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Instructional Sequencing

By: Renetta Johnson

Key Questions
What is sequencing? What strategies are available to help sequence a unit? What are the benefits of using a sequencing scheme? When do I determine the sequencing of the content?

What is sequencing?
The efficient ordering of content to help learners achieve objectives Order the content that is most beneficial from the learners point of view

Available Strategies
Elaboration Theory
Context Expertise Sequencing Task Expertise Sequencing

Posner and Strike

Learning-Related Sequencing World-Related Sequencing Concept-Related Sequencing

Gagne Learning Hierarchy

Elaboration Theory
Makes a distinction between the types of expertise the learner will develop, whether it is content based or task based.

Elaboration Theory Continued

Content Expertise Sequencing
- Describes the instruction that will help the learner master a body of knowledge such as chemistry or management. - The conceptual sequence arranges concepts according to their superordinate, coordinate, subordinate relationships - For example, in a statistics course a superordinate concept would be measures of central tendency. The coordinate concepts would be mean, mode, and median. Subordinate concepts would include scores and sum.

Elaboration Theory Continued

Task Expertise Sequencing
- Start with the simplest task and proceed to the more complex task - For example, when training bank tellers, start with a simple task such as how to accept a deposit of cash. Next show how to check the balance of an account. Then proceed with instruction on cashing a check by checking the balance of the account. Teaching these nave learners how to assess a loan application are more complex tasks that would come near the end of the training.

Elaboration Theory Summary

The patterns of overview, elaboration, summary, and synthesis are continued until the desired level of coverage of all aspects of the subject have been mastered.

Posner and Strike Sequencing

Learning-Related Sequencing Based on learner characteristics identified in the learning analysis
1. Identifiable prerequisite teach a skill required to perform another skill first 2. Familiarity begin with the most familiar information and then progress to the most remote 3. Difficulty teach less difficult before the more difficult

Posner and Strike Sequencing Cont.

4. Interest begin with the topics or tasks that will create the most learner interest 5. Development ensure that the learner has reached the appropriate development level before teach a task or topic

Posner and Strike Sequencing Cont.

World-Related Sequencing Based on content that involves objects, people, and events.
1. Spatial (i.e., left to right, top to bottom) 2. Temporal (i.e., relating to time; historical) 3. Physical (i.e., color, shape, large to small)

Posner and Strike Sequencing Cont.

Concept-Related Sequencing Based on content that is consistent with organizing logically
1. Class relations groups concepts that are similar - sequence general to specific 2. Propositional relations provide examples first, then the proposition 3. Sophistication begin with concrete and proceed to the abstract or simple to complex 4. Logical prerequisite teach prerequisites that are necessary for understanding

Gagne Learning Hierarchy

Learning hierarchy that identifies skills that are dependent on other skills. Sequence is to teach prerequisite skills first.

Benefits of Sequencing
Provides a structure for the designer and the learner. Reduces learner anxiety. Creates learner expectations. Helps produce positive outcomes.

Happy Leaner

When do I determine sequence

Once you have completed your task analysis and written objectives, you are ready to begin designing the instruction by determining the most appropriate sequence for presenting the information.

Instructional Sequencing Tips

Each objective may use a different sequencing strategy Some have obvious sequencing due to the nature of the procedure and some do not If your unit is primarily concerned with teaching a procedure (i.e. how to tie knots for fly fishing) you might use the same sequencing strategy for the total unit such as arranging those notes from simple to most difficult

English, R.E., & Reigeluth, C.M. (1996). Formative evaluation research on sequencing instruction with elaboration theory. Educational Technology and Research Journal, 44, 1042-1629 Gagne, R.M., (1985). Conditions of learning and theory of instruction (4th ed.). New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Posner, G.J. & Strike, K.A. (1976). A categorization scheme for principles of sequencing content. Review of Educational Research, 46, 665-690. Reigeluth, C.M. (1987). Lesson blueprints based on the elaboration theory of instruction. In C.M. Reigeluth (Ed.), Instructional theories in action: lessons illustrating selected theories and models. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.


Assessment of Presentation
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