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Lesson planning

One of the most important principles of good teaching is the need for planning. It provides a structure and context for teacher and students, and helps set the framework for reflection, additional activities and evaluation.

It can be helpful to devise a lesson plan for each teaching session; this may be very detailed or a simple broad-brush plan, but before any session, you should:

  • define your aims and learning outcomes
  • decide a structure for the session and timing of activities (build in time to ask the learners about their specific needs and a review at the end)
  • decide on the best teaching and learning methods to achieve the learning outcome
  • list content and key topics, and research more if needed
  • identify learning resources and any support materials
  • finalise any linked assessment, evaluation or follow-up reading.


See the Lesson Plan from the Teachers’ Toolkit.

Jacques defines three steps in planning the structure of a small discussion group:


Thinking point
  • Small group learning in general?
  • Knowledge/understanding-based learning outcomes?
  • Clinical or procedural-based skills?
  • Developing teamwork skills?
  • Developing professional behaviours?

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