Teaching Procedures, page 5

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Instructional Design > Cognitive behaviors > Teaching Procedures > Define > Learn > Teach > Routine > Power > Steps > Try > Example




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Routine Tactics for Teaching Procedures[edit]

Routine tactics are the commonly used instructional methods.

Consistency[edit]

The needs analysis tells us what the learner needs to be able to do as a result of the training. These are instructional goals, which are also called "post-instructional requirements." An example of a post-instructional requirement is that a learner would be able to use his or her knowledge of fractions to solve a story problem. Therefore, the training lesson would also need to include practice with fractions using story problems. This is called "consistency," "authenticity," or "performance-based learning."

Generality - Example - Practice[edit]

The typical flow of a lesson on a procedure is to:

  1. G - Present the generality for the procedure
  2. E - Present an example of the procedure
  3. P - Provide an opportunity to practice the procedure

These steps are explained in greater detail below.

Tactics for a Generality[edit]

Since a procedure is a set of steps to achieve a goal, the generality should include three parts

  1. The label (source or name) of the procedure (if any)
  2. The goal
  3. The steps in general terms(1)

The following is an example of generality for a procedure:

According to the Little Lawn Machines owners manual, take the following steps to start the lawnmower:
  1. Check the gas tank to be sure there is adequate fuel.
  2. Set the engine speed to medium.
  3. Press the rubber button 3 times to prime the engine.
  4. Pull the starter cord until the mower starts.
  5. Adjust the engine speed.

Tactics for Examples[edit]

An example of a procedure is a demonstration of the use of the steps in one particular situation. It is not enough to just show the outcome of such use; every step should actually be demonstrated. Of course, each example should be as divergent as possible from the previous examples, with one instance from each equivalence class making up each such set of divergent examples.

Tactics for Practice[edit]

Consistency[edit]

The practice should be as similar as possible to the post-instructional requirements (the conditions of performance after the instruction is all over).

Dimensions of Divergence[edit]

Practice of a procedure entails "just doing it" for a case that is different from any previously encountered cases. Each such divergent practice item should provide the goal and any necessary inputs and should require the learner to perform each step of the procedure.

Instance Pool of Exercises[edit]

Generate a number of practice items for each dimension of divergence. This creates an "instance pool" of practice exercises that can be used for both routine and power practice.

Sequencing the Lesson[edit]

The sequence does not have to be Generality-Example-Practice (G-E-P). In fact, it is often best to give an example simultaneously with the generality. We learn many procedures through example; that is, we learn them by observing others, and gradually generalizing from a prototypical case to the full range of cases. So we might want to hold off on the generality until after many examples and practice have been done. In fact, the learner could generate her or his own generality after observing a number of cases. Furthermore, we might want to give a generality, examples, and practice for one equivalence class, then give G, E, and P for another, and so forth until all have been mastered, rather than giving examples for all equivalence classes followed by practice for all. Alternatively, we may want to give the learner control over the sequence of the routine tactics and equivalence classes.


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