Learning activities are significant in an e-learning course. Learning activities allow tailoring of general knowledge within e-learning courses to particular applications and situations (Andrews & Haythornthwaite, 2007).
Learning activities include connect-type activities, absorb-type activities, and do-type activities. Connect-type activities link students’ current knowledge to their newly attained knowledge (Horton 2012). The topic of interest to the current class is tornadoes.
Therefore, based on the research topic ‘tornadoes’, this entry endeavors at evaluating a connect type activity, while highlighting its needs assessment.
The principal purpose of education is to bestow students with knowledge that they can efficiently transfer to real-life aspects. Learners may deem it difficult to relate novel knowledge to previous knowledge without the aid of connect-type learning activities.
As Khan (2005) affirms, designing and delivering instruction stipulates thoughtful investigation and analysis as well as an understanding of the resources and techniques to apply instructional design principles to tap students’ potentials.
In this milieu, connect-type activities refer to the connections between students’ existing knowledge and novel knowledge. The activities endeavor at closing the gap between learning and real-life experiences (Horton, 2012).
They prepare and allow students to apply the formerly attained knowledge in their personal lives, in situations they encounter within their workplaces, and in their forthcoming learning endeavors. In this context, connect activities integrate what students are learning to what they already know.
In fact, they do not endow students with new-fangled skills and knowledge, but they link together formerly acquired knowledge and skills. Therefore, the purpose of a particular activity determines whether it is a connect-type activity or not.
If the prime purpose of the activity is to link new knowledge to something previously known, it qualifies as a connect activity. Connect-type activities vary from uncomplicated questions to comprehensive work assignments.
The numerous types of connecting activities suitable in online learning and in the classroom include job aids, written and picture stories by students, ponder activities, and research activities.
The needs assessment is the preliminary step in the creation of a connect-type activity. The needs assessment process is essential in establishing the indispensable actions of improving the connect-type activity (Philips & Philips, 2009). It aids in determining the weaknesses and strengths of the students.
Moreover, it allows for the compilation of, as well as the examination of imperative info pertaining to students’ current knowledge, and the anticipated result of the activity. Additionally, the needs assessment investigates the benefits allied to the activity prior to implementing it.
It explores students’ current abilities, knowledge, and skills, whilst determining what the instructor wants the students to know, the objectives of the activity, the means of collecting and recording information, and the means of reporting the information.
The following connect-type activity based on a needs assessment of seventh-grade students. The needs assessment determines the knowledge that these students have pertaining to tornadoes. A class discussion established that students have little knowledge of tornadoes.
Hence, further research is required to enhance this knowledge. A research activity will enable students to collect and examine relevant information regarding tornadoes in general and the 1966 Topeka tornado in particular. In this situation, the existing knowledge will form the basis for further research.
Accordingly, students will apply their current knowledge on tornadoes to analyze the 1966 Topeka tornado. This activity will allow them to apply their existing knowledge about tornadoes in a real-life situation. The school has suitable resources for carrying out the activity.
The internet and intranet resources are appropriate for conducting expansive research. Equally, the exchange programs will allow students to engage in discussions, which equip them with more knowledge on different topics.
‘Research’ is the connect-type activity for seventh-grade students. Age is the chief determinant of the nature of connect-type activity. Seventh-grade students are able to learn on their own, gathering, analyzing, and reporting on information.
Research may prove interesting to this group as it creates room for them to explore their topics of interest. Students will engage in absorb-type activities, which are class discussions, and then they will conduct their own research as a connect-type activity.
Purpose of the Connect-Type Activity
The prime aim of this connect activity is to link the existing knowledge on tornadoes to the 1966 Topeka tornado. The activity measures the students’ ability to connect their current knowledge on tornadoes to a real-life experience.
Students will conduct research on 1966 Topeka tornado, expounding on its main contributing factor and its effects on the environment.
To begin with, students will read the basics of tornadoes. As Horton (2012) asserts, research is usually a natural component of auxiliary types of activities explicitly discovery and reading activities. Accordingly, the students will conduct further research predominantly on the 1966 Topeka tornado.
The bona fide meaning of education is to endow learners with the appropriate tools for conducting research. In today’s technological world, students have familiarized with the use of internet resources to access extensive bodies of info.
Hence, to render the research simpler, the instructor will provide students with the link to the web site that contains information on tornadoes. Horton (2012) establishes two principal genres of research learning activities, namely scavenger hunts and guided research.
Scavenger hunts enable learners to identify reliable information sources to answer research queries. On the other hand, guided research enables students to consult a broad variety of opinions and information sources pertaining to the research topic and then sum up their findings.
In the research activity, students will follow the steps designated by Horton. To begin with, they will read and understand the question that stipulates research. Accordingly, they will conduct in-depth research, gathering information pertaining to the research question.
In this context, they will be in a position to answer all queries allied to the research topic. For instance, they will know the main contributing factor to the 1966 Topeka tornado as well as the effects the tornado had on the environment.
Subsequently, students will use the data they gather in answering the research question. They will continue with the research until they answer all the questions related to the topic. This activity allows learners to acquire comprehensive skills and knowledge on the research topic.
The research activity augments students’ knowledge by enabling them to use their existing knowledge to attain new knowledge.
The above-illustrated connect-type activity is an epitome of a learning activity that students may carry out to link their existing knowledge to novel knowledge. The principal rationale behind connect activities is to link the newly attained information to the already existing information.
In this context, research remains imperative in attaining new knowledge. It enables students to decipher reality from estimations by accessing manifold information sources. Hence, connect activity is a reliable method for students to connect to learning.
Andrews, R. & Haythornthwaite, C. (2007). The SAGE handbook of e-learning research. New Delhi: SAGE.
Horton, W. (2012). E-Learning by design (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Wiley.
Khan, B.H. (2005). Managing e-learning: design, delivery, implementation and evaluation. Hershey, PA: Idea Group Inc.
Philips, J. & Philips, P.P. (2009). Measuring for success. Danvers, MA: American Society for Training and Development.