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Designing Web-Based Training: How to Teach Anyone Anything Anywhere Anytime by William Horton

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6.14. Hands-on activity

Hands-on activities give learners real work to perform. In a hands-on activity the learner completes a task outside the lesson, such as performing a calculation with an on-screen calculator, designing something on paper, or operating a piece of machinery. The hands-on activity guides learners through the real-life task, provides feedback on their success, and may test what they learned.

6.14.1. When to use hands-on activities

Use hands-on activities to teach hands-on tasks. Hands-on activities give learners a chance to practice what they are learning. They are powerful stimuli for learning practical skills.

Hands-on activities, though not especially effective in teaching abstract knowledge, can provide a pleasant descent from the stratospheric heights of conceptual thought common in such courses.

6.14.2. How hands-on activities work

The instructor assigns a task and gives detailed instructions. The learner performs the procedure, checking each step as performed. After a review of the procedure, the learner repeatedly performs the task on his or her own.

6.14.3. Example of a hands-on activity

The following example teaches use of the Windows system calculator to convert decimal numbers to their hexadecimal and octal equivalents.

The activity begins with ...

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