Instructivist vs Constructivist Instructional Design

by , under For teachers

In this serious game, imagine you were asked to hire an instructional designer for your college or company. Who would you hire? Use the audio players below to hear the candidates talk about their views on instructional design. At the end of the first part of the interview, the candidates will ask you if you have any questions. Think of a question, ask it, and click play on the second part interview.

Who would you hire?

Barbara
Bill
Press the play button
to hear this candidate talk about
her approach to instructional design.
Press the play button
to hear this candidate talk about
his approach to instructional design
Ask this candidate a question
and then hit the play button to hear
this candidate talk some more.
Ask this candidate a question
and then hit the play button to hear
this candidate talk some more.

Actively Engaged at College and Actively Engaged on the Job from Bokomaru Publications were carefully designed using a combination of instructivist design and constructivist design principles. Every week, learners are provided with a series of sequenced ESL activities to prepare them for constructivist learning tasks. In this way, learners benefit from both types of learning activities, satisfying a range of learning preferences. They finish the course with a body of knowledge about linguistic forms and communicative functions, and they are more patient problem-solvers, too.

About the task

I created these “Who would you hire?” candidates for a Learning Theories class. We were using Driscoll’s book and had just finished talking about Gagné. The lesson was on Constructivism, but I didn’t want to use an instructivist lesson to teach constructivist principles. I devised this little task instead. (The voices, by the way, are both me, but I used Audacity to raise and lower the pitch of the recordings to make them sound different.)

In groups of 3, students were first asked to imagine a context where training is needed, to set a budget and delivery date, and then convene a hiring committee. The first audio was played for each candidate. They were then told to ask each candidate a question, and I played the second audio. While they were deliberating in groups, I gave each group one of these messages from “Head Office” at random to complicate matters:

1) The boss has decided to increase spending on training. Your training budget just got bigger.

2) The boss has decided to reduce spending on training. Your training budget just got smaller.

3) The boss has decided to give you one more month to develop your project.

4) The boss has decided to move the deadline up by a month. You have to work faster.

Depending on the task, budget, learner population and timeline, groups chose the candidate that they like best and justified their answer.

 

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