Providing the opportunities for learners to take the lead in preparing and delivering successful instructional activity is the pinnacle of learner engagement. Learner-led activities provide a sense of empowerment that “is both a critical element and a desired outcome of participation in an online learning community” (Pallof & Pratt, 1999). This type of activity shifts the learner’s mindset from viewing the instructor as the ultimate authority in the course to one of seeing himself or herself as a valued contributor to the learning environment. It is at this point that learners recognize that they are knowledge generators, not only for themselves but also for the community as a whole.
Checklist for an Effective Learner-Led Activity
- Are the objectives for the activity clearly stated in the syllabus?
- Is there a rubric for the grading of the activity?
- Is the concept of the learner-led activity introduced at least two weeks before learners begin planning it?
- Are the learners provided several weeks to plan the activity?
- Does the topic allow a person or team to be creative in their choice and implementation of the activity?
- Does the participation grade include participation in the learner-led activity?
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