What is task-centered learning?

We’re sorry, something doesn't seem to be working properly.

Please try refreshing the page. If that doesn't work, please contact support so we can address the problem.

Abstract

Many recent models of learning and instruction center learning on real-world tasks and problems to support knowledge application and transfer. Of the many different approaches to centering learning on real-world tasks and problems, one main area in recent literature attempts to balance the efficiency of adequate learner support with the effectiveness of centering learning on real-world tasks. Names for the various models in this area have included problem-centered instruction, cognitive apprenticeship, elaboration theory, and taskcentered learning/instruction. As yet there has not been much comparison or combination of the prescriptions of these task-centered approaches to learning. Therefore we compare and combine several task-centered learning models to outline essential prescriptive elements of a task-centered learning approach.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Collins, A. M., Brown, J. S., & Holum, A. (1991). Cognitive apprenticeship: Making thinking visible. American Educator, 15(3), 6-11.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Collins, A. M., Brown, J. S., & Newman, S. E. (1989). Cognitive apprenticeship: Teaching the crafts of reading, writing, and mathematics. In L. B. Resnick (Ed.), Knowing, learning, and instruction: Essays in honor of Robert Glaser (pp. 453-494). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Frick, T., Chadha, R., Watson, C., Wang, Y., & Green, P. (2009). College student perceptions of teaching and learning quality. Educational Technology Research & Development, 57(5), 705-720. doi:10.1007/s11423-007-9079-9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Lim, J., Reiser, R. A., & Olina, Z. (2009). The effects of part-task and whole-task instructional approaches on acquisition and transfer of a complex cognitive skill. Educational Technology Research and Development, 57(1), 61-77.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Merrill, M. D. (2002a). First principles of instruction. Educational Technology Research and Development, 50(3), 43-59.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Merrill, M. D. (2002b). A pebble-in-the-pond model for instructional design. Performance Improvement, 41(7), 39-44.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Merrill, M. D. (2007). A task-centered instructional strategy. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 40(1), 5-22.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Merrill, M. D., Barclay, M., & van Schaak, A. (2008). Prescriptive principles for instructional design. In J. M. Spector, M. D. Merrill, J. J. G. van Merriënboer, & M. P. Driscoll (Eds.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (pp. 173-184). New York, NY: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Reigeluth, C. M. (1999). The elaboration theory: Guidance for scope and sequence decisions. Instructional design theories and models: A new paradigm of instructional theory, 2, 425-453.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Sarfo, F. K., & Elen, J. (2007). Developing technical expertise in secondary technical schools: The effect of 4C/ID learning environments. Learning Environments Research, 10(3), 207-221.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Spector, J. M. (2003). Problems with problem-based learning: Comments on model-centered learning and instruction in Seel (2003). Technology, Instruction, Cognition and Learning, 1(4), 359-374.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Van Merriënboer, J. J. G. (1997). Training complex cognitive skills: A four-component instructional design model for technical training. New Jersey: Educational Technology Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Van Merriënboer, J. J. G., Jelsma, O., & Paas, F. (1992). Training for reflective expertise: A four-component instructional design model for complex cognitive skills. Educational Technology Research and Development, 40(2), 23-43. doi:10.1007/BF02297047

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Van Merriënboer, J. J. G., & Kester, L. (2008). Whole-task models in education. In J. M. Spector, M. D. Merrill, J. J. G. van Merriënboer, & M. P. Driscoll (Eds.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (pp. 441-456). New York, NY: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Van Merriënboer, J. J. G., & Kirschner, P. A. (2007). Ten steps to complex learning: A systematic approach to four-component instructional design. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Gregory M. Francom.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Francom, G.M., Gardner, J. What is task-centered learning?. TECHTRENDS TECH TRENDS 58, 27–35 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-014-0784-z

Download citation

Keywords

  • Task-centered
  • Learning
  • Instruction
  • Problem-centered