Unformatted text preview: s, and skills. Table 9.3 (appears at the end of the chapter)
combines important ideas from both theories that may help you integrate the two
Principle 3.1: Connecting New Knowledge to Existing Knowledge
The importance of considering prior knowledge during instructional
design is emphasized throughout Gagne’s model. For example, goal analysis
involves the identification of prerequisite knowledge and skills. Verbal
information is more meaningful if students connect new information to existing 40 information (Gagne & Merrill, 1990). In the case of an intellectual skill lesson,
students need the appropriate prerequisite skills.
Because of the importance of prior knowledge, you may decide to pre-test
students to determine if they possess the relevant prior knowledge. Pre-testing can
be done in a number of ways including paper and pencil tests, behavioral samples,
questionnaires, and the review of academic records (Morrison & Ross, 1994). If
you decide to pre-test, however, you need to be aware of both the benefits and
cautions involved with pre-testing (Morrison & Ross, 1994; Yelon, 1996).
An important benefit of pre-testing is that you can avoid teaching a lesson
for which students are unprepared. Also, boredom can result when students
participate in lengthy but unnecessary lessons on already mastered content. Be
aware, however, that pre-testing involves a time commitment. You will need to
schedule the necessary time to administer and interpret pre-tests. Interpretation
can be particularly complicated because students may make the same mistakes
during pre-testing, but for radically different reasons. Finally, pre-testing can
create negative feelings in students who do not do well.
Because of the concerns with pre-testing, you should pretest in informal
and non-threatening ways if possible, and you should be clear to students about
why you are pre-testing and what level of performance you expect. Let students
know if they are not expected to know ev...
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