Design a learning sequence

How to structure your learning sequence.

Dominik avatar
Written by Dominik
Updated over a week ago

Embed your learning content in a larger context. Here you will find step-by-step instructions on how to build a learning sequence according to the 5 E Learning Cycle.

The 5 E Learning Cycle is based on the constructivist approach that learning is always an active reconstruction of information. This means that learners build new inputs on existing ideas, knowledge or experiences and combine them to create new information.

It consists of these 5 levels:


The 5-E model can be used for card decks as well as for engaging presentations with the Live feature and can be combined with active learning methods.

And this is how it works:

1. engage β†’ activate prior knowledge

Choose a method to motivate learners for your deck or presentation:

  • Visual brainstorming

  • Short knowledge queries, e.g. definitions of terms, surveys

  • Video impulses on the topic, quotes

  • Reflect on everyday examples and personal experiences

  • Conduct comprehension questions, confirm/refute statements

  • Quiz, puzzle

  • Think-Pair-Share

2. explore β†’ work out the basics

(longest phase) Present your knowledge content here and incorporate interactive elements.

  • Informative cards with text or video

  • Quiz questions or surveys

3. explain β†’ understand content

Learners summarize the new information in their own words:

  • Have content summarized, e.g. ask comprehension questions with task cards

  • Allow students to reflect on content, e.g. with task cards or surveys

  • For interactive presentations: Use methods to ensure understanding such as Peer Instruction or Think-Pair-Share

4. elaborate β†’ apply knowledge

Learners deepen, link, abstract, generalize or reflect critically

  • Transferring content to a different context

  • Work out connections

  • Work out differences and similarities

  • For interactive presentations: Have something designed by yourself

5. evaluate β†’ reflect on knowledge

Learners check for themselves whether they can master the task:

  • Draw a conclusion

  • Have core statements formulated

  • Weigh up the pros and cons

  • Have your own position formulated

  • Display previously defined learning outcomes again and check whether they have been achieved


Depending on the learning content/scope, the individual phases of the 5 E cycle can be spread over a single deck or several decks in the case of self-learning.

Example with one deck:

Example with several decks:


Learning is:

  • No passive storage but active construction of knowledge

  • Independent engagement with content, teacher = coach

  • Independent discovery of correlations

More information:


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