Friday, February 26, 2010

ID Live with Charles Reigeluth on EdTechTalk

This week on Instructional Design Live on EdTechTalk.

reigeluthCharles Reigeluth, University of Indiana, Bloomington – authored numerous articles and books.  Best known for Instructional Design Theories and Models.

(These are my live blogged notes from the session).

People learn at different rates.  And yet in our education and training systems we attempt to teach a fixed amount of content in a fixed amount of time.  Our systems are designed not for learning, but sorting.

This made sense in the industrial age (we separated the laborers from the managers, etc).  Doesn’t make sense in the information age.  We find that knowledge work has replaced manual labor as the predominant form of work.  Need to educate people to higher levels. 

We need a system of education that’s focused on learning, not sorting.  We need to hold achievement constant at a mastery level and allow each learner the time they need to reach mastery.  This requires a more customized approach to education and training instead of one-size-fits all.

Most important for instruction in information age paradigm:

  • Think in terms of a task space (project-based learning, problem-based learning, inquiry-based…) – students work together on a task until they encounter a knowledge gap.  Then they jump out to an instructional space.
  • Generality, practice, feedback (tell them how, show them how, let them do) – if any of those 3 elements is missing from instruction, learning will be more difficult for students.
  • Practice until pre-determined level of mastery is achieved.  Allows student to generalize skill.
  • Feedback on practice helps learner learn skill. 

Our systems are getting a lot more complex:  horse & buggy < trains < airplanes…

As they get more complex, there’s longer period of time between inception of system and reaching upper level of performance.  Lots of supporting systems need to be developed to support a complex system.

In the new paradigm of education/training – we’re now at the bottom of the S curve.  Can’t expect to achieve what this paradigm will be capable of in 30 years.

What does that new paradigm look like?  He has been doing research on this.

Teacher roles:

  • Teachers role needs to change to guide on side (not sage on stage).
  • Standup mode of teaching needs more self-directed learning, project-based learning.
  • Teacher needs to be a designer of student work, a facilitator during that work, a mentor for the student (sticks with a student for a number of years - “looping”).
  • The teacher no longer needs to be the full source of expertise – teacher can be learning subject with students instead of teaching students. 
  • Teacher as guide on the side is no longer the subject matter expert. (Marlene argues that teacher needs to have some expertise in subject matter.)

Parent roles:

  • Parent role needs to change – parents need to be more involved in supporting child’s education – helping child decide what to learn and helping child how to learn it.
  • In corporate sector – a person’s boss needs to be involved in someone’s training and preparation.

Question from @kelly_smith01  How does performer know they are performing something wrong?  Is there feedback? – can build this kind of detection into an online task space.  Natural consequences that emerge from poor performance are usually sufficient to let student know they should reach out for some instruction.

“One of the most powerful ways to learn something is to teach it.” 

Reigeluth recounts his own experience of 3 years in school studying economics vs. 1 year of teaching it.  Peer learning is so important.  The expert forgets the challenges when first starting to learn a subject.

Technology needs to play a different role.

Based on comments in article in 2008 published in Educational Technology --

4 major roles or functions that tech has got to server for this new paradigm to be successful:

1. Attainment based progress – students only move on once they’ve mastered.  We need to keep track of what students have mastered.  An inventory of attainment.  Recordkeeping for student learning.

  • a standards inventory
  • a personal inventory
  • a personal characteristics inventory (your interests, your learning styles)

2. Planning Function – given what a student has already mastered, what’s in zone of proximal development.  What’s student ready to learn next?  What fits into student’s career plan?  What do you want to learn next?  What projects to do next to learn that?  Matching students with other students.  Identifying roles the teacher will play?  The parent?  How will they provide support to this project?  Deadlines and contracts.  Contract spells out what the student is going to do – the project, the deadlines, the roles.

3. Instruction – once all those plans are done, students would begin working on task – periodically jumping out to the instruction space and sometimes back to the task space.  Interactive resources (technology) to be used for both task and instruction space.

4. Assessment Function – needs to be integrated with the instruction function. As student is practicing a skill, the formative and summative assessments are both provided automatically.  That information is then automatically fed back to the record keeping system.

All 4 of these functions are seamlessly integrated in this system – an integrated learning systems.  “Personalized Integrated Educational System” (PIES).

Use open educational resources, open architecture, Facebook type interface/portal – for students and teachers.

Many secondary functions such as communications, email, blogs, wikis, web 2.0 tools, data capture, demographics, etc.


The audio recording for this session will be available at Instruction Design Commons.

Coming up Next on ID Live!  March 5:   A conversation with Professor Karl Kapp.  Join us Friday at noon eastern at


Leslie Maniotes said...

Thank you for posting this! I was listening while I was on a walk and so engaged, so I really appreciate your written notes. I really agree with this model of teaching and do not think it is hard. What I wish we had been able to get into in more depth was how the technology might support this approach to teaching/learning. That was the part I am unclear about. This instructional design is what we mean when we talk in our book about Guided Inquiry: Learning in the 21st Century. I can't wait to find out more.
Dr Reigeluth mentioned a recent article- do you recall what that was?
Thanks again for posting!

Cammy Bean said...

Hi Leslie,

Robert Squires dug into it and found these references:

Reigeluth, C.M., Watson, W.R., Watson, S.L., Dutta, P., Chen, Z., & Powell, N.D.P. (2008). Roles for technology in the information-age paradigm of education: Learning Management Systems. Educational Technology, 48(6), 32-39.

Here’s a report on it:

There’s also references to these ideas in:

Reigeluth, C.M. (2009). Instructional theory for education in the Information Age. In C. M. Reigeluth & A. Carr-Chellman (Eds.), Instructional-Design Theories and Models, Volume III: Building a Common Knowledge Base. New York: Routledge. P.387-399.

Hope this is helpful -- and thanks for listening in.

Perhaps we can focus more on the technology side in an upcoming conversation.