Module 7: Generic Skills 


Basic Methods of Instruction

1.Kinds of Learning
2.Invariant Tasks
3.Concept Classification
4.Procedure Using
5.Principle Using
7.Generic Skills

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Principles for Teaching a Generic Skill Given that a generic skill is made up of simpler skills and knowledge, we can use the principles for teaching each of those components. You may want to review the appropriate section of the invariant-task, procedure-using, and principle-using modules. But our instructional designs must also take into account the other aspects of learning a generic skill: that it is applied across different content domains and that it takes longer to learn. 

Perhaps the first issue to address is how to sequence the instruction. Based on the principle of learning presented in the previous section, we should use an elaboration sequence rather than a hierarchical sequence. We should figure out what the simplest kind of case is, and teach it to mastery, complete with all the procedures, principles, and other content needed to learn it. Then we should figure out what the next simplest kind of case is, and do the same. A certain kind of task analysis is necessary to do this, and it will result in an outline of the sequence of levels of complexity of the generic skill. 

The next activity should be to identify the procedures and principles to be taught for each level of complexity. This requires a certain form of content analysis, and it will result in an outline of the sequence of content (skills, understandings, and information) to be taught for each level of complexity. 

The next activity should be to select  tactics for teaching each of the pieces of content in the sequence. This is a straight-forward application of what you have learned from previous modules. 

It's really quite simple, isn't it! 

I suggest you work on the Skill Builder. This is a new and ill-defined area, where we are gradually discovering better methods of instruction. Therefore, although the integrated examples may be of some help, they do not show sequencing well for either levels of complexity or content within levels. We will focus on this in future additions to this site. See if you can discover a better way!

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This file was last updated on March 10, 1999 by Byungro Lim
Copyright 1999, Charles M. ReigeluthCredit