Overview of Gagnes Events of Instructions

Overview of Gagne’s events of instructions

There are several e-learning pedagogies or approaches propounded by different people. One such approach is Gagne’s “Nine events of instructions”, pioneered by Robert Mills Gagne. Gagne was an American educational psychologist, who propounded this approach during World War II.

The nine events of instructions as developed are:

Gain attention:

The success of any learning program lies in how attentive the students are, during the learning session. Therefore, gaining learner attention is the primary step that needs to be kept in mind while designing a course. A multimedia presentation accompanied by sound effects is a good way of garnering attention. Also, asking a thought provoking question or interesting fact motivates students and stimulates their curiosity.

Inform learner of objectives:

Making the student aware of what to expect in a topic or a chapter increases the chances of a student completing a set of concepts or chapter. Clearly setting down the objective also forms a basis for assessment at the end.

Stimulate recall of prior learning:

Before starting any new concept or a chapter, it is better to recall any prior knowledge of the concepts that would be discussed. This helps in better long term retention of the knowledge and also acts as a motivational factor, as the student will not be apprehensive of the topic or concept in discussion. A good method of recalling prior learning is to ask questions about previous experiences or any situation where the student might have used his/her skill or knowledge.

Present stimulus material:

The content should be logically chunked and presented in a more demonstrative manner with optimum amount of examples and real life scenarios. Ideally, the content should student centric and participative that encourages students to be proactive.

Provide learner guidance:

In addition to what is being presented in the training program, students should be provided with additional learning aids that would help learning retention. Guidance could be in the form of case studies, crossword puzzles, analogies and so on.

Elicit performance:

Sufficient practice material should be provided for concepts and learning objectives that are technical in nature and that need hands on practice. This helps in understanding and retaining the concepts for a longer duration. Courses could have simulations and other hands on activities wherein the learner is required to use the knowledge gained to complete a set of tasks, or to find a solution for a real life problem/scenario.

Provide feedback:

During the course of learning, students should be provided with regular feedback about their progress. This ensures that the students can take any corrective action, just in time and need not wait till the end of the course completion. Additional guidance could be provided as a form of formative feedback.

Assess performance:

Once the student has completed a particular module or chapter, an opportunity should be given to take an assessment to gauge their level of comprehension and understanding. The assessment should be attempted without any guidance. However, small hints can be provided, if required.

Enhance retention  and transfer to job:

Finally, the true worth or success of a learning program lies in how much a student can retain the knowledge learned and can use the same in his/her job. Periodic repetition of the course, although useful is hated by many students. Alternatively, electronic brochures, pamphlets, e-mailers are other job aids that enhance knowledge retention.