Do, think, and learn as a strategy to build competence

Content coverage as the main driver of course development can become a disservice to all involved. Educators cannot effectively dispense as much content as is available to learners, and learners cannot possibly integrate such a massive amount of fact-based material into their understanding. In the final analysis, if student learning is the priority, it really does not matter how much course material is presented or even responded to correctly on an examination if after the course, learners are unable to remember and apply it appropriately.

Do, think, and learn as a strategy to build competence

A better strategy for building competence in learners is a do, think, and learn approach to course content that begins at the end with the answers to three questions.

1) What should learners be able to do?
- Translation: What real-world tasks and skills are performed by your graduates?

2) What thinking skills should learners have?
- Translation: What cognitive strategies are used by your graduates to perform real-world tasks in the workplace?

3) What content must be learned to support the thinking and doing?
- Translation: What knowledge should your graduates possess to support the cognitive strategies needed to perform real-world tasks?

The answers to these three questions should be central to course development, the design of applied learning activities, and decisions about what content should be included and applied.