Technology in Education

Instructional Design

This week we looked at instructional design and compared it to instructional systems.  Often instructional design and systems are used interchangeably but both refer to certain things and have different definitions.  Instructional systems is a broader term.  For example it would refer to the entire curriculum.  Instructional design would refer to planning a certain unit or lesson of the curriculum.  The goal of instructional design is to make the acquisition of knowledge and skill more effective, efficient, and appealing.  There are many different theories on how to make that happen.  In class we were assigned specific models to look at with a partner.  We were assigned the van Merriënboer’s 4C/ID model.

The van Merriënboer’s 4C/ID model has four components:

  1. Learning Tasks
  2. Supportive Information
  3. Just-in-time (JIT) Information
  4. Part-task Practice

Learning tasks should be engaging to the learners and calls for them to engage in activities which require them to work with constituent skills.  Supportive information bridges the gap between what the students know and their learning task.  It is usually presented through books and lectures to reinforce the learning tasks.  Supportive information promotes deeper understanding through the creation of schema. Increased info yields highly complex schemata.  Just-in-time (JIT) information uses step by step instruction provided only when it is needed.  Since the information is only provided when it is needed as people become experts the amount of information provided is less and less.  Feedback is an important part of the success of JIT information. Part-task practice takes tasks and breaks them into simpler pieces while learning new complex skills.  It takes a lot of practice and is a slow process.

This is just one model of how to use and improve instructional design.  There are many more out there that you can look at implementing when designing lessons.

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