Monday, December 29, 2008

Advance Organizer

There are many advantages as well as disadvantages of using Advance Organizers.

It facilitates them make connections and/or the relationship between pieces of information. Also helps students to allocate time for a particular lesson.
We can use it interactive lessons in classroom lectures and for elearning courses.

For example you can ask a question about what is an amphitheatre before teaching about Greek or Roman architecture. Or for instance you need to teach about guidelines for a healthy diet. So you can start the topic by giving a build up like this:

Build up: “We all know that we should eat healthy food. For most of us, healthy food means no pizza, no fries, no colas, and no burgers. Healthy food is boring and tasteless. But no that’s not so. We can make food choices. Food can be healthy and tasty”.

Scholars and educational psychologists have divided opinion about the use of Advance Organizers.

Carol Story (1998), a research scholar concluded that “Instructional designers can feel confident that Advanced organizer are important part of their instructional designs, that the organizers are needed whatever the media of instruction, and that organizers themselves can be delivered by a variety of media.”
Some researchers believe that Advance Organizers helps students to recall information and make connection between already known concepts and the forthcoming learning materials.

However, researcher scholars like McEneany (1990) suggested that it serves no purpose or have limited effect in promoting learning or recall of learning.
Whereas Lawton and Johnson (1992) believe that Advance Organizers are effective.

According to Ausubel, the Advanced organizer provides the “hierarchical framework” for students so that they can move information into long-term memory efficiently and effectively and in a connected manner.

To conclude, we can say that:

• It is an educational strategy.

• Teachers have been using it for classroom lectures.

• It helps learners to build a cognitive structure.

• Instructional designers are using it for elearning courses.

• Depending on the content, the subject matter, on the pre-existing knowledge of the learners.

However, some questions like why this teaching strategy is called as Advance Organizer and not simply Organizer is still unknown.


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