Oct. 24, 2019

An overview: Three steps to planning a SoTL lesson study

Get an overview of time estimates, resources and recommendations that can help you save time and effort on your first lesson study
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A lesson study is a collaborative process which may include multiple instructors working with graduate or undergraduate students to improve teaching practices. This type of study allows you to deep-dive into how students learn a concept or skill (or set of concepts and skills) and critically reflect on how to best teach it for your particular students. Sharing your results then allows you to support other instructors. 

How long does it take to complete a lesson study?

A lesson study is an iterative process that includes many revisions and input from other instructors and students. Generating a timeline with approximate deadlines at the start can help ensure that a project is carried out to completion. All too often, there is a lack of time devoted to planning before the lesson and a lack of time set aside for analysis and writing afterward. The result is that many valuable data sets are not analyzed or used, or opportunities for data collection are missed.

Things to remember

This outline is meant to provide an estimate of how long each deliverable may take to ensure that you allocate enough time to collect, analyze and interpret all appropriate data. Furthermore, it will help make sure that there is enough time for you to share your results.

These timelines are approximate and may differ depending on your project, research ethics board (REB) policies, and duration of time to receive feedback from journal reviewers after submission of your manuscript.

It is also important to note that many components will be iterative (e.g., lesson planning & writing and revision).

Steps to planning a lesson study table

Table 1. Overview of the steps with corresponding deliverables to design and complete a lesson study

Natasha Morden


Using this outline will help you successfully complete your first lesson study project by simplifying the research process to:

  1. Ensure that enough time is allotted to each deliverable.
  2. Point out important deadlines so they are not missed.
  3. Provide time-saving tips and strategies.