ASSURE Model 1. Deconstructing the Heinich, Moldena, Russell, and Smaldino. Instructional Design Model. Angela E. Megaw

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1 ASSURE Model 1 Running head: ASSURE MODEL Deconstructing the Heinich, Moldena, Russell, and Smaldino Instructional Design Model Angela E. Megaw EDIT 6180 University of Georgia

2 ASSURE Model 2 Unlike most instructional design model, the Heinich, Molenda, Russell and Smaldino model does not have a visual representation or diagram. Instead the model is described by the use of the acronym ASSURE. Figure 1 The ASSURE Model Analyze State Objectives Select Methods, Media and Materials Utilize Materials Require Learner Participation Evaluate and Revise It is a very logical and simple design model. Despite or maybe due to that simplicity it is a very powerful and practical model. Created to be a procedural guide for planning and conducting instruction that incorporates media (Heinich et al., 31) Heinich, Molenda, Russell and Smaldino s ASSURE model incorporates Gagné s events of instruction (Gagné, 1985). A welldesigned lesson starts by capturing the learner s attention, stating objectives that are to be met, presents new material, engages the student in practicing, assesses understanding provide feedback and finally provides follow-up activities. The ASSURE model is extremely learner centered. The analyzing for which the A in the acronym stands for is an analysis of the learner. It focuses on the learner s general characteristics, identifies specific entry competencies required and evaluates learning styles. It is vital to assess the dynamics of the learners and their interactions before selecting methods and media. A superficial analysis of general characteristics such as age and culture can provide quite a bit of guidance in selecting instructional methods and media. For example, you might choose using a non-print media in working with ESOL students whose language skills are weak. A critical factor in developing instruction is to evaluate the amount of pre-knowledge on the subject matter your learners have and what skills and/or knowledge would be required of the learner

3 ASSURE Model 3 before instruction for the leaner to be successful. This can be accomplished in several ways including informal discussions or pretests to measure the target skills. A learner s learning style is also an important factor in designing instruction. Does your audience have a perceptual preference or strength for auditory, visual, tactile or kinesthetic environments? How one cognitively processes information is also a factor to consider as well as the learner s motivation and anxiety. The second component of the ASSURE model is stating the objectives of instruction. There are several reasons why this step exists. They allow students to know what is expected from them upfront and helps to assure proper evaluation. Your objectives often determine the sequence of learning activities and therefore influence how the material is presented. Objectives create structure and force you to commit to an environment in which the objective can reasonable be met. Heinich et al., uses the formula of ABCD to create well-stated objectives. Figure 2 ABCD's of building objectives A = Audience B = Behavior C = Conditions D = Degree Just as in the first stage of this model, the audience/learner is at the center. The focus is on what the student is doing not the instructor. A good objective should begin by stating whose ability is going to be changed. Learning is active. It can be physical like learning to play the guitar or mental such as developing a strategy to solve a calculus problem. The second part of the objective should describe the action, the new capability the learner should achieve after the instruction. The statement of objectives should also include a description of the conditions under which the performance is to be observed. For example, The student will be able to locate a

4 ASSURE Model 4 journal article in the database Academic Search Elite. The final part of a well-stated objective is the criterion by which acceptable performance will be judged. Accuracy and time are commonly used criteria in determining degree. Whether qualitative or quantitative, the criterion should be based on some real-world condition. In evaluating your objectives keep in mind even if it contains all four elements but it does not communicate your intent to your learners, they are useless. The second S in ASSURE stands for select. The selection process has three steps: deciding on the appropriate method for the stated learning tasks, choosing a media format that is suitable for applying the method and finally selecting, modifying or designing specific materials within the media format selected. One might choose to use a variety of methods during the instructional session. To capture the learners attention you may demonstrate the final result. For example, playing a short piece on the piano to encourage a student whose lesson for the day was drill and practice their scales. Other methods include, discussion, cooperative learning groups, gaming, simulations, discovery, presentation and problem solving. The method(s) selected should best match the learners profiles developed in the analysis phase and the stated objectives. Media format is the physical form in which the message is incorporated and displayed (Heinich et al., 41). Types of media include: audio (music and voice), video, slides, charts and computer multimedia. Many various media selection models exist. Heinich et al. don t adhere to any particular one. Their hope is that in the analysis of your learners and objectives you will be able to weigh out the various pros and cons of each media format to determine which meets your instructional needs.

5 ASSURE Model 5 The last step in selection is obtaining specific materials. You may wish to use a preexisting product as is, modify it or design your own. The first option of course is usually the less costly both in time and monetarily. Modifications to existing materials can help customize your instruction to your particular objectives or to better assist your learner s specific needs. The most customized materials would be ones you create yourself. However, this can be very time consuming and expensive. In selecting existing materials it is good practice to consult with your local media specialist/librarian and reviewing guides or journals. Criteria in selecting materials should include issues such as: Is the information current, accurate and unbiased? What is the technical quality? Will it motivate interest? Does it provide interaction? The fourth component in the ASSURE model is to utilize the media and materials selected. In doing this, follow the 5Ps. Preview the materials. This step should always be done to ensure that the materials are appropriate and that no technical difficulties exist. The second p is to prepare the materials. At this point you should gather all your media and support materials, practice using the media if necessary and determine the sequencing of your instruction. Now that you have your materials and game plan you will need to prepare the environment. This step includes setting up the facilities where the instruction is to take place such as rearranging seating or adjusting the lighting. The fourth p is to prepare the learner. This is your introduction to the lesson to inform the learners of what is expected of them. It s your opportunity to stimulate motivation and provide cues to specific aspects of the lesson. The final is p is to provide the learning experience. Finally! The instruction begins. The fifth component of the ASSURE model is to require learner participation. It is the ASSURE model s focus on this element that I think makes it stand out from many other

6 ASSURE Model 6 design models. Research has shown that active participation promotes the effectiveness of the learning experience. Gagné concluded that in all types of objectives practice of the desired skill is necessary of effective learning (Gagné, 1985). Active participation is easier in using some formats of media such as a multimedia computer simulation or game. Discussions or application exercises are probably the most commonly used forms of learner participation. The final element of the ASSURE model is to evaluate and revise. This is an essential component in designing good instruction. This evaluation should reflect a complete picture of the instruction. Not only the learner s achievement in reaching the objective assessed but also the instructional process, the selected use media and methodologies, should be evaluated. Evaluation take place throughout the instructional design and implementation. The evaluation of the learner during instruction usually has a diagnostic function in that it usually is designed to detect and correct learning or teaching problems and difficulties that may interfere with the accomplishing of the lesson s objective(s). Assessment of the learner s achievement should be evident in the student s ability to meet the criterion stated in the objective. Evaluation of the methods and media used should include questions such as: Was the presentation cost effective (time & money)? Where the instructional materials effective? Do they need to be modified? Did the media assist the leaner in meeting his/her objectives? Did the media and supporting materials provide meaningful student participation? Did the use of the selected media arouse students interest and motivation? Take a look at the results of your evaluation data gathering. Are you satisfied with the end results? Were your objective met? If not, why? If not, then take the time to revise, to modify, the instruction. Most instruction must be constantly revised to maintain quality.

7 ASSURE Model 7 The ASSURE model includes many of the elements seen in the conceptual model ADDIE but not all of them. The most obvious missing element is the ASSURE model s lack of a needs analysis. It assumes that training or instruction is required. The ASSURE model also has a narrower purpose than ADDIE. Both are "systematic approaches to creating performance based, interactive and innovated episodes of guided learning" (ADDIE website). ASSURE specifically is intended to assure effective use of media in instruction (Heinich et al., 31). The ASSURE and ADDIE models incorporate the idea of evaluating cost-effectiveness although the ASSURE model uses it as a criteria in selecting media not as a determining factor of whether or not instruction should take place. Edmonds, Branch and Mukhejee (1994) provide a framework in which instructional design models can be compared. They identified six key concepts: Orientation (Prescriptive/Descriptive/Both), Knowledge Structure (Procedural/Declarative/Both), Expertise Level (Expert/Intermediate/Novice/Fits All), Structure (System/Soft-System/Intuitive/Aspects of Each), Context (K-12/Higher Ed./Business/Government) and Level (Unit/Module/Lesson/Course/Institutional/Mass). Figure 3 Diagram illustrating the conceptual framework for comparing ID models (Edmonds et al., 68)

8 ASSURE Model 8 I would define the ASSURE model as prescriptive, containing both procedural and declarative in structure, needing only novice expertise and having a systems orientation. I believe it would best used in creating a single lesson or possibly a unit primarily within a classroom setting (K-12 and Higher Education). It is prescriptive in that your choice in media and methods construct the learning environment to best fit the needs of the learner and objective(s). The model's objectives are criterion oriented and therefore the design lends itself to be procedural. However, I feel that the model's emphasis on developing instruction around an audience's learning style and depending on the subject matter and choice of media the instruction produced could be declarative. The ASSURE model has its limitations or drawbacks. It has a narrow purpose, is an incomplete design model in that it does not incorporate a needs analysis and is limited what settings it is appropriate for. However, as I stated earlier, I believe that the ASSURE model s emphasis on the learner and particularly the learner s active participation makes it unique and very advantageous to use. It is this learner-oriented focus that originally drew me to this model. Unlike many design models, it was created using cognitive theories of learning as its foundation. That s appealing to me. I think it is a good example of putting theory and educational research into practice. It s a do-able model, practical for the first year to the veteran teacher for implementing technology into their classrooms.

9 ASSURE Model 9 References ADDIE: The basic process of instructional systems design. Retrieved January 25, 2001 from the World Wide Web: Edmonds, G., Branch, R.C., & Mukherjee, P. (1994). A conceptual framework for comparing instructional design models. Educational Technology Research and Development, 42 (4), Gangé, R. M. (1985). The conditions of learning. (4 th ed.) New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Gustafson, K.L. & Branch, R.M. (1997). Survey of Instructional Development Models. (3 rd ed.) Syracuse, NY: ERIC Clearinghouse on Information and Technology. Heinich, R., Molenda, M., Russell, J., & Smaldino, S. (1999). Instructional media and technologies for learning. (6 th ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prince Hall. Russel, J. & Sorge, D. (1994). Improving technology implementation in grades 5-12 with the ASSURE Model. T H E Journal, 21 (9) Retrieved February 13, 2001 from GALILEO, Academic Search Elite,

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