If you are an instructional designer, you’ve probably heard of Robert Gagne. Gagne was an American educational psychologist best known for his Conditions of Learning.
Gagne believed that there are several different levels of learning, and each level requires different types of instruction. He created a nine-step process that detailed each element required for effective learning:
The Nine-steps are:
- Gain attention
- Inform learners of objectives
- Stimulate recall of prior learning
- Present the content
- Provide “learning guidance”
- Elicit performance (practice)
- Provide feedback
- Assess performance
- Enhance retention and transfer to the job
Gagne’s Nine Levels of Learning model provides a checklist that ensures that you present comprehensive and successful learning experience. His approach also motivates learners and helps them associate the topics covered in your course with their previous knowledge. Another benefit of Gagne’s approach is that it allows for trial and error- learners are allowed to make mistakes and build on their past experiences.
If you follow Gagne’s process, you’ll be able to create amazing eLearning courses even if you are new to instructional design. But, remember, instructional design is both a science and an art. It’s a science because it’s based on learning theories, and art because of the creative process involved in course design. Besides, all courses are different and there is no one size fits all, so to truly succeed as an instructional designer you need to understand the science behind the art.
When instructional designers hear of Gagne, they immediately think that his approach to course design does not apply to eLearning. Well, even though his original method was not created with eLearning in mind, it can easily be adapted to distance education. The infographic below shows you how.
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