Students record themselves performing a task and submit this recording to the instructor. In some cases, videoconferencing may be used for synchronous events. It is also possible that an optional on-site day may be required for some procedural demonstrations, especially when materials are only available on campus. In some cases, such as medicine, off-site mentors may be used for verification and grading.

Appropriate Content Areas

All. Typically in Music, Engineering, Mechanics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Medicine, and Kinesthetics.

Example Procedures

Performing a physical action such as swimming with a timer, extracting antibodies from a rabbit, purifying DNA from a sample, constructing a valve of particular flow parameters, rebuilding an engine, etc.

Goals and Objectives

The goal of a procedural demonstration is for students to provide evidence of their mastery of a given physical task.

Sample objectives include:

After completing a presentation activity, students will:

  • Demonstrate competence in a given action
  • Gain experience performing a given action
  • Evaluate their performance of a given action and cite areas for improvement

as determined by successfully attending to 80% of the requirements.

Materials and Resources

What needs to be prepared in advance by the teacher? Detailed instructions of the procedure to be demonstrated, the manner by which the procedure is to be recorded, and examples of the procedure need to be prepared at the least.

What does the student need to bring to the lesson? Students may need software and hardware to record the procedure. They may also need equipment needed for the actual procedure. These needs may result in the student partnering with a local site to complete the procedure or possibly come to campus for a site visit.

Guiding Questions for this Lesson

How well can the students perform a given task?

Lesson Outline and Procedure

  1. Instructions are given on how to perform a given task. These instructions should include:
    • A full description of each step in a sequence of actions.
    • The purpose of the actions.
    • Examples of the actions being performed in video and pictures. This may be distributed on DVD/CD to students in the course, as the quality is generally higher than through streaming and allows for more portability of the procedural examples.
    • Linkage of this activity to other content currently being studied.
  2. Students practice the activity (if appropriate) and then perform the activity. This performance is done in the presence of a local mentor or during a campus visit. It may or may not be recording depending on the nature of the activity.
  3. The instructor and/or local mentor reviews the procedure and provides comments for improvement.
  4. Steps 2-3 may be repeated multiple times.

Learning Assessments

The primary assessment involves the successful completion of the procedure, the adequacy of any products produced, and the performance during the procedure. Each can be individually assessed or collectively assessed. The assessment itself may be performed by the instructor and/or mentor.

Teaching Strategies and Highlights

  • When a course has many procedures that need to be completed on site, several tasks may be scheduled simultaneously during a single or a few on-site campus visits.
  • In some cases, especially in nursing and related fields, an off-site mentor near the student is useful. This mentor can help walk the student through procedures and help evaluate performance or proctor their performance.


As this is procedural in nature, if a disability inhibits ones ability to perform the required actions, the it is possible that the disability inhibits the persons ability to even take the given course. In some cases, there the objective involves gaining knowledge rather than actual ability to perform an action, an alternative activity may be substituted.


How much time would a typical online student require to complete such a lesson? This lesson typically requires 1-5 hours to prepare and 1 minute to several hours to perform the procedure. Some procedures may require multiple recording sessions.

Learning Connections

What connections to other topics exist within the lesson? Of particular interest is when a particular procedure needs to be mastered before a future procedure can be performed.

Ideas for Lesson Evaluation and Teacher Reflection

How did the students like the lesson? End of semester evaluations should ask about the usefulness and learning accomplished through such activities. Difficulties experienced should be addressed for current and future courses and students.