Instruction refers to the
arrangement of an environment (media-presented information) in an
effort to maximize
the probability that learners interacting with this environment will
learn what the instruction intends.
At the very least, effective
instruction includes the following basic components:
Dick & Carey
Inform learners of objectives
Stimulate recall of prior learning
for understanding & guided practice
-Summarize key ideas
researchers and theorists have identified and described some common
characteristics of meaningful learning environments. Jonassen, Peck
and Wilson (1999) include the following five categories representing
necessary components of meaningful learning environments. The descriptions
of each category have been elaborated upon using other constructivist
models of design (for example, Cunningham, Duffy and Knuth, 1993;
Herrington & Oliver, 1997).
Opportunities for Authentic Learning: Instructional
contexts are defined that reflect the manner in which the outcomes
to be learned are practiced in the real world. This often includes
ill-structured, real-world problems. In addition, the instruction
(teachers, other students, and/or educational media) facilitates the
learners evaluation of alternate strategies and methods for
Opportunities for Active Learning: The instructional
context enables the learners to explore and manipulate the components
and parameters of their environment, and observe the results of their
Opportunities for Intentional Learning: The instruction
provides the learners with an opportunity to determine and set their
own goals and manage/regulate their own activities. Learners select
the methods they feel will help them succeed within the learning environment.
The instruction provides coaching, modeling, and other forms of support
to facilitate the application of effective methods and strategies
for succeeding within the learning environment.
Opportunities for Constructive Learning: Instructional
strategies are facilitated that encourage learners to articulate what
they have been learning and reflect upon the importance and meaning
of the outcomes in larger social and intellectual contexts. Efforts
should be made to enable learners to communicate their ideas using
any appropriate media: oral, written, graphic, video, etc.
Opportunities for Cooperative Learning: Instructional
strategies are implemented that enable learners to collaborate and
socially negotiate their meanings of the events and information presented
within the learning experience between themselves and other learners,
outside experts, and the teacher. Access to expert performances may
also play an important role within the cooperative learning environment.
Cunningham, D.J., Duffy,
T.M. & Knuth, R.A. (1991). The Textbook of the Future. In McKnight,
C. (Ed.), Hypertext: A Psychological Perspective. London: Horwood
Dick, W. & Carey,
L. (1996). The systematic design of instruction (4th edition). New
R. & Driscoll, M. (1988). Essentials of learning for instruction.
Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice Hall.
Hunter, M. (1982). Mastery
teaching. Thousand Oaks, Calif. : Corwin Press.
Herrington, J. &
Oliver, R. (1997). Multimedia, magic and the way students respond
to a situated learning environment. Australian Journal of Educational
Technology, 13(2), 127-143.
D., Peck, K. and Wilson, B. (1999). Learning With Technology: A Constructivist
Perspective. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Merrill Publishing
Sullivan, H. &
Higgins, N. (1983). Teaching for competence. New York: Teachers