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Tasks, activities and student learning

Peter Goodyear talk

What the student does

Shuell (1986 quotes)

if students are to learn desired outcomes in a reasonably effective manner, then the teacher’s fundamental task is to get students to engage in learning activities that are likely to result in their achieving these outcomes … it is helpful to remember that what the student does is actually more important in determining what is learned than what the teacher does.


This does not just apply to teaching (in a narrow sense) but to the whole (university) apparatus for curriculum reform, educational innovation, quality enhancement etc. Unless they affect what the student does (their activity) then they are of little or no consequence.

Shift toward ‘active learning’

But what about “meddling”, rather than facilitation? Does facilitation still have too much “control” as per Dron?

Though perhaps “lightly supervised” just becomes “lightly enaged/meddled” with meddling.

Importance/rationale of teaching as design

4 stresses on traditional teaching practices:

  1. Diversifying student needs and expectations
  2. Rising expectations about graduate capabilities
  3. Intensification of pressures on teaching staff
  4. Accelerating technological change

TaD to be understood as permeating the educational work at all levels, not just solo teachers