Task Design

Laying the Lecture to Rest

There is a great deal of evidence that lecturing students doesn’t help them learn well.  Check out the following articles for more information:


Active Learning

Think about designing tasks for learners, and providing them with resources that they need to access (articles, videos, books, websites, people, etc.) in order to complete the tasks.

Michelene Chi[i] developed a framework to help us better understand what we mean by active learning, and also conducted research that demonstrated that we can think about active learning on a continuum, in which interactive learning activities produce better results than do constructive learning activities, which produce better results than active learning activities, which produce better results than passive activities.  She calls this the ICAP Hypothesis: Interactive is better than Constructive, which is better than Active, which is better than Passive activities.  You can see a visual representation of this here, and work to develop more of the interactive and constructive learning activities into your course of study.  You can read more of her research here.

What Does Student Engagement Look Like?

So if Interactive Activities produce the best results for student learning, what are the best ways to make that happen? 

Still not convinced that Active Learning is the way to go?  Here’s what the research says:

[i] Chi, M. T. (2009). Active-constructive-interactive: a conceptual framework for differentiating learning activities. Topics in Cognitive Science, 1(1), 73-105. doi:10.1111/j.1756-8765.2008.01005.x