Chapter 9: Planning logistics and management for the instructional strategy

“In any kind of formal educational experience, there is usually a general methodology, referred to as the delivery system, for managing and delivering the teaching and learning activities that we call instruction. Delivery systems and instructional strategies are not synonymous. A delivery system is only part of an overall instructional strategy, and novice instructional designers must guard against being seduced by flashy technologies and ending up ascribing far too much weight to how instruction is packaged and delivered at the expense of the careful planning of the teaching–learning activities that should be included in the instruction. The delivery system is either an assumption that the designer takes into the development of an instructional strategy, or it is an active decision made as part of developing an instructional strategy. In either case, choosing a delivery system can be a lesson-level, course-level, or curriculum-level management decision.” (p.221)

“The third step in developing an instructional strategy (see Figure 9.1) is identifying a teaching sequence and manageable groupings of content. What sequence should you follow in presenting content to the learner? The most useful tool in determining the answer to this question is your instructional analysis. Begin with the lower-level skills, that is, those just above the line that separates the entry skills from the skills to be taught, and then progress through the hierarchy. At no point should you present detailed instruction on a particular hierarchical skill prior to having done so for the related subordinate skills; however, it often is useful to introduce a higher-level skill first as an advanced organizer or as a whole-part-whole instructional sequence.” (p. 222-223)

“There are three exceptions to this general approach to sequencing. The first occurs when two or more steps in a goal are the same or have the same subordinate skills. In this situation, it is not necessary to teach these skills again.” (p. 223)

Note: This is a question that was asked by many students – for the duplicates you typically only need to teach it once.

“A third exception is when boredom would result from a predictable, tedious, step-by-step sequence. If this is the result, it is better to sacrifice some of the efficiency of the ideal sequence and break it up to sustain interest and motivation.” (p. 223)

“The next question in your instructional strategy deals with the size of the cluster of material you provide in your instruction.” (p.223)

“The primary question to ask when making decisions about student groupings is whether requirements for social interaction exist in the performance and learning contexts, in the statements of learning objectives, in the specific learning component being planned, or in one’s foundational views of the teaching process. ” (p.224)

“This example illustrates the point of view in this chapter that media are useful to the extent that they effectively carry some or all of the various learning components of an instructional strategy.” (p. 225)

“When working under the constraint of an assigned or assumed delivery system, media selection becomes a choice among those formats available in that system.” (p.225)

“Indicate the sequence of objectives and how to cluster them for instruction.” (p. 231)

“Indicate your approach to the learning components of preinstructional activities, assessment, and follow-through.” (p.232)

” Indicate the content to be presented and student participation activities for each objective or cluster of objective.” (p.233)

“Review your sequence and clusters of objectives, preinstructional activities, assessment, content presentation, student participation strategies, and student groupings and media selections.” (p. 233)

“Review the entire instructional strategy and anchored management decisions again to consolidate your media selections and either (a) confirm that they fit an imposed delivery system or (b) select a delivery system that is compatible with the learning and performance context.” (p. 233)

“The five phases to planning the cognitive instructional strategy for a unit of instruction are as follows:

  1. Sequence and cluster objectives.
  2. Plan preinstructional, assessment, and follow-through activities for the unit, with notes about student groupings and media selections.
  3. Plan the content presentations and student participation sections for each objective or cluster of objectives, with notes about student groupings and media selections.
  4. Assign objectives to lessons and estimate the time required for each.
  5. Review the strategy to consolidate media selections and confirm or select a delivery system. (p. 234)

“A constructivist instructional strategy is quite different than the one just described, and it could be created in many different ways due to the flexibility afforded by a constructivist model.” (p. 243)

With sequencing in particular, I find that this is where the art of instructional design meets the science. The textbook approaches it like a science, but there is a lot to be said about the art and the gut feelings about the way content should be structured.


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Foundations of Instructional Design by Rebecca J. Hogue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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