EDF 8289 Curriculum


Matt Marino For a Paper Version click here


Described is the “Investments Simulation” unit within the high school level Personal Finance course. The lesson will stretch across ten school days, one class period each day, for forty-five minutes. This timeframe allows students ample time to apply their investment strategies within the simulation tool and affords time for all student presentations. Students will have previously been taught the content associated with investments. Students will be asked to apply that knowledge in a simulation tool known as Wall Street Survivor. Wall Street Survivor was chosen for this unit due to its video information provided to students. The goals, objectives, instructional strategies, an assessment, and an evaluation plan have been created for this unit to make sure students are on track. This unit methodology is based off of the theories of Benjamin Bloom and David Krathwohl. The unit may need to be modified to accommodate different learning styles.


The “Investments Simulation” unit will be heavily utilizing Kolb’s experiential learning theory. Within this unit students use a simulation tool to apply content knowledge. Kolb (2014) noted that “experiential learning theory offers a fundamentally different view of the learning process” (p. 20). By completing the simulation students provide a visual representation of their mastery of the content. Kolb (2014) expressed that experiential learning emphasizes the role experience plays in the learning process (p. 20). Kolb (2014) also indicated that learning is a continuous process grounded in experience (p. 27). In completing the simulation process students can demonstrate comprehension and decision making skills related to content associated with savings and investments. Subsequently, when students present their process and experience at the end of the simulation unit, they are able to articulate how their experiences when using the simulation impacted their application of knowledge.

Unit Topic

With the constant discussion in various news outlets about the uncertain future of pensions and Social Security benefits the knowledge within a Personal Finance course continues to be of great importance; specifically, Investments. Students largely base their knowledge of investments on what they see on CNBC shows such as Fast Money or Mad Money. This specific unit “Investments Simulation Unit” will focus heavily on getting students to demonstrate and apply their knowledge within a Personal Finance course. The simulation tool to be used will be Wall Street Survivor due to the interactive videos associated with this online simulation tool. This unit will start within a high school classroom at the beginning of the 3rd marking period within the Personal Finance course. The students will consist of freshmen and sophomores. The unit will require utilizing previously covered content in savings and specific investitures such as stocks, bonds, and ETFs. Students will utilize this knowledge to develop their own portfolio of investments within Wall Street Survivor. The context of this unit is to visually see student comprehension of investment procedures, such as short selling and holding through simulation. Kolb’s experiential learning theory, as mentioned, will be the basis for the application for this unit topic. Based on an examination of teaching practices, this strategy fits best with the unit curriculum’s objectives, goals, and instructional strategies.

Goals, Objectives, and Instructional Strategies

Goals, objectives, and instructional strategies were developed based on Bloom’s Cognitive Taxonomy of Educational Objectives as defined:

Goals, objectives, and instructional strategies were developed based on Krathwohl’s Affective Taxonomy of Educational Objectives as defined:

My rationale behind these goals, objectives, and instructional strategies is based on Krathwohl’s taxonomy and Bloom’s taxonomy. Bloom used action words such as synthesize, interpret and apply. Krathwohl used terms like organize, participate, and revise. My objectives then built off of the goal for the Investment Simulation Unit. The instructional strategies built off of the objectives and goals using similar terminology to the theorist. While both theorists have similar styles, the action words they use can be executed differently. For example, organize and synthesize are similar action words, but can be interpreted differently.


An assessment tool will be created to measure student comprehension and application of the previously taught investment content knowledge. This assessment allows for students to be creative in their submissions. The assessment tool will be a presentation where students will discuss their investment simulation process and experience. When discussing their investment simulation process, the students will need to identify the strategies they used throughout the simulation unit. If they changed their strategies along the way, they will need to be able to describe their change in strategy and provide their reasoning for the switch. Students will be able to define their experience in a number of different ways: what they learned through the simulation, if they learned anything further about the risk involved with investing, or even mentioning their actual trading activity.

This assessment tool will feature a rubric that will define topics that need to be covered and the scoring possibilities. The rubric will be as defined:

Category Criteria Total Points Score
Organization Info is presented in a logical sequence 5
Presentation has appropriate references 5
Content Clear Introduction 5
Technical terms are used 15
Accurate info 20
Information matches simulation experience and strategies used 30
Conclusion 5
Presentation Eye contact 5
Clear 5
No spelling, grammar, punctuation errors 5

Evaluation Plan

The presentation assessment tool will be used as part of the evaluation process. In listening to student presentations applicable investment strategies must be discussed to determine if they were used properly. Students will need to define their strategies and process to not only fulfill the rubric requirement, but allow for the instructor to measure comprehensive and application of the investment content knowledge. The rubric will be used as the guide to measure how the entire class, as a whole, was able to apply the investment content knowledge to completing their simulation. A content review of investment strategies will be conducted if the evaluation plan determines that students were not adequately applying the investment strategies within the simulation unit.

As part of the evaluation plan, the simulation practice and presentation assessment are determined to have allowed for achievement of all learning goals, objectives, and instructional strategies. The unit assessments permitted students to articulate their investment knowledge and how they applied it during the unit. The rubric may need to be more clearly defined in the future based on understanding on criteria related to scoring.


The information within this unit aligned with David Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model that indicated active experimentation led to concrete experience, which led to reflective observation, that concluded with abstract conceptualization. I have always believed this can be interpreted by stating that if you engage in a process you can examine it and reflect on it. If you engage in the process enough times you are able to enforce certain concepts. Kolb and Kolb (2012) stated “Concepts, however, have priority in controlling human action because they often enable us to predict the future and achieve our desires.” The concepts presented within the Investment unit could potentially help students realize their future desires. They may want to purchase extravagant items in the future. Winning big on the stock market or through investments can help them achieve that goal. However, experiencing through the simulation that there are losses and gains when dealing in investments might impact how a student utilizes the simulation tool. They may be cautious; as if the funds were their own money, or they may seek risks knowing it is not their own money. The concepts learned will only influence their actions so much though. In the event the concepts need reinforcing after the simulation and presentation process, a review will be conducted.


Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. (n.d.). Retrieved August 31, 2016, from http://teaching.uncc.edu/learning-resources/articles-books/best-practice/goals-objectives/blooms-educational-objectives

Koffman, M. (1980). Using a Content/Behavior Matrix in the Instructional Planning Process.

Kolb, D. A. (2014). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. FT press.

Kolb, A. Y., & Kolb, D. A. (2012). Experiential learning theory. In Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning (pp. 1215-1219). Springer US.

Krathwohl’s affective domain taxonomy. (n.d.). Retrieved August 31, 2016, from http://www.educ.ualberta.ca/staff/olenka.bilash/best of bilash/krathwol.html

Writing Instructional Goals and Objectives. (n.d.). Retrieved August 31, 2016, from http://www.personal.psu.edu/bxb11/Objectives/GoalsAndObjectives_print.html

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