Applying Cognitive Strategies to Instructional Design

In putting together a webinar on Learning Design, stop number one was Ruth Clark.  While browsing her articles I came across this article which is way too good not to share.

Applying Cognitive Strategies to Instructional Design” [PDF]

“Instructional technology is a design science that must guide the professional production of instruction. This article recommends a move toward evidence-based practice. In other words, we need to allow research rather than fads and folk wisdom to serve as the infrastructure for the professional practice of training design and delivery.”

Research in the last 12 years, however, has provided a number of new guidelines regarding the optimal ways to select and place examples to maximize cognitive learning processes (Atkinson, Derry, Renkl, & Wortham,2000).

Four guidelines for best use of examples:

  1. Replace some problem exercises with worked examples to manage cognitive load.
  2. Explain a visual example with audio rather than text when teaching in multimedia to manage cognitive load.
  3. When teaching problem solving or decisionmaking tasks, present several examples that look different on the surface but that illustrate the same guidelines to maximize transfer.
  4. Train learners to self-explain examples to promote deep processing and maximum learning from examples
Six Ways to Make ISD More Effective:
  1. Be sure that training will improve performance.
  2. Concentrate training on critical skills.
  3. Minimize receptive training. (i.e. info dumps)
  4. Repurpose training materials.
  5. Develop job aids that support desired job performance and wrap the training around the job aid.
  6. Evaluate performance outcomes.

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