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Powerful Task Design

Powerful Task Design
Rigorous and Engaging Tasks to Level Up Instruction

March 2018 | 216 pages | Corwin

How can educators use technology to increase students’ engagement in activities essential to rigorous learning? What are the most effective tools for analyzing, designing, and refining those tasks of learning? And finally, how can we increase the cognitive rigor and thoughtful integration of technology into learning tasks, in order to better prepare students for college and beyond?

In Powerful Task Design, these questions and more will be answered, as you get to know the Powerful Task Rubric for Designing Student Work. Applicable for educators across all disciplines and grade levels, you’ll use the tool to analyze, design, and refine cognitively engaging tasks of learning. This guide will help you

  • Explore and use the Powerful Task Rubric piece-by-piece in an easily digestible format to help you delve into the tool’s design components.
  • Use technology to complete interactive tasks, and understand first-hand how technology is a critical design component in student task design that brings about more profound and relevant learning.
  • Identify opportunities for creating powerful tasks in the areas of engagement, academic strategies, questions, and cognition.
  • Supplement your task design arsenal with tools like the Diagnostic Instrument to Analyze Learning (DIAL).

This must-have resource brings together the research and strategies educators need to design engaging, powerful learning tasks. Student performance has a direct correlation to the power of the learning task - this book will help you positively impact both. 

Chapter 1 The Work of School
Chapter 2 Analyzing Learning with the Powerful Task Rubric
Chapter 3 The Power of Engagement
Chapter 4 The Power of Academic Strategies
Chapter 5 The Power of the Question
Chapter 6 Engaged in What? The Power of Cognition
Chapter 7 Power Up!
Chapter 8 Putting it All Together

“An easy-to-follow tool for educators wishing to reflect on the rigor of their classroom tasks with excellent tips to take learning to the next level!”

Clint Heitz, Instructional Coach
Bettendorf Community School District, Bettendorf, IA

"It is painfully obvious that something needs to be done to do more than simply engage students; we need to cognitively engage them and this book gives you the tools with which to do just that. Everything is here for you to make those changes."

Melody (Dani) Aldrich, High School English Teacher
Casa Grande Union High School, Casa Grande, AZ

"Finally! A resource that focuses first on the TASK (what it is we are asking of our students) and then the RESOURCES (what technology is at our disposal to accomplish the task?). For decades now, the process has been backwards and the focus has become bells-and-whistle-technology that is mistaken for authentic engagement. This book will give tangible tools for the teacher toolbox while keeping the eye on the rigor prize for students."

Matthew Constant, Chief Academic Officer
Owensboro Public Schools, Owensboro, KY

“With this collaboration, John's expertise with designing engaging and rigorous student tasks is combined with Terri's vast knowledge of effective technology use in the classroom.  Both John and Terri have worked with our district's teachers and administrators and have helped bring about increased teacher effectiveness.  This book is the perfect next step resource for our district's continuous improvement journey as well as for any educator ready to effectively take their student task design practices to the next level and meaningfully engage today's 'techie" student.'"

Kelli Bush, Assistant Superintendent for Student Learning
Elizaethtown Independent Schools, Elizabethtown, KY

 “As educators we are on a continuous journey to stretch and grow to our fullest potential and we all have a ‘ceiling’ of effectiveness. The interactive approach of #Powerful Task Design will serve as a valuable tool for educators as the stretch and growth toward a higher ceiling.”

Kellianne Wilson, Secondary Instructional Supervisor
Meade County Schools, KY
Key features


    • The Powerful Task Rubric, a practical guide for lesson planning to ensure rigorous cognitive engagement
    • Annotated examples of  teacher lesson plans and student work, showing how to intentionally design for more cognitive engagement
    • Strategies in each chapter, showing teachers how to "level up" the rigor in classroom tasks
    • Readers will complete tasks at each level of the Rubric as well, to experience the difference between each level

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ISBN: 9781506399140
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