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Site Review: Literacy Design Collaborative

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Content:  The Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) site offers teachers, coaches and leaders an instructional system for developing students’ literacy skills and understanding of science, history, literature and other content. With the goal of developing meaningful reading and writing assignments aligned to the Common Core State Standards, LDC offers enhancements to—not replacements for—schools’ existing curricula.

Specifically, the site provides tools and templates that guide teachers in developing modules—two- to four-week plans that include (1) student performance tasks; (2) a list of the reading, writing and thinking skills students will need to complete the tasks; (3) student activities (called “mini-tasks”); (4) instructional strategies that guide students toward completing the tasks and (5) sample student responses and how those pieces scored on an LDC rubric, as well as an option for teachers to design a summative assessment related to the teaching task.

Design:  The site is not especially pretty, but is well laid-out and easy to navigate. Once users create a free account, they can get started creating a module. Teachers can view examples within LDC’s growing bank of “exemplary” teacher-designed modules, which have been vetted for quality. During the development process, school teams can easily share documents and collaborate or comment on module design in real time. Teachers can even collaborate across schools, districts, networks and states.

Once they’re finished, LDC—in partnership with Stanford’s Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity—provides a process to validate the CCSS alignment of LDC-created content. This “jurying” process gives teachers feedback on how to improve their modules.

Review:  The site has every detail covered and is chock-full of embedded professional development materials including how-to guides, teacher videos, module and mini-task exemplars, guided design planning and more. In addition, LDC gives teachers an easy and manageable way to track, document, and compile a portfolio of effective lessons. For the past three years, evaluations have shown that LDC is significantly improving the quality of literacy teaching and learning.

Bottom Line:  The Literacy Design Collaborative offers expert guidance and helpful tools to teachers, enabling them to develop quality, Common Core-aligned literacy lessons.

Article by Celine Provini, EducationWorld Editor
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