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University of Winnipeg » The ASSURE Model
(From Instructional Media and Technologies for Learning by Heinich, Molenda, Russell, Smaldino, 1999)
The ASSURE model is an ISD (Instructional Systems Design) process that was modified to be used by teachers in the regular classroom The ISD process is one in which teachers and trainers can use to design and develop the most appropriate learning environment for their students. You can use this process in writing your lesson plans and in improving teaching and learning.
The ASSURE model incorporates Robert Gagne's events of instruction to assure effective use of media in instruction.
Before you can begin, you must know your target audience (your students). You need to write down the following information about your students:
General characteristics - grade, age, ethnic group, sex, mental, emotional, physical, or social problems, socioeconomic level, and so on.
Once you know your students, you can begin writing the objectives of your lesson. Objectives are the learning outcomes, that is, what will the student get out of the lesson?
The ABCD's of writing objectives are:
Select instructional methods, media, and materials
Once you know your students and have a clear idea of what they should get out of the lesson, then you are ready to select the:
Utilize media and materials
Now it's time to do your lesson and use the media and materials that you have selected. You should always preview the materials before using them in a class and you should also use the equipment in advance to be sure it works and you know how to use it. If you use electronic equipment, don't assume that everything will work. Be sure to have a plan B. Hardware and software are created by humans. Humans make mistakes and so software has mistakes in it. Hardware can malfunction. Don't get discouraged if technology lets you down. Make sure that your instructional materials are suitable and working the best you can and then use it in the classroom.
Require learner participation
Remember, students learn best when they are actively involved in the learning. The passive learner has more trouble learning whatever we try to pour into his/her brain. Whatever your teaching strategy, you can incorporate questions and answers, discussions, group work, hands-on activities, and other ways of getting students actively involved in the learning of the content. It is up to you, the teacher, to make sure that all your students have opportunities to participate in the learning activities in the unit plan. Avoid lecturing for an entire hour. Listen to your students and allow them to become aware of the content. Allow them to learn as opposed to trying to "teach" them.
Evaluate and revise
This last stage is often neglected but it is the most important one. Anyone can develop a lesson and deliver it, but really good teachers must reflect upon the lesson, the stated objectives, the instructional strategy, the instructional materials, and the assessment and determine if these elements of the lesson were effective or if one or more of them need to be changed the next time the lesson is done. Sometimes a lesson may seem like it would be great, at least on paper. But then when you actually teach the lesson with a specific set of students, you might discover there were several things that did not seem to work. Your expectations might be too high or too low. The materials used might not have been appropriate for the grade level or the material might not be very motivating. The instructional strategy might not have got students interesting in participation or the strategy might have been difficult for you to manage. The assessment you used might have shown that students didn't learn what you tested for. This might mean that you did not accurately test for the stated objectives, the method of assessment needs to be revised, or the lesson did not permit enough time for the students to master the objectives.
You are not a bad teacher if a lesson does not work. You are a bad teacher if you don't reflect upon your lessons and work on revising elements of the lesson until your students become successful learners.
Statements describing what the learner will do as a result of instruction. Things to keep in mind as you write your objectives are:
Ø Focus on the learner, not the teacher
Ø Use behaviors that reflect real world concerns
Ø Objectives are descriptions of the learning outcomes and are written using the ABCD format.
Who is the audience? Specifies the learner(s) for whom the objective is intended.
What do you want them to do? The behavior or capability needs to be demonstrated as learner performance, an observable, measurable behavior, or a real-world skill. Use an action verb from the helpful verbs list if you have difficulty doing this.
Under what circumstances or conditions are the learners to demonstrate the skill being taught? Be sure to include equipment, tools, aids, or references the learner may or may not use, and/or special environmental conditions in which the learner has to perform.
How well do you want them to demonstrate their mastery? Degree to which the new skill must be mastered or the criterion for acceptable performance (include time limit, range of accuracy, proportion of correct responses required, and/or qualitative standards.)
Examples of Objective Statements:
The Drama I class will be able to identify and draw stage directions using pencils and rulers with 100% accuracy. (Or) The kindergarten class will identify the colors, red, green, and blue using blocks 9 out of 10 tries. (Or) The Tenth grade English class will identify and discuss the effects of symbolism in the short story "Young Goodman Brown" using their text, Paper, and Pen in one hour.
Use as many objective statements needed in order to meet the different objectives for the lesson. Use the following questions to assess objectives.
Does the objective allow you to do the following with your lesson?
1. Identify what the expectations are for the learner
2. Identify the necessary requirements for the learning environment
3. Assess learning
4. Determine needs for appropriate media or materials
How would you classify your objective? Is the learning outcome primarily:
3. Psychomotor / Motor Skill?
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