is Structured Overview?
Overview is verbal, visual or written summary or outline of a topic.
It can occur at the beginning of a unit, module or new concept,
or it may be used to help relate a learned idea to the big picture.
A Structured Overview distills difficult or complex idea into simple
definitions or explanation, and then shows how all the information
relates. It is the process of “organizing and arranging topics”
to make them more meaningful.
is its purpose?
purpose of a Structured Overview is to help students place new ideas
in context. Because ideas are simplified, it is easier for students
to see “the big picture”. In addition, connecting new
ideas to information students already understand makes it easier
can I do it?
are three main ways in which Structured overview can be used. One
is verbal summary at the start of a new concept. The teacher starts
by highlighting the new ideas to be learned in a few simple sentences.
Then the relationship between these ideas and the ones the students
already know is discussed. The structured overview takes the role
of an advanced organizer. Another type of Structured Overview is
a written summary. The approach is the same as the verbal summary,
but students have a written record of the ideas. Generally a combination
of verbal and written Structured Overview is more effective than
either type alone. The final method is a visual Structured Overview.
Venn diagrams of concepts, semantic maps, semantic organizers, webs,
and charts are all methods visual Structured Overview. When accompanied
by explanation, visual overviews are often very effective at helping
student connect ideas.
can I adapt it?
Structured Overview can be a very strong tool for students who are
struggling with the content of a subject. While it is used at the
beginning or end of a group of lessons with most students, it can
be used more frequently if necessary. Students who refer to a structured
overview more frequently are better able to articulate higher levels
of learning than students who do not. When students struggle with
a subject, the repeated use of a visual Structured Overview can
have a strong positive effect on learning outcomes.