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First Principles of Instruction

An instructional theory based on a broad review of many instructional models and theories.

  1. Task/Problem-Centered

    Students learn more when the instruction is centered on relevant real-world tasks or problems, including a series of tasks or problems that progress from simple to complex.

  2. Activation

    Students learn more when they are directed to recall prior knowledge, to recall a structure for organizing that knowledge, or are given a structure for organizing new knowledge. This activation can also include a foundational learning experience upon which new learning can be based.

  3. Demonstration

    Students learn more when new knowledge is demonstrated to them in the context of real-world tasks or problems. The knowledge that is demonstrated is both informational and skill-based. Demonstration is enhanced when it adheres to research-based principles of e-learning.

  4. Application

    Students learn more when they perform real-world tasks or solve real-world problems and receive feedback and appropriate guidance during that application.

  5. Integration

    Students learn more when they are encouraged to integrate their new knowledge into their life through reflection, discussion, debate, and/or presentation of new knowledge.