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Writing a Synthesis from Multiple Sources as a Learning Activity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on how hybrid tasks can be better used within education to promote learning. It begins with an examination of the epistemic potential of synthesis and hybrid tasks in general. Writing a synthesis from multiple sources is a hybrid task with a high potential for fostering learning. The chapter deals with the complex processes involved in writing syntheses from multiple texts. It analyses the differences in the ways students write syntheses and the difficulties they have with such tasks at different educational levels, and presents some of the studies carried out on the processes involved in making syntheses and on the resulting products. Some of the methodological tools employed in analysing these processes are also examined. The chapter ends by describing several interventions to improve learning. These interventions help students at different educational levels to produce syntheses from multiple texts.

Keywords: epistemic potential; hybrid tasks; learning; methodological tools; writing syntheses



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