The Elaboration Theory In Online Training
Charlie Reigeluth, who introduced elaboration theory (ET), stated that learning should be organized based on the level of complexity of the information presented. The basics need to be presented first in order to form a basis for comprehension, then more involved concepts should follow. Here are 7 top tips for using Reigeluth’s Elaboration theory in online training programs.
1. Start With The "Big Picture": Online training must begin with a general overview of the subject matter.
Next, the online program should lead off with the most basic ideas and concepts. ET involves a "simple to complex" sub-theory, which states that online training lessons must be presented in a specific sequence. Ideally, the online training modules or activities should gradually increase in difficulty or explore more complicated concepts.
2. Use Elaboration Techniques: Elaboration techniques allow corporate learners to elaborate on a topic so that they can create meaning.
Open-ended questions and creative writing prompts are two prime examples of elaboration techniques. However, any online training activity that helps learners make connections between related concepts will promote learning:
3. Make It Micro: ET distills tasks, skills, and ideas down to their simplest components.
Microlearning online training activities offer bite-size information that learners can easily absorb:
4. Make it learner-driven: Learners must be able to control certain aspects of the online training experience.
They should also have some control of which skills they learn and have the opportunity to set their own goals. They most likely already know their performance gaps and areas for improvement. They are also aware of past experiences and preexisting knowledge that they can build on.
5. Summaries Improve Synthesis: No elaborative online training experience is complete without a comprehensive summary.
Create a detailed outline that features every step or topic involved at the end of each online training lesson, and enable the learners to put the information into their own words. Complex topics require more frequent summaries. The online training program must begin with a general overview, and then end with one to improve information synthesis.
6. Choose The Right Structure: Every content should fit into one of these structures.
According to ET, there are three distinct structures that should be used in instructional design:
1. Conceptual: The most simplistic or familiar concept is presented first, before introducing more complicated concepts in subsequent modules.
2. Procedural: Steps appear as they would when learner is performing them on-the-job. This approach is ideal for tasks and procedures.
3. Theoretical: Presents the most basic principles first and then moves onto more complex principles or sub-theories.
7. Utilize Cognitive Cues?: Cognitive cues are stimuli that improve comprehension and enhance knowledge retention.
There are two different types of cues:
1. Imbedded: Prompt the learner to engage with the subject matter, usually on a subconscious level. For example, they view an online training infographic or chart and begin to see the relationship between concepts or the steps in a task.
2. Detached: Learners are required to apply skills or knowledge that they already possess. For example, they have to answer a question using the online resources that are available to them and their previous knowledge on the subject matter. Another example would be an online simulation.
Reigeluth, C. M. (1979). In search of a better way to organize instruction: The elaboration theory. Journal of Instructional Development, 2 (3), 8-15.
Diversity, inclusiveness and equity are the foundations of a safe learning/work environment. Stigmatizing attitudes deny individuals/groups inclusivity by hindering social acceptance and supporting social inequities. Stigmatization impacts the ability of trainees (i.e., learners), student services workers, educators, health/social/personal care workers, caregivers and community volunteers to deliver meaningful support; and prevents individuals from seeking help. This is true for those seeking mental health
services and social support. Education is a key strategy to reduce stigma. Building on three existing video simulations (i.e., stigma related to dementia, ageism, and Indigenous Peoples), we will develop, implement and evaluate three digital experiential learning modules (modules).
Kolb’s 4 stage experiential learning framework will be used to develop the modules; concrete experience (videos), reflective observation (case studies),
abstract conceptualization (debriefing) and active experimentation (assignments).
Additional activities include the development of formative/summative evaluations, the inclusion of elements of diversity/equity, and learners’ assessment of the modules/learning experience.