ID: Analyzing the Context of Instruction

1. Describe an instructional design scenario in which Gagne’s “Conditions of Learning” are applicable.
As an instructional design theorist, Robert Gagné, theorized that there were five major groups or categories of learning in his book “Conditions of Learning”. These categories are intellectual skills, cognitive skills, verbal information skills, motor skills and attitude. While Gagné developed instructional design theory for learning and planning he emphasized the need for design to be created and altered to fit particular learners needs. While there was another set of “conditions of learning” in the group’s Youtube clip, I am going to focus on Gagné’s five categories of learning for this response. I would bring up project-based learning as an example where these categories of learning may be applicable. Perhaps students are tasked with designing a toy after researching and studying what makes a good product and invention. Students would have to use motor skills and have an excellent attitude both to collaborate and sell their product.
2. Within cultural context, the text describes the impact of danger of “ethnocentric design”.  Consider a scenario where ethnocentric design has been illustrated in the design of instruction, and discuss opportunities to learn, inform, and remedy the design process.
At my school site, we have what are called Academic Parent Teacher Team meetings. They happen about four times each school year with the classroom teacher and parents coming together for about 75 minutes to focus on skills, goals and action steps as a way to support classroom learning at home. Some teachers have varied success as far as attendance and overall parent satisfaction with the approach. With feedback and thoughtful reflectiveness, we as a staff, are continuing to work hard to eliminate ethnocentric design for our APTT meetings. Teachers have had to work hard to develop their sessions in a way to support all families. We now offer all the sessions and all materials in Spanish and English. Teachers have been placing QR codes on materials so that students and parents can access the text after the session, no matter their literacy level. Icebreakers are developed to be safe and fun and not to put any one parent on the spot. Coteachers circulate during the evening to assist parents and teachers no longer expect parents to ask questions in front of the whole group. Teachers have worked hard to describe student assessments without teacher jargon so that parents can understand how to support the learning goals of the grade level. Attendance has continued to grow as teachers take into account the needs of parents in our community.
3. In what ways do the elements of KASI- Knowledge, Attitudes, Skills, and Interpersonal Skills, help you shape the way you design instruction?
In the Larson and Lockee text, I found it helpful to think of KASI as an example of a “know/do/be framework”. This can be used to help develop design to focus and streamline required skills. At times this even allows the designer to group together common elements that can be taught and linked together for students to make connections. By focusing on knowledge, attitudes, skills and interpersonal skills a designer can hone in on “need to know” vs “nice to know”. As I recently developed a training for staff on using the SMARTboard as a center, it was important to target teachers’ existing knowledge of procedures and rules and attitudes towards the helpfulness of these. This helped to get teachers in the right mindset to create their SMARTboard center procedures. And learn how to grow this into their current practice. Of course I could have taught them all things SMART software related, but this wasn’t the focus of the session. As far as interpersonal skills I try to build in time for teachers to discuss/share and reflect on current practice and new skills as they begin to use them in their own classrooms.
4. Describe a situation in your experience where cultural understanding played a positive role in designing instruction or describe a situation where cultural understanding could have avoided a failure in instructional design.
As I have shared,  I work at a bilingual school (Spanish/English). To foster and keep this dual language model alive we employee and maintain many bilingual teachers. We work closely with some programs around the world to help bring teachers from Spanish-speaking countries into our school as needed. We have teachers from Latin America, Spain and the US. This plays a major role in planning professional development for our staff. It is important to understand the role of lesson planning, assessment and feedback in other countries as we work to grow our teachers. Often times our international teachers will have a hard time with the teacher evaluation process at our site, it is so different for them. We have worked to help them understand these differences through videos of best practices, exemplars, coteaching models and scheduling observations to see other teachers. As a coach and designer, I work hard to design instruction for this group of staff that will help highlight differences in the American educational system and ways to support them as they figure it all out.


Larson, M., & Lockee, B. (2013). Streamlined ID: A practical guide to instructional design (pp.269-270). New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

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