Greater Impact with High-Quality Instructional Materials

High Quality Instructional Materials (HQIM) are educational resources that have been developed and reviewed to be of high quality, rigor, and alignment with academic content standards. HQIM are designed to provide teachers with resources that are:

  • Aligned to academic standards
  • Reflect the best available research and are 
  • Engaging and relevant to students. 

They are intended to support teaching and learning through effective instruction helping students achieve academic success.

A report from the Center for Public Research and Leadership (CPRL) at Columbia University states that high-quality instructional materials are strongest and most impactful when they are aligned to standards to also include being tech enabled, culturally responsive and sustaining. 

Defined Learning is a high-quality online instructional tool that provides teachers with a platform to design and implement project-based learning (PBL) activities through culturally responsive performance tasks that are aligned with academic standards. 

Defined Learning can be considered a high-quality instructional material (HQIM) for several reasons:

  • Alignment with academic standards: Defined Learning projects are designed to align with state and national academic standards, ensuring that the activities are rigorous and provide opportunities for students to develop the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in college, career, and life.
  • Authentic and engaging learning experiences: Defined Learning projects are designed to be authentic and engaging, with a focus on real-world problems or challenges requiring students to apply critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration skills.
  • Differentiated instruction: Defined Learning performance tasks and projects are designed to support differentiated instruction, with a variety of resources and supports available to help teachers meet the needs of diverse learners and diverse learning environments.
  • Assessment and feedback: Defined Learning projects provide opportunities for ongoing assessment and feedback through formative questioning and analytical rubrics that can be used for formative and summative means, enabling teachers to monitor student progress and adjust instruction as needed.
  • Comprehensive resources: Defined Learning provides teachers with a comprehensive set of resources, including project guides, teacher plans and strategies, rubrics, and assessment tools, to support the implementation of performance tasks and PBL activities.
  • Professional learning: Defined Learning provides professional development opportunities for teachers to support the implementation of performance tasks and PBL activities in the classroom, ensuring that teachers have the knowledge and skills needed to effectively use Defined Learning to support all students and their learning.

Defined Learning is a HQIM because it provides teachers with a structured and rigorous approach to implementing performance tasks and PBL activities that are aligned with academic standards and supported by a comprehensive set of resources and professional learning opportunities.


Dr. David L. Reese serves as Chief Academic Officer for Defined Learning. During the past twenty years, Dr. Reese has served K-12 students as a science teacher, Curriculum Specialist, and Central Office Administrator. He has taught Masters and Doctoral courses in all areas of curriculum and professional development leadership. His work focuses on providing students with engaging, relevant learning opportunities designed to encourage students to apply content from a local, national and international perspective.


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