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Learning Activities

The purpose of learning activities is to practice the skills outlined in a course’s objectives. These activities should also help build the skills needed to complete the summative assessment for the course. 

Successful learning activities allow both teachers and learners to use formative assessments to gauge understanding of the course material and make adjustments ahead of the summative assessment.  


When designing a learning activity, it is helpful to consider the level of learning expected from students and the following:

  • Is the activity testing knowledge and comprehension? 

  • Is it prompting application and analysis? 

  • Is it prompting facilitating evaluation and synthesis? 

Ideas for Learning Activities

The activities provided below are by no means exhaustive, but will help you in thinking of how to deliver meaningful learning for students:

  • Formative Assessments (can be ungraded or computer-graded)

    • Quizzes (weekly or modularized) 

    • In-lecture quizzes

  • Reading Activities

    • Response papers

    • Individual reading-specific prompts, questions, or reflections

    • Group discussion readings 

    • Jigsaw group discussions

    • Policy memos

    • Proposals

    • Persuasive papers

    • Research proposals

    • Public service announcements

  • Practice Problems

    • Case studies

    • Word problems

  • Presentations

    • Synchronous presentations

    • Recorded presentations

    • VoiceThreads

    • Topic discussion leads

More on Active Learning

For a deeper dive into learning activities that involve active student participation, we invite you to read more on the Active Learning page.

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