5 Essential Tips for Creating Engaging Exercises
By Yamanda Boukmakh, Head of Partnerships & eLearning Designer
Did you know that on the CanopyLAB platform, you can choose from more than 50 exercises when creating courses? But why are exercises so important? How do exercises add value to the teaching and learning experience?
One of the most common questions I get from teachers, coordinators and HR managers is: How do I go about selecting and creating exercises. Is it even worth my time? The short answer is HELL YES! Let me break down why it is so crucial to include exercises in your courses: It all boils down to skills, competencies, and learner engagement.
Exercises encourage learners to test, anchor, expand, and revisit their knowledge while developing 21st Century skills.
Exercises encourage learners to test, anchor, expand, and revisit their knowledge while developing 21st Century skills. It is not a one-way street anymore; it moves beyond regurgitating facts. While knowledge and content are important, competencies have to do with how the learning takes place. By including an analysis, presentation, debate, or research exercise, learners provide you with insights and evidence regarding how they are applying the content presented into a new context.
Instead of falling into the norm of an isolating remote learning experience, incorporating social and collaborative exercises like facilitating a debate on the course forum, co-creating a product pitch or engaging in a virtual interview, allows learners to connect, collaborate and learn from one another in virtual learning environments.
Exercises are also a great tool for learners to break down, understand, and apply the knowledge that is contained in course materials, including video lectures. They also significantly increase user engagement on the platform. Instead of falling into the norm of an isolating remote learning experience, incorporating social and collaborative exercises like facilitating a debate on the course forum, co-creating a product pitch or engaging in a virtual interview, allows learners to connect, collaborate and learn from one another in virtual learning environments.
Ready to design a thriving virtual learning space for your learners, here are my top 5 tips for selecting and creating exercises on the CanopyLAB platform:
- Connect exercises to the course content. Remember how horrible it was when you were presented with an exam question about something that was never presented in class? Make sure you do not make your learners feel that type of agony… make sure that the exercises relate to the knowledge, content, materials, and learning objects that you present in your courses.
- Vary exercises based on levels of difficulty. Make sure your courses have exercises that range from easy-difficult, that way you will gain more detailed insights on the development of each of your learners.
- Interaction is key- mix things up! Encourage independent, social, and collaborative exercises in each unit. Branch out of the usually written assignments or multiple-choice quizzes. Why not try a mind mapping, digital storytelling or role-playing exercise.
- Set the stage for a personalized learning path. As a rule of thumb, include 3-5 exercises in every unit of your course, including some optional exercises. This empowers learners to take control of how they are applying to the knowledge they gained.
- Put yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself this question when choosing a type of exercise: What will the learners gain from this exercise? Reflect on how your exercise connects to the skills, knowledge, and competences you want your learners to develop.
CanopyLAB’s social features, interactive exercises, and intuitive architecture allow for the perfect balance between structure and flexibility that all teachers need to ensure that the remote learning during COVID-19 is effective, successful, and able to mirror the learning community they have established in the physical classroom.
Follow CanopyLAB’s Chief Learning Officer Lise Andersen-Alstrup on Twitter for more tips and the latest edtech insights, with a special focus on the teacher’s perspective.