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Student Preparation


“Activities between sessions” are the students’ preparation activities between teaching sessions.  These are the students’ independent learning activities, which are selected, defined and described by the teacher.  The activities between sessions must be clearly connected to the teaching sessions and must be specific and visible. 


Planning the students’ preparation time

The term ‘activities between sessions’ refers to the activities which students must carry out independently between the teaching sessions, i.e. in their preparation time. The activities are defined by you as a teacher, and in doing so you are guiding the students’ independent learning activities. Your role as a teacher and subject expert is to specify activities that will support the students’ independent work with the content and methods of the academic field. In other words, the activities between sessions form an important part of the students’ learning process.


Preparation must be necessary

The activities must be organised on the basis of the objectives you have set for individual teaching sessions. Students must be able to see a clear connection between their preparation and the teaching activities, which means that you as a teacher must actively include and continue the work done by the students in their preparation activities. If your teaching is merely a review of the texts or exercises from the students’ activities between sessions, the purpose of these will be lost. When the activities are tangible, i.e. result in a specific product, these may be included in the teaching activities in a visible manner.


Clear instruction

As the activities between sessions take place in the students’ own time and on their initiative, it is essential that you communicate to them why it is important that they spend time on performing them. Moreover, it is important to make clear to the students how you expect them to work with the activities and to introduce them to useful working methods which will enable them to continue the work with specific activities between teaching sessions.



Teachers should ask themselves the following questions:


  • Which activities can support the students’ work with the content of the course?
  • How should the students work with the specific activities?
  • How do the activities between sessions complement the teaching activities?
  • How do I clarify the relevance and necessity of the activities in relation to the teaching activities?
  • How do the activities between sessions contribute to the academic objectives of the course?



    Examples of Practice

      Further Reading

      • Brandsford, J. D., Brown, A & Cocking, R. R. (2000): How People learn, Brain, Mind, Experience, and School. Washington, D. C. National Academic Press.
      • Darling, Hammond, Linda  (2008): Powerful Learning: What we know about Teaching for Understanding. San Francis co, Jossey-Bass.
      • Pintrich, P (2002): The role of Metacognitive Knowlegde in Learning, Teaching, and Assessing. Theory into Practice, 41 (4), 219 - 225.


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