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Best Practices for Building a Structured Study Plan
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Structured study plans are built based on study task groups (categories of content) and study tasks (individual lessons, practice question sets, flashcards, etc).


Here are some best practices to help you create and organize your study plan:


  • We recommend that Introductory/How to Use material is included and presented first. Include an introductory assignment or a how to use assignment to introduce learners to your course material, its organization, and how they can make the most of the course.
  • We suggest that if you are using content based on an eBook or similar text that the headings and topics called out in the text are incorporated into your study plan’s structure. Text content organizational structure (Chapters, A-heads, and b-heads, etc.) can provide a foundation for creating study task groups and study tasks (i.e. All content from Chapter 1 can be in the same study task group).
  • Does the order in which your content is presented to the learner matter (i.e. is there a need to complete one section of content or master a topic before moving on to another?) If so, we recommend that the study plan follows this order, which usually matches the order of the lessons in the course.
  • If the order in which the content is presented does not matter, consider the ways in which your learners will be applying and approaching the content. What are they likely to encounter first as they prepare for certification or an exam? In what order will they experience the content? We recommend that you use these considerations to develop your study plan’s organizational structure.
  • Does the source content have an opening assessment or a final practice test? We recommend those elements to be set up at the beginning or end of the study plan, and set off as separate tasks to be clear for the learner.
  • We recommend that flashcards and practice questions immediately follow the material to which they are related to give learners the opportunity to practice.
  • We recommend that lessons, questions, or other content with similar themes be presented together within the same study task group to allow learners to understand the context. However, you may also consider interleaving materials, or grouping together content that is different but related for a more challenging experience but with greater mastery of concepts as a result. 

Here are some additional tips for organizing content into study tasks:


  • Be specific about the nomenclature for the study task groups and study tasks, so that they are logical and meaningful to the learner.
  • Content presented without an eBook format can be grouped by topic. Topics can be the basis for study task groups and study tasks.
  • Consider limiting the number of practice questions per study task to follow microlearning principles. This will help ensure that each study task is bite-sized and digestible. Many courses and subject areas limit the number of questions to about 20 questions maximum per study task.
  • For questions that take students longer to complete by nature, such as finance or accounting practice problems, considering limiting the number of practice questions to about 5 per study task.
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