Activating Delivery Forms/alx

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Activating Delivery Forms
Contributors Christian Köppe, Michel Portier, René Bakker, Stijn Hoppenbrouwers
Last modification June 6, 2017
Source Köppe, Portier, Bakker, & Hoppenbrouwers (in press 2015)[1]
Pattern formats OPR Alexandrian
Learning domain

You’re busy with Suitable Delivery Form Selection (Suitable Delivery Form Selection) and also want to apply Active Student (Active Student).


Students can easily stay passive during the lecture and are not triggered to think.

Learning costs some energy and effort, while staying passive is easier. Furthermore, students (especially beginning ones) often see themselves in the role of a knowledge consumer and the teacher as knowledge provider.

But even if students want to actively engage during lectures, it is sometimes not possible for them because of the non-interactive design made by the lecturer.


Therefore: select and use delivery forms that require the students to actively participate.

According to Active Student (Active Student), students should be active in class too. This requires that the lecturer consciously makes use of delivery forms that encourage or even enforce students to become actively involved with the topic at hand.

Such delivery forms could be of collaborative nature, as in Collaborative Editing (Collaborative Editing), Collaborative Summary (Collaborative Summary), Co-Design (Co-Design), or Student Miners (Student Miners). It could also be simpler forms like asking questions, having students ask questions or proposing a problem the students have to solve. Using examples where the students can connect with is also likely to increase their active participation with the topic. Another option is a Surprise Beginning (Surprise Beginning), where you start the lecture with an interesting picture or story that attracts the interest of the students. Using this story as starting point for introducing a new topic will have the effect of more actively involved students.

Applying this pattern makes the lecture more valuable for the students, as because of their active participation they are likely to learn more. Furthermore, if the delivery forms are carefully chosen and applied, then each student will participate and therefore get the feeling that her contribution to the group is valued. This makes it also more fun for the students to attend the lectures.

Preparing such lectures might cost a bit more preparation time. Also, due to the often unpredictable character of some of these delivery forms, one needs to be able to handle unexpected responses and situations.

The lectures for the course “Patterns and Frameworks" were designed using a variety of activating delivery forms. These were also documented in a detailed lesson plan, an example is shown in the figure below. Here it can be seen that these activating delivery forms ( Student Design Sprint (Student Design Sprint), Shot Gun Seminar (Shot Gun Seminar), and Peer Feedback (Peer Feedback)) are also combined with some more principle-oriented patterns (such as Principles Are Leading (Principles Are Leading), Keep It Simple (Keep It Simple), and Feel the Pain (Feel the Pain) for teaching design patterns [2] and Metatalk (Metatalk)[3] for addressing the usage of a foreign language (English instead of Dutch) for teaching).

Activating Delivery Forms-alx.png
Part of a lesson plan including activating delivery forms.


  1. Köppe, C., Portier, M., Bakker, R., & Hoppenbrouwers, S. (in press 2015). Lecture Design Patterns: More Interactivity Improvement Patterns. In Proceedings of the 22nd Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (PLoP 2015). New York:ACM.
  2. Köppe, C. (2013). A Pattern Language for Teaching Design Patterns. In Transactions on Pattern Languages of Programming III (pp. 24-54). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
  3. Köppe, C., & Nijsten, M. (2012). A pattern language for teaching in a foreign language: part 1. In Proceedings of the 17th European Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (p. 10). New York:ACM.