Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction_ an Introduction

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Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction: An Introduction Beginner Basics Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction: An Introduction by Kevin Kruse Just as Malcolm Knowles is widely regarded as the father of adult learning theory, Robert Gagne is considered to be the foremost researcher and contributor to the systematic approach to instructional design and training. Gagne and his followers are known as behaviorists, and their focus is on the outcomes - or behaviors - that result from training. Gagne's N
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  Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction: An Introductionhttp://www.e-learningguru.com/articles/art3_3.htm[7/5/2010 10:16:13 PM] Beginner Basics   > Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction: An Introduction   byKevin Kruse Just as Malcolm Knowles is widely regarded as the father of adult learning theory, Robert Gagne isconsidered to be the foremost researcher and contributor to the systematic approach to instructional designand training. Gagne and his followers are known as behaviorists, and their focus is on the outcomes - orbehaviors - that result from training. Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction Gagne's book, The Conditions of Learning  , first published in 1965, identified the mental conditions forlearning. These were based on the information processing model of the mental events that occur whenadults are presented with various stimuli. Gagne created a nine-step process called the events of instruction,which correlate to and address the conditions of learning. The figure below shows these instructional eventsin the left column and the associated mental processes in the right column. Instructional EventInternal Mental Process 1. Gain attentionStimuli activates receptors2. Inform learners of objectivesCreates level of expectation for learning3. Stimulate recall of prior learningRetrieval and activation of short-term memory4. Present the contentSelective perception of content5. Provide learning guidance Semantic encoding for storage long-term memory6. Elicit performance (practice)Responds to questions to enhance encoding andverification7. Provide feedbackReinforcement and assessment of correctperformance8. Assess performanceRetrieval and reinforcement of content as finalevaluation9. Enhance retention and transfer to the jobRetrieval and generalization of learned skill to newsituation 1. Gain attention In order for any learning to take place, you must first capture the attention of the student. Amultimedia program that begins with an animated title screen sequence accompanied bysound effects or music startles the senses with auditory or visual stimuli. An even better wayto capture students' attention is to start each lesson with a thought-provoking question orinteresting fact. Curiosity motivates students to learn. 2. Inform learners of objectives  Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction: An Introductionhttp://www.e-learningguru.com/articles/art3_3.htm[7/5/2010 10:16:13 PM] Early in each lesson students should encounter a list of learning objectives. This initiates theinternal process of expectancy and helps motivate the learner to complete the lesson. Theseobjectives should form the basis for assessment and possible certification as well. Typically,learning objectives are presented in the form of Upon completing this lesson you will be ableto. . . . The phrasing of the objectives themselves will be covered under Robert Mager'scontributions later in this chapter. 3. Stimulate recall of prior learning Associating new information with prior knowledge can facilitate the learning process. It iseasier for learners to encode and store information in long-term memory when there are linksto personal experience and knowledge. A simple way to stimulate recall is to ask questionsabout previous experiences, an understanding of previous concepts, or a body of content. 4. Present the content This event of instruction is where the new content is actually presented to the learner. Contentshould be chunked and organized meaningfully, and typically is explained and thendemonstrated. To appeal to different learning modalities, a variety of media should be used ifpossible, including text, graphics, audio narration, and video. 5. Provide learning guidance To help learners encode information for long-term storage, additional guidance should beprovided along with the presentation of new content. Guidance strategies include the use ofexamples, non-examples, case studies, graphical representations, mnemonics, and analogies. 6. Elicit performance (practice) In this event of instruction, the learner is required to practice the new skill or behavior. Elicitingperformance provides an opportunity for learners to confirm their correct understanding, andthe repetition further increases the likelihood of retention. 7. Provide feedback As learners practice new behavior it is important to provide specific and immediate feedback oftheir performance. Unlike questions in a post-test, exercises within tutorials should be used forcomprehension and encoding purposes, not for formal scoring. Additional guidance andanswers provided at this stage are called formative feedback. 8. Assess performance Upon completing instructional modules, students should be given the opportunity to take (or berequired to take) a post-test or final assessment. This assessment should be completedwithout the ability to receive additional coaching, feedback, or hints. Mastery of material, orcertification, is typically granted after achieving a certain score or percent correct. A commonlyaccepted level of mastery is 80% to 90% correct. 9. Enhance retention and transfer to the job Determining whether or not the skills learned from a training program are ever applied back on the job oftenremains a mystery to training managers - and a source of consternation for senior executives. Effectivetraining programs have a performance focus, incorporating design and media that facilitate retention andtransfer to the job. The repetition of learned concepts is a tried and true means of aiding retention, althoughoften disliked by students. (There was a reason for writing spelling words ten times as grade schoolstudent.) Creating electronic or online job-aids, references, templates, and wizards are other ways of aidingperformance.Applying Gagne's nine-step model to any training program is the single best way to ensure an effectivelearning program. A multimedia program that is filled with glitz or that provides unlimited access to Web-  Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction: An Introductionhttp://www.e-learningguru.com/articles/art3_3.htm[7/5/2010 10:16:13 PM] based documents is no substitute for sound instructional design. While those types of programs mightentertain or be valuable as references, they will not maximize the effectiveness of information processing -and learning will not occur. How to Apply Gagne's Events of Instruction in e-Learning As an example of how to apply Gagne's events of instruction to an actual training program, let's look at ahigh-level treatment for a fictitious software training program. We'll assume that we need to develop a CD-ROM tutorial to teach sales representatives how to use a new lead-tracking system called STAR, which runson their laptop computers. 1. Gain attention The program starts with an engaging opening sequence. A space theme is used to play off the newsoftware product's name, STAR. Inspirational music accompanies the opening sequence, which mightconsist of a shooting star or animated logo. When students access the first lesson, the vice president ofsales appears on the screen in a video clip and introduces the course. She explains how important it is tostay on the cutting edge of technology and how the training program will teach them to use the new STARsystem. She also emphasizes the benefits of the STAR system, which include reducing the amount of timerepresentatives need to spend on paperwork. 2. Inform learners of objectives The VP of sales presents students with the following learning objectives immediately after the introduction. Upon completing this lesson you will be able to: List the benefits of the new STAR system.Start and exit the program.Generate lead-tracking reports by date, geography, and source.Print paper copies of all reports. 3. Stimulate recall of prior learning Students are called upon to use their prior knowledge of other software applications to understand thebasic functionality of the STAR system. They are asked to think about how they start, close, and printfrom other programs such as their word processor, and it is explained that the STAR system workssimilarly. Representatives are asked to reflect on the process of the old lead-tracking system andcompare it to the process of the new electronic one. 4. Present the content Using screen images captured from the live application software and audio narration, the trainingprogram describes the basic features of the STAR system. After the description, a simpledemonstration is performed. 5. Provide learning guidance With each STAR feature, students are shown a variety of ways to access it - using short-cut keys onthe keyboard, drop-down menus, and button bars. Complex sequences are chunked into short, step-by-step lists for easier storage in long-term memory. 6. Elicit performance (practice) After each function is demonstrated, students are asked to practice with realistic, controlledsimulations. For example, students might be asked to Generate a report that shows all active leadsin the state of New Jersey. Students are required to use the mouse to click on the correct on-screen  Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction: An Introductionhttp://www.e-learningguru.com/articles/art3_3.htm[7/5/2010 10:16:13 PM] buttons and options to generate the report. 7. Provide feedback During the simulations, students are given guidance as needed. If they are performing operationscorrectly, the simulated STAR system behaves just as the live application would. If the studentmakes a mistake, the tutorial immediately responds with an audible cue, and a pop-up windowexplains and reinforces the correct operation. 8. Assess performance After all lessons are completed, students are required to take a post-test. Mastery is achieved withan 80% or better score, and once obtained, the training program displays a completion certificate,which can be printed. The assessment questions are directly tied to the learning objectives displayedin the lessons. 9. Enhance retention and transfer to the job While the STAR system is relatively easy to use, additional steps are taken to ensure successfulimplementation and widespread use among the sales force. These features include online help and wizards , which are step-by-step instructions on completing complex tasks. Additionally, the trainingprogram is equipped with a content map, an index of topics, and a search function. These enable studentsto use the training as a just-in-time support tool in the future. Finally, a one-page, laminated quick referencecard is packaged with the training CD-ROM for further reinforcement of the learning session.
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