Rethinking Learning
conversations about the future of teaching and learning
Barbara Bray
be creative, innovate, take risks, unlearn to learn
Oakland, CA

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Rigorous or difficult?
By Barbara Bray    October 2, 2008 -- 04:24 PM

I have been reviewing online and face-to-face courses to determine effectiveness. One thing I did notice is the amount of busywork and difficult assignments in both cases that really didnít meet the objectivess.

Let's rethink how we deliver our curriculum so we donít just give work to make sure our students are doing something. A difficult course may be one that provides endless activities that may or may not be relevant because the instructor wants to make sure they touch on multiple products or ideas.

Is this because the instructor wants to show all the exciting things that are out there, to make sure they cover everything in the curriculum, or to show what they know?

Iím just as guilty at doing this in my presentations and courses. I find myself saturating the participants - maybe oversaturating them with ideas. So what is the difference between presenting a difficult course or creating one that is rigorous?

Rigorous means going more in-depth, encouraging students to search for deeper understandings, helping them connect new ideas to prior knowledge, and constructing meaning from concepts. It is also means that students are involved in determining their learning journey where they use authentic assessment strategies to show accountability and evidence demonstrating understanding.

Going more in-depth with interactive and collaborative activities instead of covering everything and giving needless homework assignments will engage students in the learning process.

Categories: "Online Courses" "Assessment" "Authentic Learning" "Engagement"

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