Under what type of conditions do students learn best? Do they respond better when instruction is clearly laid out? What kind of instructional methods such as lecture, hands-on, or cooperative learning groups assist them in learning and remembering? The focus during this lecture is to point out possible answers to the above questions
In any discussion about instruction strategies, teachers must be able to identify instruction from the point of reference. The first is teacher-directed, where the teacher directs most of the classroom activities, choosing topics, directing the course lesson. Most forms of expository instruction fall into this category. The other is learner-directed, where students have considerable input in the issues they are going to study and how they are going about it. Most classroom work is hands-on, interactive, and collaborative. The current research supports the values of learner-directed activities to foster achievement and post-school success (DeLisi & Golbeck, 1999).
Future instructional leaders understand that good teaching begins long before they enter the classroom. As a result, they plan. In most states, in addition to teacher standards, there are instructional objectives that dictate what students should learn. It is up to the teacher to develop classroom activities that will promote maximum learning.
In the state and national standards, the scope and sequence are in place. These are often referred to as instructional goals and instructional objectives with the former referring to long-term, while objectives refer to more specific outcomes of a particular lesson or activity. Educational research (Gronlund, 2004) also supports that students also benefit from knowing the objectives of a lesson or activity. Based upon this, they are able to make more appropriate decisions on time allocations and topic focus.
In any teaching activity, the general outcome is to transfer complex ideas into workable skills. The approach that many teachers use is referred to as task analysis, a process whereby they identify the necessary subject matter to be taught, and they provide a highway of methods to achieve them. There are three general approaches to this process:
Behavioral analysis: Identify the specific behaviors necessary to perform a task.
Subject matter analysis: Break down the subject matter into specific topics and concepts.
Information processing analysis: Employing the cognitive perspective in the tasks.
There is not a single easy or right approach. The advantage to task analysis is to assist with choosing the appropriate instructional strategy for instruction.
The most used approach is called expository instruction. Information is presented or exposed in the form that the students are expected to learn it. These activities are then behaviorally reinforced for appropriateness of response whether verbally or in homework. Some researchers (Skinner, 1968) have indicated that this places the student in a more passive role. Other research (Ausubel, Novak, & Hanesian, 1978) supports the notion that students are mentally active during passive classroom activities.
Another approach is called mastery learning, whereby students demonstrate that they have mastered the topic or topics before preceding to the next activity. This assumes that every student will have the skill before moving on.
Still another approach is called direct instruction, and it is often the approach chosen by districts for teacher evaluation. In this approach, teachers incorporate the elements of expository and mastery learning into one. This approach will use a variety of methods and techniques to engage students (Rosenshine & Stevens, 1986). In this approach, small sequenced steps and fast-paced teacher-led interactions will typically cover many of the following seven steps:
1) Review of prior learned material.
2) Statement of lesson objectives.
3) New material presented in small steps.
4) Guided practice and assessment after each step.
5) Student assessment of progress.
6) Independent practice.
All teachers will move back and forth in order to ensure subject mastery. In this approach it is most suitable for instruction of teaching new skills (Rosenshine & Stevens, 1986).
Other approaches that are current include computer based instruction (CBI), discovery learning, authentic instruction, collaboration-interactive approaches, class discussions, reciprocal teaching, cooperative learning, and peer tutoring, all of which have merits for developing new instructional leaders.
In this instructional process, it is imperative to reconsider the diversity of the individuals placed in one's charge. The strategies a teacher chooses will to some degree depend upon the cognitive levels of the students. Some of these strategies adapt well to a wide range of students' abilities and needs. For example, mastery learning provides a means through which students can learn at their own pace. CBI methods often tailor instruction to students' prior knowledge and skills, while homework can be easily individualized for the kind and amount of practice students may need. At times, teachers organize their instruction approaches to accommodate cognitive and disability needs. Regardless, it is the individual instructor's responsibility to adapt to the needs of the student population being served.
Ausubel, D. P., Novak, J. D.,& Hanesian, H. (1978). Educational psychology: A cognitive view (2nd ed). New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
DeLisi, R., & Golbeck, S. L. (1999). Implications of Piagetian theory for peer tutoring. In A. M. O'Donnell & K. (Eds.), Cognitive perspectives on peer learning (pp. 3-37). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Gronlund, N. E. (2004). Writing instructional objectives for teaching and assessment (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall.
Rosenshine, B. V., & Stevens, R. (1986). Teaching functions. In M. C. Wittrock (Ed.), Handbook or research on teaching (3rd ed.). New York: McMillian.
EDU 313N Educational Psychology
Benchmark Assessment and Rubric
Targeted Essential Learning
An effective teacher is able to task analyze a specific skill into its individual parts in order to design and plan instruction based on psychological and cognitive principles that develop students’ abilities to meet standards. (APTS 1, 7; INTASC 1, 2, 4)
Assessment Tool Selected
1) Lesson Plan: Task Analysis
Demonstrate understanding of varied effective instructional design practice. (APTS 1.1-2)
Create learning experiences that connect subject area knowledge to real life situations. (7.5)
Relevancy of Task to Teacher Candidate
By breaking complex tasks into their constituent parts, teachers are able to more effectively design instruction that is logical and comprehensive for students. Understanding the psychological/cognitive principles informing the instructional design process allows teacher to differentiate their instruction to meet student needs.
Assessment: Student Prompts/Teacher Directions
1) Psychological Underpinnings: A Task at Hand (Benchmark Assignment)
a) Review the psychological and cognitive theories presented throughout the course. Conduct a task analysis for two of the following tasks. Choose one of the following from the Physical Tasks list and one from the Academic Tasks list. In order to correctly task-analyze the procedures below, the student should perform the task and document each individual step using specific details.
i) Physical Tasks
(1) Tying a shoe.
(2) Jumping rope.
ii) Academic Tasks
(1) Solving a two-digit addition math problem.
(2) Decoding the word dog.
b) Using the task analysis breakdown from the above categories, create lesson plans that clearly outline the step-by-step procedures for each task selected. The lesson plans should each contain the following components at a minimum:
i) Objective (the academic objective needs to be directly connected to state academic standards, but the physical objective does not).
ii) Materials needed to teach the lesson.
iii) Clear step-by-step directions/procedures.
iv) An assessment of learning that is clearly described.
c) Using the lesson plan created, teach the above two tasks to a younger family member or child of a friend and compare which was easier for the child to learn. Create a table that compares the two lessons.
d) Write a 1250-1500-word essay explaining the following:
i) The psychological/cognitive theorists relating to the task analysis (support all of your claims and observations with solid references and details).
ii) The task analysis process, its pros/cons, and how you used it for each step of this activity,
iii) Your observations of the effectiveness of your lesson plan as it relates to the success (or failure) of the lesson with the learner(s).
iv) Three self-suggestions for improving the process.
e) Use standard essay format in APA style, including an introduction, conclusion, and title page. An abstract is not required. Cite in-text and in the References section.
f) Include copies of your two lesson plans. The lesson plans do not count towards the total minimum word count for the paper and should be placed in the appendix of your paper.
g) Submit the assignment to the instructor in ANGEL by the end of Module 6
Scoring Tool/Guide (Rubric)
Psychological Underpinnings: A Task at Hand
2: Less Than Satisfactory
Lesson Plans (2)
ACEI 1.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.0
NMSA 1, 3, 5
No standards are mentioned in lesson. Lesson is not aligned to standards. Activities are absent or unrelated to objectives. Materials and resources, Step-by-step directions, and an assessment are not included in plan.
Lesson is minimally aligned to standards. Many activities are extraneous and irrelevant. Materials needed and step-by-step directions
are included, but seem limited or incomplete. The assessment does not relate to the objective.
Lesson is mostly influenced by standards. Activities relate to objectives, though some are extraneous. A list
of materials and resources needed
for this lesson are included. Step-by-step directions are supplied as a list.
The assessment is minimally described and relevant to the objective.
Lesson is clearly aligned to standards. Activities provide a logical path to meeting objectives.
A detailed list of materials and resources needed for this lesson are included in the plan. Step-by-step directions are annotated. The assessment is clearly and thoroughly described.
Key applicable standards are thoroughly referenced. Lesson is guided by standards. Students of many learning styles and strengths can benefit from activities.
The assessment has been approached creatively.
Task Analysis Process
The essay contains a mere outline of the task analysis process.
The task analysis process is addressed, but at a minimum. It identifies either pros or cons, but not both. How the process
was used in the assignment is
The essay includes a depiction of the task analysis process, its pros and cons, and how it was used for the steps in the assignment.
The student details the task analysis process and clearly defends its pros
The student’s description of the task analysis process places the reader
into the learning experience.
Lesson Plan Effectiveness
The essay does not mention the lesson plan’s effectiveness.
The student reflects on the effectiveness of the lesson for the learner(s), but the reflection is sketchy and incomplete.
The lesson plan’s effectiveness for the learner(s) is reflected upon in the essay. The successfulness (or failure) of the lesson with the learner(s) is marginally addressed.
The student connects the ability of the learner to learn with the quality of the lesson and clearly reflects on why the learner(s) succeeded or failed.
The student clearly understands the relationship between the design of the lesson and the ability of the learner(s) to learn.
Self-Suggestions for Improvement
No suggestions for improvement are included.
Suggestions for improvement are noted, but are superfluous to
Suggestions for improvement are listed and described.
Clearly described suggestions for improvement are tied to specific points related to the effectiveness of
The student includes suggestions that may or may not work and analyzes why it might be so in each case.
NMSA 1, 3, 5
No connections are made to the theories and material learned in the course.
Theoretical connections are made, but make
A connection to theory and course material is made, though at a minimum.
The student clearly and cohesively connects theory
Theoretical connections indicate a full and complete understanding of those theories.
Mechanics of Writing
(includes spelling, punctuation, and grammar)
Surface errors are pervasive enough
that they impede communication of meaning.
Frequent and repetitive mechanical errors distract the reader.
Some mechanical and/or typographical errors are present, but are not overly distracting to
writing are reflective of APA style.
Prose is largely free of mechanical errors, although a few
may be present.
Writer is clearly in control of standard, written American English.
and Style Requirements
APA format and style are not evident.
Title page is present, though missing APA elements; in-text citations, where necessary, are used but formatted inaccurately and/or not referenced.
All key elements of an APA title page are present; an abstract is present and formatted correctly; in-text citations and a References section are present with few format errors.
Essay elements are theoretically supported with accurate citations
A broad understanding of APA format and style is evident in use of level headings and lists, for example.