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Robert Gagne has been a central figure in the infusion of instructional psychology into the field of instructional technology, and in the creation of the domain of instructional design. Gagne's design principles provide not only a theoretical orientation to an instructional design project, but also have prompted a number of design conventions and techniques. This paper examines the extent to which Gagne's theories continue to influence the field as design research expands and as design practice changes in response to new demands and pressures. Discussion includes the emerging tension between learner-oriented and content-oriented instruction trends in learner-centered instruction; the role of learner characteristics, learner involvement, and individualized instruction in Gagne's work; the emerging role of context in instructional design theory trends in context-centered instruction; the generic nature of Gagne's design theory and the de-emphasis of rooting design in a single context; the continuing dominance of Gagne's learning conditions, outcomes-based design, pre-design analysis, and Events of Instruction which provide a framework for creating those external conditions that promote learning; and the stability of Gagne's orientation to practice. (Contains 27 references.) (AEF)

Descriptors: Context Effect, Design Preferences, Educational Practices, Educational Psychology, Educational Technology, Educational Theories, Educational Trends, Individualized Instruction, Instructional Design, Instructional Development, Theory Practice Relationship

Autor: Richey, Rita C.


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