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Instructional Design for the 21st Century: From Atomistic to Holistic Approaches Jeroen J. G. van Merriënboer Open University of the Netherlands Keynote.

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Presentation on theme: "Instructional Design for the 21st Century: From Atomistic to Holistic Approaches Jeroen J. G. van Merriënboer Open University of the Netherlands Keynote."— Presentation transcript:

1 Instructional Design for the 21st Century: From Atomistic to Holistic Approaches Jeroen J. G. van Merriënboer Open University of the Netherlands Keynote for the 2007 International Conference of the Korean Society for Educational Technology (KSET), April 27-28, Seoul, Korea.

2 Contents 1.What is the problem of atomistic approaches to education? 2.Four components and ten steps to complex learning 3.Self-directed learning 4.Implications for teaching 5.Conclusions

3 What is the problem with atomistic approaches? Compartmentalization –integration Fragmentation –coordination Transfer paradox –differentiation Students are not able to combine the things they have learned......

4 From compartmentalization to integration What kind of surgeon do you prefer? (a)Knows a lot about the human body but has ten thumbs (b)Has excellent technical skills but looks down on his patients (c)Is friendly but his professional knowledge is outdated (d)None of the above

5 From fragmentation to coordination Atomistic models –Analyze learning domain in small pieces –Teach piece-by-piece Holistic models –Analyze learning domain in coherence; focus on relations between pieces –Teach from simple to more complex wholes –Focus on coordination of pieces

6 E1-E1-E1 / E2-E2-E2 / E3-E3-E3 [blocked order] –Students reach the learning objectives fast –But low transfer of learning (they cannot diagnose E4) E3-E2-E2 / E1-E3-E3 / E1-E2-E1 [random order] –Students take more time to reach the objectives –But much higher transfer of learning (able to diagnose E4!) Differentation for complex skills –Variability for problem-solving aspects of a complex task –Repetition for routine aspects of a complex task From the ‘transfer paradox’ to differentiation diagnose three different errors in a technical system …

7 Four components in the integrated curriculum Learning tasks –Backbone of educational program Supportive information Procedural information Part-task practice

8 1. Learning tasks Based on real-life tasks Integrative Aim at transfer –variability assignments, projects, problems, tasks, cases … Aristotle

9 Organizing learning tasks Simple-to-complex task classes –Tasks in same class are equivalent –Classes are ordered from easy to difficult –Aim at coordination Support and guidance –From high to low in same task class (‘scaffolding’)

10 Conceptual, causal, & structural models –Develop mental models –Case studies Systematic Approaches to Problem solving (SAPs) –Develop cognitive strategies –Expert models 2. Supportive information Plato

11 3. Procedural Information Aim at routine aspects of task performance Present in small units, precisely when necessary (JIT)

12 4. Part-task practice Cognitive context Repetition Procedural information

13 Constructing the educational blueprint

14 From 4 components to 10 steps analyse non- recurrent aspects analyze recurrent aspects 8 cognitive rules 9 prerequisite knowledge 5 cognitive strategies 6 mental models 3 performance objectives 2 task classes 1 learning tasks 4 supportive information 7 procedural information 10 part-task practice

15 Van Merrienboer, J. J. G., & Kirschner, P. A. (2007). Ten steps to complex learning. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.


17 Learning, Teaching, & Media Van Merriënboer, J. J. G., & Kester, L. (2005). The four-component instructional design model: Multimedia principles in environments for complex learning. In R. E. Mayer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (pp. 71-93). New York: Cambridge University Press. Schema construction (problem solving, reasoning) Induction Schema automation (routines) Elaboration 1. Learning tasks 2. Supportive information 3. Procedural information 4. Part-task practice Knowledge Compilation Strengthening Real / simulated task environments Hyper- & multi- mediasystems EPSS, on-line help systems Drill & practice CBT

18 Self-directed learning 1.Independent part-task practice 2.JIT open learning 3.On-demand education

19 Level 1 Independent part-task practice Students can do part-task practice whenever they like “triggered” by the learning tasks Relatively easy to implement –often individual practice –e.g., drill-and-practice computer-based training, on a computer in the corner of the classroom –application courses, re-animation, presentation skills etc.

20 Level 2 JIT Open Learning Students study supportive information whenever they like; JITOL Triggered by learning tasks – typically tasks students come across in real-life settings Much more difficult to implement –ad-hoc composition of groups of students –ad-hoc composition of learning contents

21 Level 3 On-demand education The self-directed learner in flexible, on-demand education –Student selects his/her own learning tasks at right level of difficulty (i.e., task class) with right level of support and guidance in such a way that variability is ensured –Basis for task selection is Assessment information (e.g., in portfolio) Metadata on available tasks

22 Task selection & Assessment collection learning tasks assessment -student, peer, teacher -combinations perform task task selection -student -shared responsibility Portfolio on-demand education is a service-oriented rather than a production-oriented educational model 1 4 3 2

23 Collection of Learning Tasks Each student has his or her own curriculum, instead of one curriculum for all students –Learning tasks are ordered in task classes (1, 2, 3) –Per task class: learning tasks with different levels of support & guidance (a, b, c) –Per level of support & guidance: learning tasks which differ on dimensions that also differ in the real world 1 c b a 23

24 Assessment Basis is provided by the performance objectives for all different aspects of task performance (Step 3) –routine, problem-solving/reasoning, attitudes POs specify behavior, conditions, tools & objects, and standards: –Criteria (e.g., speed, accuracy) –Values (e.g., conventions, regulations) –Attitudes (e.g., friendly, client-centered)

25 Portfolio: gathering assessment results Protocol Portfolio Scoring (PPS) –Standards for acceptable performance are the same throughout the whole educational program –Mix of assessment methods and assessors –Basis for decision making Vertical: all information gathered with different assessment methods on one aspect of performance Horizontal: overall assessment of performance on the whole task

26 Learning-task Selection

27 Shared responsibility over task selection Teacher / school selects subset of N suitable tasks –N increases if students have better developed self-regulation skills Student is given advise for selecting tasks from this subset student control system control Integration and the quality of education is jeopardized if N is too large or advise is absent/suboptimal!

28 A simple example of using a portfolio in on-demand education Planning -Which point to work on? - Which tasks help to improve? Reflection - how did it go? - what are points for improvement?


30 Implications for teaching In addition to the traditional role of presenting and explaining supportive information, teachers become: –designer of learning tasks –instructor acting as “assistant looking over the shoulder” –advisor/coach for giving advice on how to plan the own learning process

31 Conclusions Learning tasks are the “linking pin” to reach a holistic approach to education On demand-education may help to reach integration of first-order and higher-order skills, but it comes with risks In an integrated curriculum, teachers get additional new roles


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