top of page

Instructional Design is the Foundation of Learning

Updated: Dec 22, 2023

By Dr. Matt Rhoads

Designing a lesson plan takes a wide range of strategies that incorporate the elements of engaging students, having students collaborate, assessing students, and then providing feedback. In the world of ever-changing instructional modalities, we have more opportunities than ever before to innovate our instruction.

In education, teachers provide us with tried and true strategies. They are our best resource to learn what works and what doesn’t in classrooms. In Amplifying Instructional Design, you will see research-driven strategies and EdTech integrations from educators throughout the world. Additionally, for many of the strategies and integrations, you will receive illustrations and resources of how to do each step-by-step in four major areas:

  • Engagement

  • Collaboration

  • Assessment

  • Feedback

To preview how strategies and integrations are outlined in the book, we will illustrate a few engagement strategies and fun EdTech integration to help bolster your social-emotional learning instruction.

Activities to Build Connection with Students and Engage Them - A Quickwrite with Pear Deck or Nearpod

To build connections with students, we want to ask them about themselves as well as provide opportunities for them to share with you about themselves. As a result, two activities where you can obtain this information from students are through Quickwrites and Poll Questions.

Let’s first dive into Quickwrites and how they can be integrated and amplified by EdTech. With both Pear Deck and Nearpod as the EdTech tools to integrate with this strategy, we can create open-ended questions where students write their responses. Pear Deck and Nearpod are interactive slides that can be added to Google Slides, which allow teachers to engage students covertly and overtly through being able to interact on a slide deck that’s been created. Usually, we can model an answer as a teacher and then provide students the opportunity to write their responses. Once students have completed, we can cold call mechanism using Wheel of Names, or call on volunteers to share their response. Immediately before calling on students, you can provide an overview of the responses of the students by summarizing the class’s responses using Pear Deck or Nearpod. As a result, you can anticipate what’s coming, assess student responses, and learn more about all of your students at once even if you do not hear from the student directly.

Figure 1

Quickwrites Using Interactive Slides

Social-Emotional Learning with Pear Deck or Nearpod to Build Relationships and Engage Students

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is a set of strategies to help build our student’s emotional and social skills. Interactive slides like Pear Deck or Nearpod are a great opportunity for your students to build these skills through active learning. Examples provided demonstrate how students can self-assess how they are feeling by interacting with a mood chart and using the draw feature on each tool. On the mood chart, students draw circles around how they are feeling, which allows a teacher in real-time to assess how students across their class check the barometer of their classroom. Additionally, teachers can narrow in and see how specific students are feeling, which is good data to help interact with them during their time in class.

Figure 2

SEL Using Interactive Slides

Amplifying Instructional Design

Amplify Learning: A Global Collaborative -Amplifying Instructional Design provides teachers and school leaders with a toolkit of instructional strategies integrated with EdTech to be utilized within any classroom setting. Our goal is to demonstrate that teachers are always the drivers of strategies in addition to illustrating how the power of technology can amplify the strategies we are using. With the integrations in play, students and teachers are given opportunities never before present in classrooms to demonstrate their learning and provide feedback in innovative and creative ways.


About the Author

Learn more about the book and series:

About the Editors of Amplify Learning: A Global Collaborative - Amplifying Instructional Design

Matt Rhoads, Ed.D is a Tech and Instructional Leader and Innovator with hands in Adult Ed, K-12, and Higher Education. He is the author of several books and is the host of Navigating Education - The Podcast.

Matthew Rhoads, Ed.D. is a practicing EdTech Integrationist and Coach, University Lecturer and Teacher Candidate Supervisor, Podcaster, Author, and Consultant from San Diego, CA. He is an innovator who has expertise in integrating research-based instructional strategies with EdTech tools to amplify student learning. Additionally, he has expertise in data literacy, Special Education, and navigating classrooms without boundaries For more information on Dr. Rhoads, check out his website at

Twitter: @mattrhoads1990

Becky Lim, M.Ed

Becky Lim, M.Ed. is a Digital Learning Coach, Author, Blogger, and Podcaster from Chicago, Illinois. She is an innovator and expert at integrating EdTech with instructional strategies to amplify student learning through coaching teachers on how to use these integrations within their classrooms. She is also a member and leader of Global Google for Education, where she makes connections with educators across the globe with the goal to build capacity as a global community to improve student learning. For more information on Mrs. Lim, check out her website at

Twitter: @techwithbecky

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page