Feature series: Show me the exercises baby

Ah, exercises! No, we aren’t talking about squats, lunges or any other physical exercise that keeps your body in shape. BUT, we do want to keep our learners’ minds in shape. To do this, CanopyLAB enables various exercises that encourage learners to test, anchor, expand and revisit their knowledge while developing 21st Century skills.

We have conceptualised 53+ exercises that encompass three types of user engagement! First, the classic independent exercise where learners work individually (answering a question, analysing a text or reflecting on conflicting viewpoints). Secondly, social exercises where learners interact with others and report back on their experience. It can be interviewing, discussing or engaging in social activism. Thirdly, we have the collaborative exercise- learners work together towards the same goal in real time. This can take the form of a debate or co-creation; some examples include creating a video, podcast, or social campaign.

As a host, how do I begin creating great exercises?

There are many ways to go about choosing the right exercises for your course, but here are 3 rules of thumb we go by:

  1. Vary exercises based on levels of difficulty
    • Make sure your courses have exercises that range from easy-difficult
  2. Interaction is key- mix things up!
    • Encourage independent, social and collaborative exercises in each unit
  3. Ask yourself this question when choosing a type of exercise: what are learners going to get out of this exercise?
    • Reflect on how your exercise connects to the knowledge and material you present in your courses

On CanopyLAB, you can use exercises to facilitate active learning at all levels. Examples of exercises range from watching video lectures and reading online articles to engaging in a debate and sharing real life experiences with others on the CanopyLAB platform.

As a learner, how should I tackle exercises?

All learners are different, but here are some tips that will help you make the most out of the exercise feature.

  1. Get out of your comfort zone
    • You may prefer reading an article to watching a video lecture, but we encourage you to diversify your skill set through our variety of exercises. Who knows, maybe you discover that you gain deeper understanding of a complex concept through mind mapping or creating a digital story!
  2. Reach out
    • You are not alone- an individualized learning path does not mean that exercises are a solo act. Confused about a concept? Send the course instructor a private message or ask a question on the CanopyLAB platform
  3. Connect with others
    • Take initiative and connect with other learners on CanopyLAB to engage in online discussions or debates. This way, you will not only learn to express your own opinions, but also understand different perspectives.

At CanopyLAB we designed a simple and social platform for digital learning experiences.