July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
This complete theory paper will explore the extension, augmentation, and application of Robert Gagne’s “Nine Events of Instruction” to curriculum and lesson development and deployment in the online environment.
The onset of digitization in the 21st century has highlighted the need to adjust traditional learning theory implementation to better meet the needs of the digital learner. The increasing prevalence of online education accentuates the educator obligation to analyze the details of how digital learning occurs in the online environment, and adjust the instruction accordingly. Needed is an evaluation of the full scope of new knowledge and tools in an effort to develop an instructional theory framework specifically focused on the upcoming generation of digital learners that meets the needs of today while also preparing for the gaming-dominated education world of tomorrow.
Gagne has created a standard for instruction that provides both a framework for building a solid lesson plan, and a foundation for evolving numerous learning theories. Though Gagne is rarely mentioned inclusively in constructivist discussions, the melding of Gagne’s vision with constructivist ideology in a quest to best support digital learners provides an enticing blueprint for the 21st century classroom.
Considering the ongoing advances in brain research and human-computer interaction, instructional designers are positioned to launch a new instructional style that involves guiding learners along a broad, learner-centered path of discovery, autonomously adding skills as needed. The 21st century is promising an expanding volume of knowledge and learners require training in regard to how they are to pursue and acquire this ‘new’ knowledge. Educationally, the US is not equipped to train in an environment with the speed to market and enormity of new knowledge currently being encountered.
Driscoll’s close association with Gagne provides a seemingly dichotomous message in “Psychology of Learning Instruction” (Driscoll, 2015), yet this author’s turmoil proved an effective incubator for creation of a new learning theory to address the changing playing field. When concluding a section on learning goals, Driscoll states, “It seems clear from the remarks of constructivist researchers that constructivist learning goals are best met through a variety of instructional conditions that differ from any proposed by theorists like Gagne.” Though this early quote seems to distance Gagne and constructivism, Driscoll concludes the section with a closing of the gap. “As a theory, it (constructivism) may indeed be incommensurable with an instructional theory such as Gagne’s…but as a philosophy, constructivism may be viewed as not competing with other instructional theories, but providing them with an alternative set of values that deserve serious consideration.
A requirement of 21st century learning structures is the ability to be digitally effective. Student-centered activities (ideally autonomous Intelligent Tutoring Systems) tailored to address student weaknesses and grow their strengths, will be the talisman of 21st century learning. Though Gagne’s nine events of instruction may remain the framework of lesson construction, individual elements will transform to a constructivist view of sending the learners in a direction with limited attention tied to defining the learning objectives, yet driven by a learning strategy of discovery. An overarching direction for learning in the new century is to develop engaging training to encourage students to learn through self-initiation and curiosity. This is done by guiding, not directing, the student towards activities and analyses that grow their knowledge regarding target concepts while developing self-efficacy as a lifelong learner and enhancing problem-solving skills.
In regards to the learning theory extension to game-based learning, “Gagne and Driscoll considered the provision of informative feedback to be as important as setting of problem situations.” (Driscoll, 2005) Just as a video must be followed by a relevant discussion, or an assessment by timely corrections, game-based learning must contain elements of constructive performance feedback within the game.
This study will incorporate literature-supported validation of learning theory transformation relative to learner brain operation in the digital space as well as numerous examples of contrasting traditional lecture-based lessons and their reconstructed versions using the Gagne-Constructivist strategy.
The nine events of instruction provided by Gagne transition create a somewhat strict template in the lecture-based world while providing a skeletal framework for guiding students through problems worth solving in the 21st century. Though, historically, theory discussions tend to distance Gagne and constructivism, the needs of the 21st century have brought these two methodologies together to provide a solid foundation for curriculum production and lesson delivery in the digital realm.
This study will explore the transformation of Gagne’s nine events of instruction to a guiding framework for online lessons, to include exemplar constructs.
Brooks, R. H. (2021, July), Transposing Gagne to the Online Realm Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37940
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