Instructional-Design Theories and Models: Volume IV, The Learner-Centered Paradigm of Education

Edited by Charles M. Reigeluth, Brian J. Beatty & Rodney D. Myers       2017

Unit 2

in Unit 2 we present five instructional designs that elaborate on the fundamental principles of learner-centered instruction in a variety of educational settings across K-12 and higher education. Each of these designs incorporates one or more of the five universal learner-centered design principles descnbed in Chapter 1, but none of them incorporates all.  We've also included a chap­ter at the end of Unit 2 that describes the design of a Personalized Integrated Educational System (PIES) that would provide the technology backbone to support a truly learner-centered instruc-tional system that implements all five universal learner-centered design principles.  Though PIES has not yet been built as an integrated whole, as you read this chapter you should recognize sev­eral components that do already exist in disparate systems and some components that may yet need to be created.

Unit 2 begins with Chapter 6, Designing Maker-Based Instruction, by McKay and Glazewski.  The authors describe maker-based instruction, an approach which facilitates students building meaningful artifacts to achieve learning goals and demonstrate understanding of content.  The authors explain how maker projects can not only help students learn production- and design-oriented skills, but also create opportunities for students to produce an artifact both meaningful and personally valuable; the meaning and value come from the making process iiself.  This approach implements such learner-centered principles as attain­ment-based instruction, task-centered instruction, personalized instruction, and changed roles.  The extent to which each principle is implemented depends on the specific design decisions, instructional context, and other important factors present in the educational setting.

In Chapter 7, Designing Collaborative Production of Digital Media, Kalaitzidis, Litts, and Halverson describe a "New Literacies" perspective on instructional design and explain its implementation in an instructional environment that engages learners in collaborative, creative, interest-driven, and production-oriented digital media projects.  This active learning approach implements such learner-centered principles as attainment-based instruction, task-centered instruction, and per­sonalized instruction.  In this design, also, the extent to which each principle is implemented depends on the specific design decisions, instructional context, and other important factors present in the educational setting.

In Chapter 8, Designing Games for Instruction, Myers and Reigeluth describe a games-based approach to instruction tliat promotes learning in rich, immer­sive, simulated, problem-oriented environments designed to challenge learners in multiple ways.  The authors state that this approach implements "learning by doing" in a social environment and leads to deeper learner engagement, which elicits greater leamer effort and ultimately results in improved student learn­ing.  This approach generally implements such learner-centered principles as attainment-based instruction, task-centered instruction, personalized instruc­tion, and changed roles.  The extent to which each principle is implemented depends on the specific game design decisions, and other important factors associated with the encompassing instructional system (students, instructor, school, home environment, etc.).

 

In Chapter 9, Designing Instruction for Self-Regulated Learning, Huh and Reigeluth describe why supporting self-regulation in learners is of even greater importance now, in the Information Age, than ever before, and how instruc­tion can be designed to improve learner self-regulation.  As learners take on a more active role in all forms of learner-centered instruction (such as those described in this volume), the ability to self-regulate learning is critical for the development of effective lifelong learning skills.  The design explained in this chapter is intended to help learners assume more ownership for, take control of more aspects of, and find ways to customize (personalize) their own learn­ing experience to better fit their own needs and goals.  The details of a specific implementation will determine how significantly such learner-centered prin­ciples as attainment-based instruction, task-centered instruction, personalized instruction, and changed roles are supported. 

The final chapter in Unit 2 that describes an existing instructional design is Chapter 10, Designing Instructional Coaching, by Knight, Hock, and Knight.  The authors describe an instructional design that changes the traditional teacher-learner relationship to one modeled after a classic coaching approach. The specific design context of this chapter is teacher mentoring and profes­sional development (with classroom teachers taking on the role of learners), but the principles apply to many other instructional settings.  As explained by the authors, in the instructional coaching design, goal setting, questioning, and data gathering (typical of one-to-one coaching) are integrated with explanation, modeling, and feedback to help teachers teach more effectively and improve student learning.  This approach implements such learner-centered principles as attainment-based instruction, task-centered instruction, personalized imtruc­tion, and changed roles.  The extent to which each principle is implemented depends on the specific design decision, instructional context, and other impor­tant factors present in the educational setting. 

In the last chapter in Unit 2, Chapter 11, Designing Technology for the Learner-Centered Paradigm qf Education, Reigeluth does not present an exist­ing instructional design, but rather describes design features of a proposed system, PIES, that would provide the technological supports for truly learner­-centered instruction as we've described it in Chapter One.  The author explains four major functions required to support students (recordkeeping for student learning, planning for student learning, instruction for student learning, and assessment for/of student learning) and three secondary functions ( communi­cation and collaboration, PIES administration, and improvement of PIES).  If developed fully, this approach would support the implementation of all five learner-centered principles: attainment-based instruction, task-centered instruc­tion. personalized instruction, changed roles, and changed curriculum. 

As in Unit 1, at the outset of each chapter, we provide a summary of the key elements of each instructional design, highlighting important contextual fac­tors and listing instructional values, universal design principles, situational design principles (when included by authors), and implementation considerations.  In several chapters, the authors have also provided helpful summary tables to aid your understanding and provide a useful resource for later reference. 

As you read these chapters, you might find that you are familiar with various aspects or elements of these designs, having experienced them as a student or instructor in the past.  You might also think about ways that you could adapt one or more of these designs to fit your own specific educational setting.  We encourage you to think creatively as you reflect on your own experiences and consider the possibilities for further personal and professional application of each design. 

                                                                                                                                   - C.M.R.,  B.J.B.,  & R.D.M.