Using 9 Events of Instruction in Your Online Course

Before we further talk about Gagne’s 9 events of instruction. Let’s see the video below and identify how these 9 events can be applied to train cats.

Robert Gagne is an educational psychologist and well-known for his book, “Principles of Instructional Design” to use a systematic way to design and develop courses. This approach includes nine events of instruction: 1) gain attention, 2) inform the learners of the objectives, 3) stimulate the recall of prior knowledge, 4) present the stimulus and materials, 5) provide the learning guidance, 6) elicit performance, 7) provide feedback, 8) assess performance, and 9) enhance retention transfer to new situations.

How do these 9 events of instruction work in an online setting? How can I design my online course applying these 9 events of instruction? Below, we provide a short description for each event and include some instructional strategies which can be used in online/hybrid courses (particularly in Brightpsace). More details are discussed in the following three articles.

Gain Attention

Learners tends to have shorter attention and quickly decide if the course is worth their time. Youtube videos, for example, can be used as an ice breaker activity to grab student attention in the topic. In addition, the use of discussion board in Brightspace to present some news and events or controversial topic can also elicit students’ interests.

Inform the learners of the objectives

Instructors explain the details they expect students to learn in a course, including course objectives, the way they are going to be assessed, and rationale for individual learning activities. Course syllabus can be introduced in lecture slides and downloaded anytime. In Brightspace, a module specifying syllabus in content area as well as a widget in course homepage to briefly introduce the course can inform the learners of the objectives.

Stimulate the recall of prior knowledge

In this event, instructors can help students recall their prior knowledge and identify if there is any gap between it and contents they are going to present. Survey tool in Brightspace can be a good option for instructors to elicit student perceptions and opinion about previous materials. Survey tool allows instructors to create a variety of questions such as multiple choice, short/long answer, true or false, etc.

Present the stimulus and materials

Instructors start presenting contents and providing materials (e.g., readings, PowerPoint slides) to students. Contents can be delivered in different formats such as audio lectures, videos, etc in Brightpsace. For example, instructors can record their lectures into videos and upload them into Youtube. The hyperlinks of these videos can be posted in discussion board and shared with students.

Provide the learning guidance

Instead of immediately providing correct answers, instructors tend to provide guidance to facilitate learning activities. Examples or samples, for example, may help learners better understand some abstract contents. If you share a video with students in Brightspace, Zaption can be a great tool for instructors to provide meaningful guidance with students to go through the video (see Figure 1 and example).

Blog Post 5- Figure 1

Figure 1. Zaption Lesson

Elicit performance

After instructors present contents and provide guidance to some learning activities, it’s time for students to apply knowledge and skills learned in the course. Instructors, for example, can use self-assessment tool in Brightspace to create a non-weighted assessment for students to practice and identify how much they have learned. In addition, a draft of paper can be submitted in Dropbox or hyperlinks of other learning artifacts (e.g., video, audio, infographics, etc.) can be posted in discussion board.

Provide feedback

The purpose of providing feedback is to help students improve their learning outcomes. Feedback can be provided by instructors and students. Discussion board and Voicethread in Brightspace are definitely two useful tools for instructors and students to share their feedback. Voicethread even allows users to record and share their audio or visual comments.

Assess performance

Student learning performance should be assessed and checked how it aligns with learning objectives. Instructors can not only use Quiz tool but other tools (e.g., Discussion Board, Dropbox) in Brightspace to provide a summative way to assess student performance.

Enhance retention transfer to new situations

In this last event, instructors can help learners relate their learning experiences to other contexts such as work. In Brightspace, for example, students can write a reflection journal on their learning experience in the course and post it in a discussion board. In this reflection journal, students can also compare this learning experience with a real situation they have encountered.

Posted in Instructional Design
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