Computers, networks and digital media are changing the types of tasks educators assign as students access, manipulate, and create information using previously unavailable technologies. Williams (2004) defined fundamental characteristics of tasks which influence how individuals understand the tasks they undertake:
- the perceived importance of the task;
- the frequency with which it is done;
- the time needed to perform it;
- the complexity and difficulty of the task.
As curriculum and instruction is redesigned planners will be forced to be conscious of how students and teachers perceive each task according to these characteristics. Through the judicious application of technology, educators can complete tasks efficaciously by automating redundant tasks and educators can minimize the cognitive load and the intrusiveness of tasks. In effect these actions will transfer some cognitive tasks to ICT which will allowing humans’ cognitive resources to be used for new or different task (or for the useful repetition of already-completed tasks). For example, using an online test administration tool, educators can automate the time-consuming and repetitive work of scoring tests of domain knowledge. Not only is that work removed from the educators’ list of work, but the students can receive immediate feedback.
Williams, J. (2004). Developing performance support for computer systems: A strategy for maximizing usability and learnability. CRC Press.