In an accomplishment-based and reflection-based curriculum like we have at Frontier Christian Academy, the tasks that the students are doing are the basis for what happens in the course.
Typically, each week will have one or more tasks that the students are required to accomplish. The time normally budgeted for this is around 5 focused hours of work per week.
The students will receive their tasks when that week of assignments "opens up" on Google Classroom (typically on a Monday.) They will then have until midnight on Friday to complete and turn in the assignment (also through Google Classroom.)
Tasks will either be the student individually developing something new (most of the time with detailed coaching that comes in the form of the assignment instructions), students revising things that they have done previously based on other things that they have done related to a previous task, or performing some sort of interaction with their classmates - whether it be group work of some sort or editing and providing feedback on a classmate's previous task.
Since learning in Frontier courses comes from students reflecting on their accomplishments, completing these tasks is critical to their success in the course.
Given that our approach is based on students reflecting on their accomplishments and their learning, the discussion questions are critical to the student getting the full benefit out of their course.
Each week, each student will be responsible for answering various discussion questions that their teacher asks based on the different topics that are being covered and the accomplishments that the students have already completed. They will have to respond to all of their instructor's questions.
They will also have a requirement (set by the teacher in the assignment instructions) to engage with a certain number of their classmates' responses to the teacher's questions in a substantive way. The teacher will define for each course what "substantive" means, but, in most cases, it will mean a minimum of 150 words.
This will enable the students to engage in a discussion with other students who are also accomplishing amazing things, and learning to express their conversations in writing.
While we do not have instruction-based courses, the students will need to gain certain knowledge and skills in order to accomplish the tasks that we require of them.
To do this, we have instructional modules for certain of the tasks. We have tried to schedule the instructional modules (wherever possible) for a week or two before the knowledge or skill will be required for a task. This scheduling allows the student to ask questions, either in the discussion forum or via email to the teacher, if (s)he does not understand a particular skill.
These are entirely for the student's benefit, and therefore, completely voluntary. If they are able to learn these skills through a different venue, we are not trying to burden them with busywork. If they already know how to do the skills taught in that particular module, they do not need to "jump through hoops" for our amusement.
We try to engage multiple learning styles with the different instructional modules. If your student finds that (s)he is not able to "get it" using one of our activities, then they can also engage with either classmates or their instructor directly for more individualized instruction to ensure that they are prepared for the task that this instructional module is designed to equip.
It is important to note that just going through the instructional modules (without accomplishing the tasks and doing the discussion/reflection questions) will not actually teach the student the course. The instructional modules are not designed to deliver the course content. They are only designed to enable the students to complete the tasks so that they can learn through reflection on their accomplishments.