Fulfilling Outcomes: Choosing Activities

In continuation of my blog series on developing effective curriculum, this post assumes you have already created excellent outcomes or objectives for your workshop, curriculum, course, or whatever learning experience that you are developing. However, even incredibly insightful uses of taxonomy decisions for the outcomes do not necessarily promise a fantastic learning experience. It simply promises. Now, you have to create incredible activities that fulfills those promises. Let’s look at some crucial questions to observe in creating these activities.

Frankly, there are only a few billion activities that you can create. Some activity ideas can come from awesome books like Bowman’s Training from Back of the Room, guidelines that instructional designers can provide, games and simulations, common sense, or something completely unique that you’ve designed. The important issue is to find something that will deliver the most powerful impact for your learners. Thus, we have to step back and ask some more holistic questions before you decide the “fun stuff”.

Do I need for my learner to experience an introspective or collaborative activity to best fulfill the outcome?

This is determining the nature of the activity. Let’s say that you feel that fulfilling a particular outcome should be collaborative. Here are just a few holistic approaches to activities that will help you design how the learning will be experienced regardless of it being a face to face, online, or hybrid environment.

  • Discussions, whether structured or inspirational based
  • Interactive exercise (the sky is the limit)
  • Group problem based scenarios
  • Roleplay / debate

Meanwhile, here are just a few holistic approaches to activities that will help you design learning if the outcome should be done in an introspective mode.

  • Journal writing (cannot speak enough of the value for this)
  • Discussions in the form of self-discovery
  • Self-evaluative instruments (mindset, MBTI, etc.)
  • Experiment + observation exercises

What type of learning is going to be experienced?

By that I simply mean, is it based on researching something and then applying? Is it based on experiencing something and then applying? Is it collecting experiences and creating? This is getting at the root of how the learner is going to interact within the scope of the outcome, and subsequently, within the activity.

Again, these are just scratching the surface on types of learning one can experience, and they would have to be handled uniquely depending on the modality of the learning. However, remember to ask those two questions first, and the rest of your decision making suddenly gets much faster, easier, and applicable to your learners. We will discuss strategies for ensuring that your activities are relevant and scaffolds effective in the next post!

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About Marian

My passion is centered around ensuring effective learning experiences that improve people's lives. Developing a learning mindset is my ultimate goal whether working with academic programs or corporate training; formal or informal learning practices. It is my belief that our potential for agility is limited only by our capacity for learning.

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