Instruction design and cognitivism



  • The most general ideas of a particular subject should be explained first before progressing to more complex details of the subject (progressive differentiation)
  • Instructional materials should attempt to connect new material to previously learned material through comparisons of new and old ideas.
  • Advanced Organizers should be used to help connect new material and old ideas to advance the organizational strength of the cognitive structure.


1. Gain Attention – Describe what will be done to gain and maintain attention.

2.Objectives – Indicate Objectives and how they can be conveyed to learners.

3. call – Indicate relevant prior learning and what will be done to help students recall this knowledge.

4. Content – Describe the content and indicate how or in what order it will be presented.

5. Guidance – Indicate anticipated support and guidance to help students master or understand the content.

6. Practice – Indicate when and how practice sessions will be structured.

7. Feed back – Indicate what form feedback will take, when it will be provided and a strategy for varying feedback over the course of the lesson.

8. Assessment – Indicate how learning outcomes for this lesson will be determined and conveyed to individual learners.

9. Retention and Transfer – Indicate a strategy to help promote long term retention of the content and assist learners in applying the content to related situations.


  • Theory that learners are constantly active during the learning process. Focus is on building connections b/w new and existing knowledge. Generative Learning activities engage students in hands on lessons that prompt students to manipulate new information and organize it into new memory structures as they develop their own way of understanding new materials.