Task Interpretation and Planning Training


Educator John Holt once said that “Learning is a result of the activity of the learner” not the result of the activity of the teacher. Holt meant that learning happens when students carry out meaningful learning activities that challenge their current skills and knowledge.

Students’ interpretation of academic tasks and the action plans they make as a result of their interpretation are crucial factors determining how much they learn and how well they perform.

Teaching and learning researchers Butler and Cartier explain that “students’ interpretation of [academic] tasks drives their planning (e.g., objectives they set), the strategies they select and implement, and the criteria against which they judge their performance during monitoring and self-evaluation. Therefore, if task interpretation is absent or faulty, learning is derailed. A student may work diligently and hard, but his or her efforts will not be productively focused on intended learning goals. Thus, successful task interpretation is foundational to focused engagement in tasks and ultimately success in school.”

Tutors can be important mentors for students needing to improve their abilities to interpret and plan for academic tasks.

Resources to Preview Before the Training Session

Learning Activity for the Workshop

Real Life Stuck Student Scenarios (Megan Grumbling, Karen Tasker, Lori Wall)

Suggested Reading