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Task Based Learning

There are a huge variety of activities which you can design to support continued learning after a seminar or lecture. To ensure that what you design truly leads to further learning, it is often better to create some kind of task-oriented, structured activity, with clear learning outcomes, rather than simply indicating general follow-up reading, for example.

  • Create an online quiz, which formatively assesses students' understanding of the concepts which have been presented/discussed in class. Quizzes can contain quantitative and/or qualitative responses, and be 'submitted' online, so that you know which students have responded and how they have performed. This data can inform future teaching sessions (for example, if all students are struggling with a particular concept you might re-visit it, or encourage further reading).
  • Collaboration between students after a lecture or seminar is a good way to get them to take their learning forward. A group forum or wiki, or any other kind of shared web space (e.g. an 'ideas board' like Padlet) can be used. A question can be posted on a forum and all students can be asked to respond to the 'thread' (the ongoing conversation between students). In a similar way, a wiki is an open online space where students can share knowledge about a particular concept, adding content and editing each other's responses to create a collaborative piece of work.
  • A reflective blog entry, where a student completes an online journal entry about a piece of learning they have done, thinking back to what they have learned, what they found hard etc. These entries can be commented upon by a lecturer or fellow student, providing a constructive dialogue around the issue, offering praise and encouragement and re-visiting any difficult concepts.
  • E-books and scanned chapters can be good resources for students to access to further their understanding. A key text which builds on what learning took place in a lecture can be a valuable way to consolidate knowledge. However, it is often even better if accompanied by a set of questions or a reflective task which students do in conjunction.
  • Similarly, direct hyperlinks to good external websites which contain content that can take learning forward provide a good way to extend learning beyond the classroom. Some educational or topical websites may have their own interactive content (such as a quiz, forum etc) so you do not need to create your own. Like e-books, though, you may need to be specific and indicate a 'task' to students, to ensure they are engaged in good follow-up learning, and not just web-browsing.
  • Re-presentation of ideas discussed in a lecture or seminar, in another format, can help a student to consolidate their knowledge and, if an assessed piece of work, can show a tutor the level and depth of understanding. For example, students could create their own Prezi as a visual representation of what they have learned.