Common Online Assignments

In a given week teachers should ensure that students access the same content multiple times but in different ways, strengthening learning. Reading, writing, taking notes, completing diagrams, practicing problems, memorizing critical vocabulary, doing hands-on projects, participating in class discussions, taking quizzes—all of these work together to help etch the content into the student’s brain. Teachers can ask students to:

  • answer written discussion questions about the concepts in the textbook
    • “Discussion, collaboration, and extensive practice promote situational cognition and learning.” (Kirschner and Hendrick, How Learning Happens, pg. 239)
  • read the textbook and complete notes based on the textbook
    • “introducing knowledge organizers at the beginning of a topic of study is likely to be very beneficial for learning” (Kirschner and Hendrick, How Learning Happens, pg. 132)
  • complete diagrams based on the concept in the book
    • “Combining words and images effectively facilitates learning; their impact is additive.” (Caviglioli, Dual Coding With Teachers, pg. 20)
  • watch and discuss videos about the concept in the textbook
    • “Video examples should be accompanied by questions that engage learners in the examples. (Clark, Ruth C.; Mayer, Richard E.. e-Learning and the Science of Instruction (Kindle Locations 5308-5309). )
  • complete problem sets about the concept(s) in the textbook
    • “Include activities that focus on application.” (Kirschner and Hendrick, How Learning Happens, pg. 28)
  • memorize vocabulary/processes from the textbook
    • “Memorizing facts is like stocking a construction site with the supplies to put up a house.” (Brown, Roediger, McDaniel, Make It Stick, pg. 18)
  • play games or complete hands-on activities that illustrate the concepts in the textbook
    • “Assignments that demand creativity may also be motivating.” (Willingham, Why Don’t Students Like School?, location 2391 of 4162)
  • participate in highly structured, live class discussions about the concepts in the textbook
    • “Not only do the most effective teachers plan their activities, often minute by minute, but their script their questions in advance.” (Lemov, Teach Like a Champion, pg. 12)
  • take weekly quizzes about the concepts in the textbook
    • “at the end of each week—or on the Monday of the new week—you should review in the form of a quiz the most important things that were handled the previous week and the same goes for each month.” (Rosenshine’s principles in Kirschner and Hendrick, How Learning Happens, pg. 215)

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