Learning at a distance requires a way of learning that does not rely on permanent pedagogical control, small-step instruction and control and constant reassurance. Instead, students must learn to organise their work and learning processes with a high degree of independence, activating all the abilities and competences available to them
Distance learning with tasks
However, this structurally conditioned arrangement of learning and working at a distance cannot be achieved by appeal or good will only. Rather, it must be based on the form of the task itself. A target or working product that is aimed for and realised by means of problem-solving ways of thinking and working must form the centre of such a task. Complex competence tasks fulfil this requirement; they initiate a challenging kind of work based on individual solutions and independence and they are geared towards a clear goal.
Developing tasks with digital genres
In the video I explain that for these reasons the complex task is a suitable pedagogical instrument to initiate and enable successful learning at a distance. In addition, I present practical examples from the foreign language classroom. These are not randomly chosen, but they have been developed by teachers of English as a Foreign Language in our school and lesson development project „Leistung macht Schule/LemaS“ (‘excellence in school education’). The teen magazine task was developed by Christine Hallaschka, Catharina Müller-Otto, Maren Radtke-Ragab, Judith Schäfer and Nina Sturm at Wilhelmsgymnasium Kassel. The blog posts mentioned in the video were created at the Kaiserin-Friedrich-Gmynasium in Bad Homburg v.d.H., one of our LemaS schools, and can be viewed here.
In the LemaS project, we are investigating whether and in what way complex tasks are suited for the promotion of talent and for differentiation. Thus, digital target products turn out to be much more than a provisional remedy in the current plight: they are genres of everyday communication that must be permanent components of the foreign language classroom.