- Challenges students to HIGHER LEVEL LEARNING.
All courses require some "lower level" learning, i.e., comprehending
and remembering basic information and concepts. But many courses
never get beyond this. Examples of "higher level learning" include
problem solving, decision making, critical thinking, and creative
- Uses ACTIVE FORMS OF LEARNING.
Some learning will be "passive", i.e., reading and listening. But
"higher level learning," almost by definition, requires active
learning. One learns to solve problems by solving problems; one
learns to think critically by thinking critically; etc.
- Gives FREQUENT and IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK to students on the quality
of their learning.
Higher level learning and active learning require frequent and immediate
feedback for students to know whether they are "doing it" correctly.
"Frequent" means weekly or daily; feedback consisting of "two mid-terms
and a final" is not sufficient.
"Immediate" means during the same class if possible, or at the next
- Uses a STRUCTURED SEQUENCE OF DIFFERENT LEARNING ACTIVITIES.
Any course needs a variety of forms of learning (e.g., lectures,
discussions, small groups, writing, etc.), both to support different
kinds of learning goals and different learning styles. But these
various learning activities also need to be structured in a sequence
such that earlier classes lay the foundation for complex and higher
level learning tasks in later classes.
- Has a FAIR SYSTEM FOR ASSESSING AND GRADING STUDENTS.
Even when students feel they are learning something significant, they
are unhappy if their grade does not reflect this. The grading system
should be objective, reliable, based on learning, flexible, and
communicated in writing.