Use of Instructional Design Models in the Teaching Modules and Assessments.

It was quite a surprise when I discovered that I had been following Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction in the preparation of teaching modules for on-line tutoring. Keller’s ARCS model for motivation was followed in the preparation of assessments and activities that would test the level of understanding of the student after a session on a particular curriculum standard. Unknowingly I had been following Gagne’s nine events of Instruction and ARCS models.

While tutoring a student, a tutor is expected to inspire the student kindling active participation and motivation. It becomes the prime responsibility of the tutor to encourage and set the pace for the student to get into the learning process. Usually, a tutor focuses on using Socratic pedagogy to achieve that. A tutor asks questions that would help the student to come out with the answer. Subject knowledge, language skill, interactive conversation, classroom management, Socratic pedagogy, and grade-appropriate teaching are the six areas that a tutor must be competent. A tutor must be a skilled person who knows how to use these six skills in making a session a successful one.

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Use of Gagne’s nine events of instruction:

After identifying the learning objective for a particular curriculum standard, I start to develop the teaching module. If it is, a teaching module or an assessment depends on the requirement of the student. Teaching modules that follow a structure will definitely help the tutor to know if the student understands and if the tutor is leading the student on the right path of the learning process. A tutoring session starts with a question that gains the attention of the student. Questions are generated using an image, picture or a small anecdote. The questions need to be interactive that will catch the attention of the student. Once the tutor has brought the student into the learning fold, the student is informed of the learning objective.

Learning happens when a tutor succeeds in making meaningful connections. So it is important to check how far the student is familiar with the basic information related to that particular topic. Graphic organizers used in a teaching module helps to stimulate the student. A number of graphic organizers are available that make the job of a tutor easy. A single graphic organizer can help the student to understand better in a stroke. It also helps to maintain attention and increase comprehension. It can be a grammar topic or a reading strategy; a tutor must provide the instruction in small chunks. Chunking information helps a great deal to lead the student from simple to complex. The discussion or the demonstration on the learning objective helps the tutor to confirm the level of understanding of the student. Don’t hesitate to provide you immediate feedback on the performance of the student. That will help the student to know where they stand. An assessment that follows will help the tutor to judge how far the student has mastered the learning objective. Always help the student to relate the learning objective to the real-world experiences. This will help them to remember the learning objective for a long time.

Use of ARCS model for motivation:

As a tutor, I find the ARCS model to be apt for motivation. When a student wants to appear for an exit exam, besides preparation for the exam, motivation also plays a main role. Motivation can make the student feel confident and take up the test with ease. Unlike a teaching module, an assessment must contain everything in a nutshell. The tutor must be thorough with the blueprint of the exit exam. A student may require the help of the tutor to select the correct answer in a set of multiple-choice questions and how to write impressively the essay based on the given writing prompt. Whether it is a short response or an extended response question, the student must know how to frame the sentences. A student must know where to begin and where to end. Answering all the questions within the stipulated time is also important. Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction are the four things that are necessary while taking up an exit exam. The tutor must make the student understand thoroughly the curriculum standards fixed for the exit exam. That will definitely help a student to identify the areas of competency and the areas which need help in understanding. Once a tutor builds up the confidence level of the student, satisfaction follows without any hitch.

A person with some teaching experience finds it easy to follow these instructional design models while developing the teaching modules. It takes time for a person without any teaching experience to be conversant with these instructional design models. Student requirement differs from student to student. A good teacher has the intuition to identify the requirement of a student. Teaching and learning happen when meaningful connections are made between a tutor and a student.


Paola Garcia lives in Jakarta Indonesia. She is an associate professor in University of Indonesia and also managing Scoopinion at the same time. She is also fond of watching theatrical plays.

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