May 14, 2020

The 5 E’s of Online Lesson Design

Educators have had to quickly modify their instruction for an online distance learning environment. One framework of online lesson design is Catlin Tucker’s 5 E’s Instructional Model, detailed in the chart, below.

As you can see, the chart clearly illustrates what each of the 5 E’s mean and each section includes answers to the questions:

  • What does it look like?
  • What tools can I use?
Five E's

In addition, Tucker has created 5 four minute videos that provide examples and more deeply explain each of the E’s:

1. Engage

The goal is to engage students. Ideas include brainstorming, asking questions about a topic, and connecting a topic to prior knowledge. Watch this video for more information about ideas for engaging students.

2. Explore

The goal is to encourage exploration. Collaboration is ideal for the explore stage. The focus of this stage is for students to research, crowdsource, and pull together information. Watch this video for more suggestions about the explore stage.

3. Explain

The goal of the explain stage is to give students the chance to share what they’ve learned. Students can use different tools to explain their learning either asynchronously or synchronously. This video explains more.

4. Elaborate

The goal is to challenge students to apply what they have learned. When students apply their knowledge, it “cements” learning. This video provides suggestions for ways students can apply their learning and ways they can demonstrate what they’ve learned.

5. Evaluate

The last of the 5 E’s is evaluate. Tucker wants us teachers to ask, what did students learn, but also, what did students learn about themselves? To measure learning, teachers should gather data. This video provides evaluation and formative assessment tools.

We hope that the 5 E’s Instructional Model provides one useful example of online lesson design to help in the creation of lesson plans during this time of distance learning instruction.


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