Differentiated Instruction

Differentiated Instruction
Christy J. White
Friday, May 23, 2014
Ms. Deborah Hatfield
Differentiated Instruction
Growing up, I remember reciting a poem entitled A Pledge To Myself by Mychal Wynn
every day during summer camp that has remained in the front of my mind even as an adult.
Wynn (2005) stated, “Today I pledge to be the best possible me no matter how good I am I know
that I can become better” (p. 5). Because of this poem, I have pushed myself to broader horizons
my entire life. With the learners that I have the opportunity to work with, I have also required the
same of them in an indirect manner. Working with others for the past twelve years in the
educational setting has brought me a great deal of joy. Even though I have shared great ideas and
concepts along the way, there is always space for improvement in all that we do as adult learners.
This paper will address my instructional module from a previous course that differentiates
learning content, instructional strategies, mastery of the content, and how the environment
accommodates diverse learning styles.
For this assignment, I have used my instructional plan from my previous course AET/515
Instructional Design. My instructional plan is based on a needs assessment involving Northwest
Valley Community College accessed through the virtual school portal via the college of
education resources link. The issue concerns Northwest Valley Community College since the
institution does not provide a pharmacy technician program at the campus for adult learners. As a
result of a new course in a new program, Patton-Fuller Community Hospital would greatly
benefit through providing exceptional patient care. Hospital patients would receive their correct
prescriptions and possibly leave the hospital at a faster rate due to great care.
The proposed course PHT 100 – Pharmacy Principles is an introductory course which
provides an overview on the concepts of being a pharmacy technician. This course focuses on
customer service and communication, critical thinking, problem solving and hands-on work. In
addition, emphasis is placed on basic math and calculation skills. Upon successful completion of
the course, students are expected to understand the role of the technician, have knowledge in
solving math-oriented problems regarding medication orderings while being able to
communicate effectively in a professional manner with members of a health care team. Also, the
proposed class is a three credit hour course that would be offered at Northwest Valley
Community College.
Through differentiating the content outcomes of the adult learners, it changes the overall
learning experience in a positive manner. Through having more opportunities outside of the
classroom to engage in learning, students will gain more hands-on experience and be prepared
for their new careers. Currently, the intended instructional setting allows adult learners to spend
50% of their time in the classroom, 20% in a laboratory and 30% at their selected externship
sites. In changing the time spent in the classroom to 40% and the actual time spent in a real
world environment at the externship site to 40%, while keeping the 20% time spent in the
laboratory, the adult learners will devote an even amount of class time to obtain the knowledge
required in order to be successful at his or her externship. In addition, the adult learners will have
the chance to interact one on one with the pharmacist and customers prior to completion of the
course. As a result, it will allow the adult learners to know through hands-on experience and
direct interaction if becoming a pharmacy technician would be a great career choice prior to
completion of the program offered at Northwest Valley Community College.
As the instructional plan has been set, upon successful completion of the PHT 100 Pharmacy Principles course, adult learners should understand the role of a pharmacy technician,
solve math-oriented problems regarding medication orders and be able to communicate
effectively in a professional manner with members of a health care team and the general public.
Currently the course encompasses basic customer service and communication skills with several
opportunities for hands on work. In addition, problem solving and critical thinking skills will be
necessary in the traditional classroom setting, role playing will take a vital role in understanding
basic concepts along with textbook material and instructional games will be used as simulators
throughout the course. By altering the instructional strategies to involve extra mathematics, this
will get the adult learners ready to work in an actual pharmacy. In general, it is easy to think that
working in a pharmacy does not require a lot of math since one does not always see the
pharmacist or pharmacist technician calculating dosages and counting pills. If the math concepts
are modified throughout the course, adult learners will know what to expect prior to training in
the field and being shocked because they were unaware of the amount of math it takes to become
a great pharmacy technician. Although basic customer service skills are good, that could also be
modified to entail more in depth customer service skills since a vast majority of the time will be
spent working directly with patients (either face to face or by phone) as well as with the entire
pharmacy staff.
In varying the end product used to demonstrate mastery, it offers numerous ways to view
the information the adult learners have retained and areas that could use improvement. For
instance, if the adult learners are given a final exam over all concepts learned and used
throughout the course, it would provide data that could be used to improve future courses offered
for that same class. Also, when the course is over, an end of course survey can be conducted. In
this regard, it allows administration to gage if the instructor was successful in his or her teaching
efforts and if the material was presented in a manner that was understood. Based on the survey
feedback provided, it enables the opportunity for adult learners to voice their opinion through
written documentation while helping future participants based on their answers.
Although the environment is already diverse, there is room for added variation to
accommodate varied learning styles. One area of improvement could be the presentation style in
the classroom setting. When adult learners are in the actual learning environment, it can be
beneficial for an actual pharmacist to come in and instruct and lead the discussion for a day. In
this manner, adult learners can learn from a licensed individual who is already in the field that
can provide a great perspective of what it will look like to work in the field. Another area of
improvement could be established through the physical seats in the classroom. Instead of having
the classroom structured like a typical classroom, there should be table and chairs with a
computer at every table allowing the adult learners to be as engaged as possible as they would in
an actual pharmacy. If the environment is altered, it can lead to overall improvement of grades
and satisfaction of the course PHT 100 – Pharmacy Principles.
In closing, this differentiated instruction plan further confirms there is not one specified
way to handle facilitation in a classroom setting with adult learners. Although I designed my
instructional plan in my previous AET/515 Instructional Design course, there were still further
modifications that I was able to make to my instructional plan regarding the content,
instructional strategies, end product, and environment. As humans, even when we think we have
it all figured out, there is still room for changes, improvements and so forth. In order for an
individual to be an effective instructor, he or she must have an open mind as the world we live in
is consistently changing every day.
Wynn, M. (2005). A Middle School Plan for Students with College-Bound
Dreams. Retrieved from