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How do I design appropriate instruction?

Behaviorism

1. Analysis - Conduct a task analysis.

2. Objectives

Use the information from the task analysis to determine the behavioral changes needed to conduct the task. Then, determine the learner objectives to reach those goals. These goals must be pre-determined.

3. Learning events

It is your job to prescribe a sequence of learning events to reach the goals. Because the learner is reacting to mental cues, you must also consider the cues you will incorporate in the learning events and how the events are sequenced. This sequencing will set the pattern of cues the learner will eventually respond to automatically.

4. Evaluation

Evaluation should be criterion-based. All learners involved must be evaluated on the same predetermined set of criteria.

5. Instruction

Instruction must be programmed and controlled with a single perspective. This perspective is based on the behavioral cues involved.

Cognitivism

1. Analysis - Conduct a cognitive task analysis(CTA) to determine the best sequence of mental operations.

2. Objectives

Use complex problems with well-defined goals. Base performance objectives on the goals to be reached.

3. Learning events

Prescribe a sequence of learning activities that will enable the learners to reach the goals.

Learners must ask themselves the following two questions:

4. Evaluation

Evaluation is criterion-based. The learner is driven by the objectives.

5. Instruction

Instruction should use simulation to reflect real life situations

Constructivism

1. Analysis

Analyze the tools to be used by the learner and the environment in which he uses them.

2. Objectives

The instructional objectives are negotiated with the learner. He incorporates this new knowledge into his pre-existing mental schema. Then, he adjusts his understanding of reality to make sense of the new knowledge. As a result, his mental schema shifts to incorporate his "new" reality.

3. Learning events

Learners must ask themselves the following two questions:

4. Evaluation

Evaluation is based on performance of learner- assessment and self-evaluation.

5. Instruction

All answers to problems must be embedded in authentic environments. A narrative story is used, with anchored instruction. This means that all answers to the questions are embedded in the story.

A good example of this is the computer game Myst. The learner is given a situation of visual representations. He recognizes the castle, yet has to think and problem-solve to figure out how to move around the castle and find clues (pages of books that eventually inform the learner who is in the castle). There is no one way to figure this out. The learner is forced to think in multiple realities in order to figure out what is going on in this scenario. As more information is revealed to him, he weighs his decisions based on the new information. Then, he determines his next move.

All answers to any questions about the scenario are embedded in the story. The learner finds the information needed to answer his questions. He needs no further guidance from the instructor.

Case based learning can be used in this situation. this involves real life cases. (Law schools use this method). First, the learner must have all the information about the cases, then he puts all the information together and uses it when relevant. This starts the learner thinking like an expert.


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Revised: April 24,1996
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URL: http://edweb.sdsu.edu/courses/edtec540/Perspectives/designInstruction.html