Widely recognized as best practices in education, the principles of instruction were developed by Barak Rosenshine, an American educational psychologist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, based on years of research on teaching effectiveness. The principles include guidelines for beginning a lesson with a review of previous material, clearly stating the goals of the lesson, providing direct instruction, using examples and non-examples, engaging students in guided and independent practice, checking for understanding, providing timely and descriptive feedback, and varying the types of questions asked. Research has shown that following these principles leads to increased student achievement and improved learning outcomes.
Micro-learning apps provide just-in-time support to learners, and ensure higher retention of material by delivering content in short, focused bursts. With their focus on bite-sized lessons, active engagement, gradual release of responsibility, and frequent practice for mastery, micro-learning apps echo most of Rosenshine’s principles.
Here’s how Rosenshine’s principles of instruction are being applied in micro-learning apps:
👉 A recap of the key concepts and skills that were covered in the previous lesson, and clearly stating the goals of the new lesson helps to activate students’ prior knowledge and provide context for new learning.
👉 Introducing concepts in small chunks of information to avoid overburdening the learner’s working memory ensures long-term retention of the concepts.
👉 Inserting quizzes and asking questions to improve recall and build a healthy habit of analysis and introspection on the concepts studied. Quizzes also ensure regular assessment of learners’ understanding in order to provide additional support and mentoring, and modify the course for higher efficiency.
👉 Real-life examples and guidelines on the limitations and risks of the concepts studied ensure better understanding of the concepts.
👉 Providing opportunities for learners to practice new knowledge and skills through peer-to-peer engagement or interactive exercises, quizzes, and problem-solving activities.
👉 Incoming data on student progress can help provide timely and descriptive feedback to learners, allowing them to realign their objectives, or modify their learning journey for better results.
👉 Reports and analytics on course performance and progress can help learners keep their eyes on the goal, and stay motivated to continue their learning journey.