InterPro uses the Backward Design model (Wiggins & McTighe, Understanding By Design, 2005) and the Absorb-Do-Connect framework (Horton, E-Learning By Design, 2012) to inform course design, development, and delivery.
Absorb-Do-Connect is a framework for building learning activities, with the premise that learning is not just about absorbing content, but is equally about doing and connecting and applying the content to life outside of the classroom. Absorb-Do-Connect was developed by William Horton to help classify learning experiences that “provoke the exact mental experiences that lead to learning.” (Horton, E-Learning by Design, 2012, p. 52).
- Absorb activities are activities where a “learner reads, listens, and watches.”
- Do activities are activities “where the learner actively exercises, explores, and discovers.”
- Connect activities help learners link their current learning to both prior learning experiences and to future learning and on the job-experiences
The Absorb-Do-Connect framework guides InterPro’s approach to course development, from learning objectives to lectures to course activities. Learners are asked to absorb content from recorded lectures and live sessions, do activities that reinforce the content like answer a question or complete a task, and connect the content to their work. Instructors are encouraged to use this framework to help develop active learning activities like project and problem-based learning.
This model is useful in 1) providing a lens for instructors to be intentional about the variety and balance of activities provided in a course, and 2) building scaffolded activity sequences that require progressively higher order thinking skills.
Many courses use this framework to develop their weekly course rhythm.