INSTRUCTION AND TEACHING
In order to teach effectively, teachers must construct a feasible instructional design even before embarking on the lesson proper. Mayer (2001) suggests eight principles of a good instructional design:
1. Multimedia Principle: Students learn better from words accompanied by illustrations rather than mere words alone.
2. Contiguity Principle: Students learn better if the words and pictures are presented concurrently rather than individually.
3. Coherence Principle: Students learn better if all redundant and irrelevant words, sounds and pictures are excluded from the instruction.
4. Modality Principle: Students learn better if words are supplemented with narration rather than just being displayed as text on the screen.
5. Redundancy Principle: Students learn better if words are presented as a narration rather than narration and text on the screen.
6. Interactivity Principle: Students learn better if they are given opportunities to be engaged actively.
7. Signaling Principles: Students learn better if narrated information is divided into small segments for easy comprehension and retention.
8. Personalization Principle: Students learn better if information is presented to them in a conversational style
Gagne’s Five Principles of Instruction
Gagne, an educational psychologist, postulates that there are five dynamic conditions which greatly facilitate knowledge transfer (Gagne, et. al. 2005):
Verbal information: Verbal information is akin to cognitive information processing. Like a computer which stores and processes data, the learner’s brain stores the knowledge, which has been internalized. This information is retrieved whenever needed.
Intellectual skill: This refers to the learner’s capability to distinguish objects such as symbols and features. Intellectual skill, according to Gagne’s Taxonomy, also connotes personal achievements, communication skills, problem solving skills and role model play.
Cognitive strategies: The learner strategizes to complete a learning task or solve a problem. Using reasoning and critical thinking skills, the learner will, by trial and error, come up with viable solutions.
Attitudes: According to Gagne, attitudes consist of a set of values, which a learner associates with a given situation. Hence, if his attitude is positive towards a learning task, he will be motivated. The learner’s positive attitude will also encourage him to persevere until he achieves success.
Therefore, it is of utmost importance to ensure that the learner adopts a positive attitude towards the learning process.
5. Motor skills: The learner must be physically fit to perform a task.
According to Gagne, all of the learning conditions are simple and specific and can be applied to a classroom situation for excellent outcomes. Apart from the five principles of learning conditions mentioned above, Gagne has also introduced an additional nine instructional events to enhance learning conditions (Sidney & Strauss, 1972). These events are:
(1) Gaining the attention of the learner.
(2) Outlining the objectives of the study.
(3) Reviewing previous lesson before starting a new lesson.
(4) Presenting the lesson proper.
(5) Providing guidance to the learner during the lesson.
(6) Encouraging the learner to respond.
(7) Providing feedback for the learner.
(8) Assessment and evaluation of the learner.
(9) Enhancing learner’s retention of the new knowledge or skills.