The Enact phase happens as you are teaching the course. Ideally, the enactment matches to the design. However, the enactment is always more than the design.

Activate Phase – Engage and Uncover Thinking

This phase should start each unit of study. The purpose is to:

  1. get students focused on the content and skills;
  2. expose their initial thinking, for you and for themselves; and
  3. help students see a reason to engage in the activities and learn about the content.

Consider how the questions you pose and/or the activity design will allow all students to uncover what they already know about the concept, habits of thinking, or skills targeted as the learning outcomes. What activity will allow students to explore what they already know about the posed question or problem? What format (whole class, small groups, pairs, or individuals) will help to uncover existing ideas? What strategy (Think-Pair-Share, charting, etc.) will support increased learning or knowledge transfer?

Outcome Mastery Lessons

Outcome Mastery lessons are designed to develop mastery of the content and skills identified in the learning outcomes. To develop that mastery, students engage in activities that are minds-on, and often involve exploring data and information. The data and information can come from a variety of sources, including you, but should always engage the students to actively do something with it to achieve the learning outcomes. Outcome Mastery Lessons are typically structured around four phases:


Like the activate phase, the engage step is a daily refresher to engage students in a purpose for learning and to uncover (assess) student thinking. The engage should be a quick task or orientation, often less than 6 minutes. Your role is to help uncover their thinking and then to consider how adjustments might need to be made to the next lessons, based on their current understandings.

Gather and Analyze (apprenticing)

This phase is designed to provide students with an opportunity to explore data and information to solve a question or problem. Students should begin to analyze and make sense of the data/information to develop an explanation to master the content. Students should also have opportunities to build and practice any skills you intend for them to learn during this phase.

What activity allows students to explore and make sense of ideas, data, and/or explanations around the question or problem? What structure or format (whole class, small groups, pairs, individuals) will facilitate learning? What questions will help to assess understanding of this key concept? What questions will advance student understanding? What strategy (Think-Pair-Share, charting, etc.) will help to make all student thinking visible?

Connect (social intelligence)

This phase is designed to socialize intelligence for the entire classroom (all students) by connecting the activities during the previous phase to the big ideas from the learning outcomes. This often involves an instructor-led whole group discussion that explicitly ties the work students have done to the key concept and ensures that a common understanding is achieved at or beyond the level of the targeted standards.

Reflect (metacognitive)

This phase is designed to provide time for students to individually reflect on the lesson and to pull their thoughts together to make sense of what they have experienced. They should understand how the activities of the lesson connect to the learning outcomes. Students should also have time to reflect on how they learn (metacognition).

Demonstrate Mastery (Summative Assessment)

This phase is designed to illustrate individual mastery (summative assessment) of the learning outcomes. It is often a powerful experience to include a problem-based task where students apply their understandings to a real-world context to extend and further refine their understandings. This phase will provide you with evidence of the level of mastery for the targeted learning outcomes by all students.