Gagne’s 9 Events of Instruction

Last Updated: March 5th, 2014

Tool Types:

Overview

Foundations in Education

Gagne’s book, The Conditions of Learning, first published in 1965, identified the mental conditions for learning. These were based on the information processing model of the mental events that occur when adults are presented with various stimuli. Gagne created a nine-step process called the events of instruction, which correlate to and address the conditions of learning.

Gagne’s 9 Events of Instruction

  1. Gain attention
  2. Inform learners of objectives
  3. Stimulate recall of prior learning
  4. Present the content
  5. Provide “learning guidance”
  6. Elicit performance (practice).
  7. Provide feedback
  8. Assess performance
  9. Enhance retention and transfer to the job

Application to Regular Enrollment Courses

The following information includes an explanation of each of the 9 events as well as examples of how an instructor may apply the 9 Events of Instruction in the development and instruction of a regular enrollment course.

  1. Gain attention: Functions to obtain the students’ attention so that they will watch and listen, while the instructor presents the learning content.
    • Utilize ice breaker activities, current news and events, case studies, YouTube videos, and so on. The object is to quickly grab student attention and interest in the topic.
  2. Inform learners of objectives: Allows the students to organize their thoughts and around what they are about to see, hear, and/or do.
    • Include learning objectives in lecture slides, the syllabus, and in instructions for activities, projects, papers, and so on.
  3. Stimulate recall of prior learning: Allows the students to build on their previous knowledge or skills.
    • Recall events from previous lecture, integrate results of activities into the current topic, relate previous information to the current topic.
  4. Present the content:
    • Utilize a variety of methods including lecture, readings, activities, projects, multimedia, and others.
  5. Provide “learning guidance”: Provides student instructions on how to learn such as in guided activities. With learning guidance, the rate of learning increases because students are less likely to lose time or become frustrated by basing performance on incorrect facts or poorly understood concepts.
    • Include detailed information such as rubrics in projects. Provide expectations, instructions, and timelines.
  6. Elicit performance (practice): Allows students to apply knowledge and skills learned.
    • Allow students to apply knowledge in group or individual projects and activities, written assignments, lab practicals, and so on.
  7. Provide feedback: Allows students to receive feedback on individualized tasks, thereby correcting isolated problems rather than having little idea of where problems and inconsistencies in learning are occurring.
    • Provide detailed feedback on assignments showing students what was done correctly, what must be improved, and why. Utilize rubrics when possible. Give formative (practice) feedback as well as on assessments.
  8. Assess performance: Allows students to see content areas that they have not mastered.
    • Utilize a variety of assessment methods including exams/quizzes, written assignments, projects, and so on. Utilize rubrics when grading activities that are not standard exam and quiz questions.
  9. Enhance retention and transfer to the job: Allows the student to apply information to personal contexts. Increases retention by personalizing information.
    • Provide opportunities for students to relate the work to their personal experiences such as in how essays and projects are structured.

Example

Using Gagne’s 9 Events in E-learning: A brief blog article detailing how one instructor utilizes Gagne’s 9 Events in his e-learning courses.

Application to Large Enrollment Courses

The following information includes an explanation of each of the 9 events as well as examples of how an instructor may apply the 9 Events of Instruction in the development and instruction of online and hybrid courses.

  1. Gain attention: Functions to obtain the students’ attention so that they will watch and listen, while the instructor presents the learning content.
  2. Inform learners of objectives: Allows the students to organize their thoughts and around what they are about to see, hear, and/or do.
    • Include learning objectives in the class materials section of Sakai, in lecture slides, the syllabus, and in instructions for activities, projects, papers, and so on.
  3. Stimulate recall of prior learning: Allows the students to build on their previous knowledge or skills.
    • Recall events from previous lecture, integrate results of activities into the current topic, relate previous information to the current topic.
  4. Present the content:
    • Utilize a variety of methods including lecture, readings, activities, projects, multimedia, and others.
    • Integrate the use of clickers or Live Question Tool to keep student attention during content presentation.
    • Present or post content via a learning management system to allow students access to the materials outside of regular seat time.
  5. Provide “learning guidance”: Provides student instructions on how to learn such as in guided activities. With learning guidance, the rate of learning increases because students are less likely to lose time or become frustrated by basing performance on incorrect facts or poorly understood concepts.
    • Include detailed information such as rubrics in projects.
    • Create activities within the learning management system to allow for greater collaboration amongst students and interaction with the content.
    • Provide expectations, instructions, and timelines for all activities.
  6. Elicit performance (practice): Allows students to apply knowledge and skills learned.
    • Allow students to apply knowledge in group or individual projects and activities, written assignments, lab practicals, and so on.
  7. Provide feedback: Allows students to receive feedback on individualized tasks, thereby correcting isolated problems rather than having little idea of where problems and inconsistencies in learning are occurring.
    • Provide detailed feedback on assignments showing students what was done correctly, what must be improved, and why. Utilize rubrics when possible. Give formative (practice) feedback as well as on assessments.
    • Utilize tools such as Turnitin or Microsoft Change Tracking to quickly give feedback to large audiences.
  8. Assess performance: Allows students to see content areas that they have not mastered.
    • Utilize a variety of assessment methods including exams/quizzes, written assignments, projects, and so on. Utilize rubrics when grading activities that are not standard exam and quiz questions.
  9. Enhance retention and transfer to the job: Allows the student to apply information to personal contexts. Increases retention by personalizing information.
    • Provide opportunities for students to relate the work to their personal experiences such as in how essays and projects are structured.
    • Provide opportunities for discussion in small groups or using a discussion board.

 

Application to Online & Hybrid Courses

The following information includes an explanation of each of the 9 events as well as examples of how an instructor may apply the 9 Events of Instruction in the development and instruction of online and hybrid courses.

  1. Gain attention: Functions to obtain the students’ attention so that they will watch and listen, while the instructor presents the learning content.
    • Show brief picture slideshows using Flickr, videos using YouTube, or excerpts from podcasts and videocasts that are evocative or will grab student attention.
    • Use the discussion board for current news and events, to discuss a controversial topic, or to comment on multimedia.
  2. Inform learners of objectives: Allows the students to organize their thoughts and around what they are about to see, hear, and/or do.
    • Include learning objectives in the class materials section of Sakai, in lecture slides, the syllabus, and in instructions for activities, projects, papers, and so on.
  3. Stimulate recall of prior learning: Allows the students to build on their previous knowledge or skills.
    • Recall events from previous lecture, integrate results of activities into the current topic, relate previous information to the current topic.
    • Provide discussion board forums as part of “gaining attention” that relate the previous topic to the current topic.
    • Give polls or surveys eliciting opinions, attitudes, or perceptions of previous materials. Give discussion questions about the poll results.
  4. Present the content:
    • Utilize a variety of methods including lecture, readings, activities, projects, multimedia, and others.
    • Integrate the use of discussion boards, wikis, blogs, mediasite, YouTube, podcasts and other tools.
  5. Provide “learning guidance”: Provides student instructions on how to learn such as in guided activities. With learning guidance, the rate of learning increases because students are less likely to lose time or become frustrated by basing performance on incorrect facts or poorly understood concepts.
    • Include detailed information such as rubrics in projects.
    • Create activities within the learning management system to allow for greater collaboration amongst students and interaction with the content.
    • Provide expectations, instructions, and timelines for all activities.
  6. Elicit performance (practice): Allows students to apply knowledge and skills learned.
    • Allow students to apply knowledge in group or individual projects and activities, written assignments, lab practicals, and so on.
  7. Provide feedback: Allows students to receive feedback on individualized tasks, thereby correcting isolated problems rather than having little idea of where problems and inconsistencies in learning are occurring.
    • Provide detailed feedback on assignments showing students what was done correctly, what must be improved, and why. Utilize rubrics when possible. Give formative (practice) feedback as well as on assessments.
    • Utilize tools such as Turnitin or Microsoft Change Tracking to quickly give feedback to large audiences.
    • Provide feedback to discussion.
    • Utilize peer-evaluation and self-evaluation methods.
  8. Assess performance: Allows students to see content areas that they have not mastered.
    • Utilize a variety of assessment methods including exams/quizzes, written assignments, projects, and so on. Utilize rubrics when grading activities that are not standard exam and quiz questions.
  9. Enhance retention and transfer to the job: Allows the student to apply information to personal contexts. Increases retention by personalizing information.
    • Provide opportunities for students to relate the work to their personal experiences such as in how essays and projects are structured.
    • Provide opportunities for discussion.

 

Getting Started

  • Present a new problem or situation.
  • Use an interesting way to gain attention such as:
    • Demonstration
    • Comedy
    • Case Study
    • Presenting a Problem to be solved
    • Storytelling
    • Debate
    • Polls
    • Images or Graphics
    • Video or Audio clips
  • Inform learners of objectives
    • Describe the goal of a lesson.
    • State what the learners will be able to accomplish and how they will be able to transfer the knowledge to their own interests.
  • Stimulate recall of prior learning
    • Remind the students of prior knowledge relevant to the current lesson.
    • Provide the students with a framework that helps learning and remembering.
  • Present the content
  • Provide “learning guidance”
    • Provide the student with instructions on how to learn.
    • Give detailed instructions and expectations
  • Elicit performance (practice)
    • Provide students with activities that provide students with appropriate feedback to improve their learning.
    • Activities may include debate, discussion, case studies, concept mapping, and so on.
  • Provide feedback
    • Provide quick and detailed feedback that specifically addresses what is being done correctly and what is being done incorrectly.
    • Utilize relevant technologies such as rubrics, turnitin, change tracking, and others to provide timely and detailed feedback.
  • Assess performance
  • Enhance retention and transfer to the job
    • Inform the student about similar problem situations and provide opportunities for the student to transfer learned knowledge in addressing a new problem.
    • Provide additional practice that allows students to apply information in personal contexts.

    Additional Resources

    Articles – Journal and Academic

    Articles – Blogs, Websites, Wikis

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