Aye Aye And…

Instructional Strategies – ADLT 603 – Post 7

Last year when I was doing a team teach project I had heard of Vella’s four I’s – Inductive, Input, Implementation, Integration – from some of my teammates who had taken Instructional Strategies that year, but I didn’t quite get it. Dr Carter gave us a further intro to Vella with her presentation of the basic concepts and then the practical activity of “preparing a Thanksgiving meal”. The inductive part for me connects with what others refer to as prior knowledge or experience. I find this helps to bring learners into an active and engaged state, if done thoughtfully and well. Then putting it into practice – testing the new ideas out. And then having the learners consider how they will integrate the new knowledge.

Actually, it’s interesting to consider another model for instruction or learning. From my prior connection with my colleague who was actively involved in experiential learning when it came out 20-30 years ago, I have leaned towards the experiential model. I have conducted quite a few learning events with this in mind, but I still don’t think I fully grasped the process.

The experiential approach basically centers around Kolb’s model [concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, & active experimentation] or a variation thereof. It was also fascinating to learn about brain function and adult learning. This the part that was interesting to me was how the neuroscientist, Jim Zull, proposed that the brain learns by “gathering, reflecting, creating, and testing.” This corresponds to Kolb’s model (Taylor, 2006).

Image from: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/wfrankli/learning

I can see Vella’s model is somewhat different from the experiential model. Some of the elements seem are the same although named differently and in a different sequence. I’m not sure which I prefer. I think I’ll have to explore more of Vella’s approach. I think by seeing different models, it helps me to develop an overall sense of some key elements or factors involved in learning. One key factor is to consider how learners make meaning and give them the opportunity and situations that allow the meaning making process to connect with their prior knowledge and experience, bring in new knowledge, put it into action, and reflect on the whole process (in one order or another).

Tell me, I will forget
Show me, I may remember
Involve me, and I will understand

This above saying really rings true for me. It’s a great summation of adult learning principles!

Taylor, K. (2006). Brain Function and Adult Learning: Implications for Practice. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education,110, p.71-85. DOI: 10.1002/ace.221


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