Robert Gagne was a psychologist in the field of education. One of his most influential ideas was his Nine Events of Instruction. The concept has had a significant impact in the instructional approach of many in the world of education.
This post will briefly explain and cover the Nine Events of Instruction and to explain their application in the classroom. The nine events are as follows.
- Gain learners’ attention.
- Inform learners of the objectives.
- Stimulate recall of prior learning.
- Present the content.
- Provide “learning guidance”
- Elicit performance (practice)
- Provide feedback.
- Assess performance.
- Enhance retention and transfer to the real-world
Gain Learners Attention
Obtaining attention is critical in terms of information processing. Unfocused students cannot learn anything. How a teacher gains the attention of their students can vary. Some use classroom management techniques to obtain behavior such as ringing a bell or raising their hand to indicate that it is time to be quiet.
Inform Learners of the Objectives
It is hard for many to enjoy a journey when they do not know where they are going. The same idea applies to many students. You need to explain to them what they will do in order for them to enjoy doing it. This is one reason for sharing with the students the objectives or purpose of a class. It provides a sense of direction and perhaps relevance.
Stimulate Prior Learning
Stimulating prior learning allows students to connect new information with old. Review what they have learned in order to extend and build upon it. This is one aspect of constructivism. The review can be in the form of questions, game or some other method. Students need to see the connections among the information they are learning for schematic reasons as well.
This the part of the teaching in which new material is presented. This can be done through any method of teaching including direct instruction, indirect instruction, cooperative learning, etc.
After learning new material, students need to use it. This first happens with a hands-on example with guidance. In other words, the first few problems are done together with teacher support. This is the scaffolding aspect of Vygotsky’s model. You as the teacher guide the students through the initial experience of using new information.
At this step, the students are executing the new skill without immediate feedback. Students need the freedom to perform without instant critique even from the teacher. However, this is only temporary.
Now the students learn how they did. This can happen through going over the answers or discuss various opinions about a subjective subject. This event provides students with a way to compare their performance with that of others or some external standard.
This is the giving of some sort of grade or indication of progress. There are several different methods for giving marks or grades.
Enhance Retention through Transfer to Real World
Students need to see how the knowledge they attain can be used in the real world. Therefore, the teacher needs to assist in this transfer. This can be through discussion on how to do this or through the use of some sort of authentic assessment.
Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction is a fantastic model to follow when trying to teach and interact with students. The order is the most common flow and there are natural exceptions to the order developed by Gagne. However, a teacher chooses to do this they should keep in mind the nine events in order to support student learning.