ON READING CH. 7 IN SMITH & RAGAN (2005)

Chapter 7. A Framework for Instructional Strategy Design

table from the book

I didn’t read this chapter when I had IDE631, but it was amazing to read the chapter after almost a year of thinking about instructional design. My major aha-moments were:

  • 9 events of instruction can be actually 15 events
  • Events can be in different order, seamlessly combined, or interspersed across lesson sections
  • Depending on the locus of cognitive processing, the instruction may be “done to the learner” or “performed by the learner”
  • The best strategy is when you consider learner, context, and learning tasks
  • Expository (didactic) approach vs. discovery (inquiry) approach = generalities+examples vs. examples+generalities
    • Both efficient, though discovery is better for recall and transfer (though time consuming)
    • “A discovery approach is fundamentally generative, as giving learners the primary responsibility for information processing is the crucial attribute of generative strategies” (p. 134)
  • Gain attention + inform of objectives can be 1 event, informal rather than formal:
    • Demonstrate
    • Pose a questions
    • Do it in the end if inquire/discovery approach
  • Activation of prior knowledge allows the learner to feel “in a driver’s seat” (+ recall prior cognitive strategies)
    • Comparative advance organizer (features of Buddhism vs Christianity)
    • Analogy (eye and aperture)
    • Expository review (restatement of relevant knowledge)
    • Elaboration and negative transfer (invent analogies/comparisons; incompatible prior knowledge, e.g., Russian syntax is not like in English)
  • Focus attention: graphic (arrows, boxes, circles), leading questions, “notice!”, highlighted text
  • Employ effective learning strategies to better encode information (note taking, mental images, concept maps, outlines, mnemonics, etc.)
  • Spontaneous learning doesn’t happen over time, so you need to give more challenging tasks to students for practice
  • Consider where learning goes wrong and design activities that will have students confront it; it will pique their interest and provide more successful learning experience
  • Promote overlearning and automaticity
  • Feedback à second try à feedback (cycle!)
    • Peers may provide feedback for open-ended questions
    • “Why”-answer feedback, correct/incorrect feedback, faulty solution strategies feedback, possible consequences feedback, video replay feedback, pattern of error feedback, closeness to the criterion feedback
  • Conclusion purpose: ensure that learners recall and synthesize parts of the instruction into a memorable whole; consolidate new learning
    • Remind learners of what they’ve achieved
    • Do not include any new information
    • Conclude on a positive note, prime the importance of learning (“You’ve been very attentive, class dismissed”)
  • Transfer (near / far) doesn’t occur spontaneously: ask “students to find examples or apply principles in real-life conditions that they would anticipate encountering subsequent to instruction” (p. 138). Student develop their own examples & applications, analogies between new and prior knowledge, paraphrases of declarative knowledge lessons. For declarative knowledge, the transfer is correct inferences from the information
  • Assessment (paper-and-pencil tests, on-the-job performance, simulation, etc.) is closely related to the statement of the goal
    • “Designers use the information to continuously revise instruction” (p. 139)
    • Common practice – combine several goals into an assessment period (unit test)
    • If delayed, carefully plan review
    • Remediation addresses learning strategies
  • Instructional startegies: generative and supplantive (mathemagenic) – low level vs high level of scaffolding
    • Generative strategies tend to result in the “bonus” learning of cognitive strategies, may often be more interesting and engaging (that really depends on so many other factors, but it’s one of the widely accepted benefits of using “learner centered,” inquiry, learning environments, and other relatively generative orientations). On the other hand, generative strategies tend to take more time, result in more variation of learning outcome among students, be more difficult for beginning learners in a domain, rely upon learners’ possession and use of appropriate cognitive strategies, and be inappropriate when learners have high anxiety.
    • Supplantive strategies tend to take less time and result in more consistency between learners as to what is learned, provide needed help for beginning learners in a domain, and supply assistance in finding and using appropriate cognitive strategies.
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