Best Practice

Task design: Five pedagogical habits to maximise learning

Students really begin to learn when they take on challenging tasks during their lessons, making task design a crucial element of teaching pedagogy and practice. In this two-part article, Robbie Burns looks how to design effective tasks

The curriculum – however thoughtfully planned and developed – comes to be known and understood by the learner through tasks in lessons.

Of course, the quality of teacher instruction is important, but it is only when students are cognitively engaged in taking their new learning and assimilating it into their own mental architecture that we can truly say they have “learned” what we intended to teach.

In two previous articles (Burns, 2022), I wrote about the transfer from teaching to learning, using the work of Sweller, Lovell and others to articulate how teachers can more fully appreciate the transfer of knowledge from an expert to a novice mind. In these articles, I discussed how teaching through worked examples and backward fading can support this.

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