We’re really proud of our tasks. We’ve got 20+ types and counting. And, many of them can be set up to be automatically marked - a big time-saver.
Other learning platforms might be working to catch up with us, but most just don’t have this range.
Why we love a range of tasks
We’ll keep this simple. It gives you and your learners more freedom and more engagement.
As a learning designer, whenever I’m working on courses, I feel like there’s a task for every situation. What’s more, I enjoy bending a few of the templated task types to do my bidding.
For instance, just because a classification task might be designed for this kind of typical use where learners put items in the “correct” column.
Doesn’t mean I can’t create a more open-ended task using that same task type which engages learners' thinking in an entirely different way.
As a former mathematician I can’t say hand-on-heart that the options are endless (pesky old infinity). But they certainly do feel endless. And if a particular task type isn’t quite working exactly as I want it to… no matter… there’s another 19 to choose from!
How to come up with a range of task ideas
Coming up with an idea for a task is a real challenge! We find using a sort of “zoom out > zoom in” process useful (similar to processes seen in design thinking).
Zoom out from a learning outcome.
Then zoom back in for a particular task or skill.
Learning outcomes tend to be specific with definite verbs like describe, identify, and label. Great for assessments. But, when we're looking for a range of "have you got this?" tasks, we're often more interested in broad, base-level knowledge of a thing. So we go wider. The goal is to end up with a generic statement of base-level understanding of something, for example:
Learners know what charismatic leadership is.
This is because from this broad statement, we're able to say:
If a learner knows what charismatic leadership is they could....
- write their own definition for it
- sort examples and non-examples of charismatic leadership
- select traits that are considered a part of charismatic leadership
- explain what a charismatic leader might do in a given situation etc. etc. etc.
It's the range we get from these bullet points that allows us to think up different task ideas.
Then, we can zoom in and narrow down our ideas for tasks to arrive at particular use of a task that engages (or assesses) a specific thinking process or product.
A tool to help on the job
We learned about “job aids” from the training blogger Cathy Moore and thought they were a grand idea. To that end, we've put together this job aid/cheat sheet/printable for you to use as an easy way to jog your creativity when you're looking for ideas for tasks.
More examples in our Knowledgebase
Another great way to come up with ideas when you're stuck is to see many, many examples. Start with our Knowledgebase article listing all the Task Types, then choose a type and you'll be taken to a page all about that particular task type with a range of different examples of how you can use it.
We hope we’ve convinced you to branch out beyond the basics of multiple choice tasks. It will make your course more engaging and learners will be practising broader ways of knowing.