not need to include an individual student profile, but give a brief profile of the group.
You do not need to include a separate Commentary (you have done that).


Appendices are extra

Do not include everything.  All that is required is a summary table of the figures – the interpretation and discussion of results goes in the post-lesson evaluation.

That's it.

You cannot produce a good Experimental Practice essay unless you know how to do classroom research that will provide decent usable data.  To find out how to do that, follow the guide to classroom research (new tab).

Now click here for the section on how to write up the Experimental Practice part of the PDA.