Discrete learning designs

The framework shown in the Table below suggests a form for three learning designs whose main distinction lies in the levels of direction and autonomy afforded the learner as well as differences in the focus of the content brought about by the different learning outcomes sought. From these differences, three forms of learning design emerge which have been called task-directed, task-guided and task-autonomy.

At the heart of all learning designs are the tasks which direct learning. These differ across the learning designs in the manner shown below.


Framework describing characteristics of discrete learning designs

Task-directedTask-guidedTask-autonomy
Level of outcomeknowledge acquisitionunderstandingproblem-solving
Level of guidancehighmediumlow
Content focusinformationapplicationevaluation
Content applicationproceduralinterpretivecreative
Learner freedomlowmediumhigh
Learning formpractisingchoosingdesigning
Learner preferenceteacher-centredworking with otherslearner-centred
Engagementreading, browsing, watching, describing, reviewingcomparing, planning, questioning, seeking, organisinginvestigating, inquiring, analysing, evaluating, synthesising
Typical tasks for this type of learningSmall tasks with correct/incorrect responses. Learner makes objective decisions and computer-generated response used for feedback.Large contextualised tasks which are broken into smaller chunks for learners to deal with. Learner makes both objective and subjective decisions to complete tasks. Both tutor and computer used to assess tasks and to provide feedback.Large and complex tasks which learner needs to plan and solve. The outcome of the task is usually the development of a product or artefact with some purposeful application.