Instructional design

Instructional design is core to enabling teachers and governments to improve a child’s learning. In all the places that Bridge works, we follow the national curriculum. Instructional design is focused on taking the content blocks in that curriculum to design the most effective lessons, textbooks, problem sets, and approaches to enable children to absorb the material.

We rely on an experienced group of  instructional designers in each country to carefully craft the content stipulated by the national curriculum into engaging lessons; this content includes things such as maths problem sets and sequences of reading comprehension questions. They integrate strategies such as gender sensitive instruction and peer learning within their designs; while always focusing on the objective of improved learning outcomes.

Pictured: A boy from a Bridge textbook performs stereotypically ‘female’ chores,
like childcare. An example of turning gender stereotypes upside-down in the classroom.

Every lesson in a Bridge-led or Bridge-supported school is backed up by 15 hours of research and design. Each design takes in to consideration what the latest research says about the most effective pedagogical approach(es) and what our own data has taught us.

Each lesson revolves around a three component structure:

  • I do – (teacher demonstration)
  • We do – (guided practice)
  • You do – (independent pupil practice)

We believe that most of the learning in a lesson takes place during the independent practice segment of the lesson. Our instructional design team create lessons that ask teachers to focus on independent and small group practice, providing one-to-one feedback.

Alongside ensuring that the lesson design is effective our instructional design team ensure they provide plenty of opportunity for creativity. For example, all teachers will be reminded to ‘Check, Respond, Leave’ within a lesson—which is where teachers circulate, checking individual work for understanding, engage if a child is struggling and then move on to the next pupil. The goal is to ensure that teachers do not just stand at the front of the classroom while pupils take part in independent practice. Yet, while ‘Check, Respond, Leave’ is specific enough to prompt all teachers into action it also supports teachers to diagnose and respond to pupils work in creative and innovative ways.

Once a piece of content or lesson has been designed and implemented we continuously analyse qualitative and quantitative data indicating whether it’s enabling successful learning. We may find that sections of the lesson are taking too long; or that children are not understanding a lesson on fractions because it’s too hard and they can only answer a small percentage of maths problems correctly—in this case, we learn that we need to adapt the design.

This ongoing process relies on a whole range of sources from pupil tests and assessments, to lesson observations and lesson completion rate data to assess whether each lesson is operating as effectively as it was designed to do.


Meet Bridge graduate, Ojo Yewande

Discover the story of Bridge Nigeria graduate, Ojo Yewande. Now at secondary school, she says everything that she is learning now is, “very easy to understand because of the knowledge I gained from Bridge.” Her mother couldn’t be happier, as she adds: “Bridge is everything to me.”

More from Bridge

Read about our Learning Collaborative

Learn more about our Development cycle

Read about our teacher training Philosophy

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