Resource Types

Teaching Online


Learner-Led Activities

Excerpt from Engaging the Online Learner by Rita-Marie Conrad and J. Ana Donaldson

Leaner-Led Activities

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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