Instructional design/Cognitive behaviors/Invariant Tasks

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Back to Topic:Instructional Design > Cognitive behaviors > Invariant Tasks > Define > Learn > Teach > Tactics > Try It > Example

Source: Invariant Tasks by Charles M. Reigeluth. Used by Permission.


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This lesson covers how to design instruction for teaching invariant tasks. After completing this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Explain what invariant tasks are and why they are important,
  • Describe the principles for learning invariant tasks,
  • Prepare instructional tactics to teach invariant tasks.

This lesson is organized into the sections listed below. Navigate to each section by following the "Next" link at the bottom of each page. Return to previously viewed pages by following the "Back" button on the bottom of each page or by following the labeled links at the top of each page which correspond to each of these sections:

Primary References and Resources for this Lesson

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This section contains the primary references and resources used to produce this original lesson. Where available, a hyperlink to the WorldCat library database is provided for the references and resources used in this lesson. Per the web site, WorldCat is the world's largest network of library content and services. By following the hyperlinks below to the WorldCat web site, it is possible to find library copies of the resources in your area by conducting a search by zip code. In addition, hyperlinks to other web sites are used within the lesson to provide additional sources of information for further exploration of topics that are beyond the primary focus or scope of this lesson.


Ausubel, D.P. (1968). Educational Psychology: A Cognitive View. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
Ausubel, D.P., Hanesian, & Novak, (1978) Educational Psychology: A Cognitive View (2nd ed.). New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
Bloom, B.S. (1976). Human Characteristics and School Learning. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Driscoll, M. P. (2005). Psychology of learning for instruction. Boston: Pearson Allyn and Bacon.
Gagné, R.M. (1985). The Conditions of Learning and Theory of Instruction (4th ed.). New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
Jonassen, D. (1999). Designing Constructivist Learning Environment. In Reigeluth, C.M. (Ed.), Instructional-design theories and models (215 - 236). Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Kaufman, R. (1979). Needs Assessment: Concept and Application. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.
Keller, J. (October 1987). Strategies for stimulating the motivation to learn. Performance and Instruction, 1-7.
Kulhavy, R. (1977). Feedback in written instruction. Review of Educational Research, 47, 211-232.
Miller, G. (1956). The magical number seven, plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity to process information. Psychological Review, 63, 81-97.
Mayer, R.E. (1999). Designing Instruction for Constructivist Learning. In Reigeluth, C.M. (Ed.), Instructional-design theories and models (141 - 159). Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Thiagarajan, S. (2004). Framegames by Thiagi. Bloomington, IN: Workshops by Thiagi.
Thorndike, E.M. (1913). Educational Psychology. Volume II. The Psychology of Learning. New York: Teachers College, Columbia University.


  • To acquire skills in designing memorization-level instruction:
Reigeluth, C.M. Memorization. An interactive lesson under development at this external site.
  • To make flash cards for memorization tasks, try out: - wiki-based flash cards - open-source software to create flash cards
  • To learn more about the drill-and-practice model of instruction, especially as it applies to computer-based instruction:
Salisbury, D.F. Cognitive psychology and its implications for designing drill and practice programs for computers. Journal of Computer-Based Instruction, 17(1), 23-30.
  • To find out more about creating games to teach invariant tasks:
Thiagarajan, S. (2004). Framegames by Thiagi. Bloomington, IN: Workshops by Thiagi - see also The Thiagi Group
  • To see additional mnemonics examples:

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Instructional Design Cognitive Behaviors < Back Next >