Course Activities & Learner Interaction – Absorb-Do-Connect

Absorb-Do-Connect, created by William Horton (2006), is a relatively simple framework that divides activities by their function. According to Horton, this model provides instructors with a lens through which to consider the balance and variety of activities within a course. It also acts as a guide for instructors to build scaffolded activity sequences in the achievement of progressively higher-order thinking skills. While this framework avoids generalizations about which activities fit into which functional category, it does describe the nature of each category:

  • “Absorb” activities and interactions support learners’ information extraction and consumption from various learning materials and media, e.g., an online presentation or guided tour.
  • “Do” activities and interactions promote learners’ practice or application of information gained from “absorb” activities, e.g., a case study or group project.
  • “Connect” activities and interactions facilitate learners’ forming of linkages between new and previous information within the context of their own lives, e.g., a peer review or web scavenger hunt.

Reference: Horton, W. (2006). E-learning by design. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

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