Unformatted text preview: rk that can be applied to
different ways of teaching specific knowledge outcomes. (Dempsey & Van Eck, 2002).
Gagne+ s Conditions of Learning
Gagne+ s theory of instructional design is based to a large extent on the
assumption that different learning outcomes require somewhat different
instructional experiences (Spector, 2001). Although the events of instruction are
important components of any lesson, the conditions of learning describe how
these events can be modified or adapted for different types of learning outcomes.
Conditions for verbal information. In designing instruction for verbal
information, a number of conditions of learning should be considered (Driscoll,
1994; Gagne+ & Driscoll, 1988). First, because verbal information is often
presented in the form of extended discourse such a book chapter, a lecture, or a 33 film, we should help students differentiate between important and unimportant
information. To accomplish this, written material can provide devices such as
headings, italics, bold print, margin notes, and repetition (Mayer, 1999).
Summaries of main ideas have also been found useful in focusing students on key
informational points (Mayer, Bove, Bryman, Mars & Tapangco, 1996). As we
noted in Chapter 7, teachers can help students select important information by
providing objectives or adjunct questions.
Providing a meaningful context for learning is a second important
condition of learning for verbal information (Smith & Ragan, 1993). This
primarily involves helping students connect what they are learning to prior
experiences and knowledge, but it may also involve teaching information in terms
of its use. Teachers or written materials can provide questions that ask students to
elaborate on the information being presented (Mayer, 1980). Teachers can also
introduce information in the context of problem-solving activities (Yelon, 1996).
For example, students could learn information about how bills become law as
part of a legislative simulation....
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