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Appendix 2 Instructional Design Theory: Sequencing
& Chunking of Educational Material
Gagné's steps of instruction
What is the optimal sequencing of courseware and how is it related to various
types of learning? Gagné suggests nine universal steps of instruction
(cf.Gagné 85 or Aronson 1983) which should be found in any instructional
Gain attention e.g. present a good problem, a new situation, use
a multimedia advertizement.
Describe the goal: e.g. describe the goal of a lesson (task,...),
state what students will be able to accomplish and how they will be able
to use the knowledge, give a demonstration if appropriate.
Stimulate recall of prior knowledge e.g. remind the student of prior
knowledge relevant to the current lesson (facts, rules, procedures or skills).
Show how knowledge is connected, provide the student with a framework that
helps learning and remembering. Tests can be included.
Present the material to be learned e.g. text, graphics, simulations,
figures, pictures, sound, etc. e.g. follow a consistent presentation style,
chunking of information (avoid memory overload, recall information)
Provide guidance for learning e.g. presentation of content is different
from instructions on how to learn. Should be simpler and easier that content.
Use of different channel.
Elicit performance "practice", let the learner do something with
the newly acquired behavior, practice skills or apply knowledge
Provide informative feedback show correctness of the trainee's response,
analyze learner's behavior (or let him do it), maybe present a good (step-by-step)
solution of the problem
Assess performance test, if the lesson has been learned. also give
sometimes general progress information
Enhance retention and transfer inform the learner about similar
problem situations, provide additional practice. Put the learner in a transfer
situation. Maybe let the learner review the lesson.
Reigeluth's "Elaboration Theory of Instruction
Elaboration theory (Reigeluth 83:342) proposes seven major strategy components:
The first component is the critical as far as elaboration theory is concerned.
The elaborative sequence is defined as a simple to complex sequence in
which the information epitomizes (rather than summarize or abstract) the
ideas that follows. Epitomizing should be done on the basis of a single
type of content (concepts, procedures, principles) and involves the presentation
of a few fundamental or representative ideas that can form the basis for
an elaborative sequence
learning prerequisite sequences
cognitive strategy activators
a learner control format
Merill's Component Display Theory (CDT)
Merrill's CDT is probably still the most detailed theory on how to teach
a single idea or concept. It provides at a micro-level what Gagné-Briggs
provide at a macro-level. Not surprisingly it is more concerned with cognitive
issues than with instructional ones: CDT attempts to indicate what set
of methods is most likely to optimize learning under some specified conditions.
CDT classifies learning objectives on 2 dimensions:
(to be continued ..... )
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