5. Emphasize time on task

“Time plus energy equals learning. There is no substitute for time on task.” — Arthur W. Chickering and Zelda F. Gamson

Some assignments and course activities produce wonderful learning experiences for students Some are viewed as drudge work and don’t produce the desired results. We think our subjects are important and interesting. Getting students to spend the time is a challenge.

For promoting student Time on task there are a number of technology-facilitated learning activities. These include web-based research, collaboration and presentation.


Time on task alone is not enough. There has to be real energy put in, as well.

Time plus energy equals learning. There is no substitute for time on task. Learning to use one’s time well is critical for students and professionals alike.
Students need help in learning effective time management. Allocating realistic amounts of time means effective learning for students and effective teaching for faculty.
–Seven Principles – Arthur W. Chickering and Zelda F. Gamson

There is no question that working independently on assignments – problem sets, essays that demonstrate analysis and critical thinking are important. However, the technologies are available to provide activities that encourage students to work on subject content in other ways – research, collaboration, presentation, share, analyze.

Students say…

  • Personally, I think that it is great that there is online group work in this class because I have another online class without group work and it is so boring.
  • I really liked that group that I ended up with [students pick a group using Choice to limit group size to 5 students]. We had lots in common and were able to voice our opinion on the topic at hand freely. Everyone was accommodating and worked well together.
  • I like how webcasted lectures enable students to be more flexible with their schedules. It was also very useful when I was studying for the midterms and final because I could go back and review any of the lectures to understand better what the professor was saying.
  • It became quite fun as well–I could sit on my bed with my laptop in my lap, comfortably listening to the lectures and learning about…

Enhancing Instruction

Interactive technologies greatly extend the level of resources that can be offered to students. The internet provides world-class lectures, videos, audio in addition to images and text. Encouraging students to avail themselves of these resources is much easier than getting them to go to campus libraries.

Media in Course Work

Many students enjoy watching and listening to their learning. For many students, being able to rewind and review lectures is invaluable.

There are plenty of well-respected instructors who have recorded their lectures and make these available. Even if their views and content isn’t exactly in line with your course, these differences provide a wonderful opportunity for asking students to compare and contrast your course point of view or facts with those in the external content. Students spend time on task watching the video AND on the critical thinking assignments that you create to bring the students back into your focus.

Web-based Research

There are lots of different web search activities. For the module on research and trusting sources, I ask students to find a wikipedia article of interest to them and look at the history and discussion as well as the text of the article. I have them report their findings in a discussion so everyone can see their selections and analysis. The results are wonderful. For the most part Wikipedia is a good resource, but it is clear to students after this assignment, that they really need to find other sources as well – which was the learning objective.

Student Presentations

Using new skill or knowledge to create a product or deliverable is an important milestone in learning. Having students create presentations of their work reinforces their learning. Presentations can be PowerPoint slides, web pages, wiki entries – all can be shared with other class members who benefit from the work as well.

25 key FREE tools


Share content with others. Make use of existing engaging content by using these three tools. You can use them to host and share your own content too.

Bloom’s Taxonomy Blooms Digitally

Evaluating: Checking, hypothesising, critiquing, experimenting, judging, testing, detecting, monitoring, (Blog/vlog) commenting, reviewing, posting, moderating, collaborating, networking, reflecting, (Alpha & beta) testing. Bloom’s Taxonomy Blooms Digitally http://www.techlearning.com/story/showArticle.php?articleID=196605124


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s