ERIC Number: ED326138
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Academic Tasks as the Representation of Content in Postsecondary Teaching. ASHE Annual Meeting Paper.
Blake, Veronica M.; Dinham, Sarah M.
This study examined W. Doyle's notion of academic task as content representation in the college setting, examining the products students were asked to produce, the operations they were required to use in order to produce those products, the cognitive operations required and resources available, and the accountability system involved. Interviews were conducted with seven undergraduate-to-doctoral level teachers who were teaching a particular course for the first time. Detailed findings are presented from one case as an example of the teacher's view of the purpose of the course, the design of student tasks, and the thinking that accompanied the process. Across the seven participants, three themes emerged: (1) task systems were designed to engage students with course content in a thoughtful way throughout the semester and to allow them to synthesize that course content at the end of the semester; (2) learning through doing emerged as an implied instructional theory; and (3) task design served as a mirror of the way students are expected to think in the discipline. These three themes yielded two major conclusions: (1) academic tasks provide the vehicle for knowledge transformation, so that the course content can be comprehensible to students, and (2) through academic tasks students perform the activities necessary for assimilating and comprehending course material. (17 references) (JDD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: ASHE Annual Meeting; Content Learning
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (Portland, OR, November 1-4, 1990).