Learning Theory of Instructional Design
The instructions created by teachers and trainers in different educational and training institutes as well as in training programs of different organizations, which include the “instructional experiences which helps in making the learning a better experience by enabling and making the process of acquisition of related and relevant knowledge and skill more efficient, appealing in nature, and effective for the learner; is known as “Instructional Design”.
There are various theories under “Instructional Design” such as Learning Theory, Pedagogical Theory, and Instructional Theory.
The link between learning theory and educational practice was proposed and envisioned by John Dewey (1910). But, it was Edward Thorndike (1913) who explored the different associated principals of learning theory, which the teachers can use and directly apply to design their teaching material. There are two theories namely, “Elaboration Theory” and “Linking Theory” which builds a bridge for the transition between instructional design process, learning theory, instructional design methodology, and instructional theory.
I have selected “Elaboration Theory” to describe how it can be applied to design of educational material.
Elaboration Theory (Reigeluth and Stein, 1993) is the learning theory of instructional design, which is aimed at teachers and trainers to focus on “how to teach” rather than concentrating their focus on “how and why people learn different things.” The major concern of the elaboration theory is the organization of the educational material and the structure, which is provided to it by the instructor (teachers mostly). Here the focus is being shifted to organization and structure rather than the material itself. The elaboration theory is based on the psychology of cognitive learning and is found to be consistent with the theories of cognitive learning.
There are two major components of elaboration theory:
• Sequencing: Here the elaboration theory focuses on the instructions to be more specific rather than being provided in general terms to the students.
• Synthesizing: Here it focuses that the each and every part of the instructions being provided by the teacher should be related to each other in the general context.
The method, which has been proposed, by Reigeluth and Stein for the implementation of elaboration theory is to start teaching the material with a general overview and then proceed with dividing the material in different sections and headings. Each section and headings should be elaborated to the students and also the relation and interdependency between every section should be established and elaborated by the teacher. The sections could be further divided into sub-sections if required, in case the material being taught is too large and complex, it is always better to divide and re-divide again and again to simplify the instructions and make it more logical and comprehensible by the learner. This...