"Reading this wonderful book is like having Jane Vella at your side. She gives us the courage to risk changing our established habits of teaching."
--Clifford Baden, director of programs for professional education, Harvard University
"By marrying theory and practice, Vella has shown how to design learning that takes hold of the learner--mind, heart, and muscles."
--Jack McCall, professor, Principals' Executive Program, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
"You'll feel as though you've found the keys to creating profound and powerfully effective learning experiences. Anyone responsible for engaging a group of adults in learning will find this book invaluable "
--Rod Brooks, vice president for administration, EXPLORIS
Known for her work in popular education and her worldwide teaching experience, Jane Vella has significantly changed the way we view adult learning. In her three bestselling books--Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach, Training Through Dialogue, and How Do They Know They Know?--she writes with one basic assumption: that learning is most effective when teachers involve their students in the learning process.
In Taking Learning to Task, Vella shifts the spotlight from teaching tasks to learning tasks. Unlike traditional teaching methods, learning tasks are open questions leading to open dialogue between teacher and learner. To illustrate this unique approach, Vella provides seven steps to planning learning-centered courses, four types of learning tasks, a checklist of principles and practices, critical questions for instructional design, key components for evaluation, and other tools. She also shares real-world examples of successful learning programs, including online and distance-learning courses. Taking Learning to Task is a hands-on, practical guide to designing effective learning tasks for diverse learners and diverse content. Teachers, trainers, and all types of instructors will find a wealth of advice for refining their day-to-day practice.