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ERIC Number: EJ1103734
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1962
"Learning Maps" vs. "Instructional Maps": User Guide for Learners vs. Instructional Tool for Designers
Gropper, George L.
Educational Technology, v56 n4 p3-15 Jul-Aug 2016
A prescription favored in this article calls for the joint use of "learning maps" and "instructional maps." Why then the "Vs." in the title? Simply put, it is a rhetorical device. It calls attention to a key difference between the two. This article explicates the difference. It also informs how alone and in combination the two can contribute to instruction. Beginning at the beginning, what are these two types of maps, and what is the contribution each can make? "Instructional maps" rely on graphic deployment of content. The calculation, in some accounts, is that spatial deployments have the capacity to elicit learner responses in reliable ways. Ways required for learning and retention to occur. As proposed here, there are no good or bad configurations per se. They are good if they are capable of eliciting responses which an instructional strategy identifies as necessary. Clarity for clarity's sake, as in some accounts, is not the goal. In a response oriented approach, as supported in this article, subject matter content is displayed in configurations that attempt to control how learners come in contact with that content. More importantly, they attempt to elicit the kinds of responses appropriate to that content. The controlling cues designed for this purpose are spatial, non-verbal, and implicit. There is no voice, in print or otherwise, saying "do this" or "do that." "Learning maps," in contrast, do rely on words. They rely on the explicit identification of the types of responses learners are expected to exhibit. Verbal maps provide guidance as to what they need to do in order to master the subject matter at hand. The maps might readily be called a user's manual for mastering the specific subject matter at hand. Unlike the "instructional maps," which rely heavily on graphics," learning maps" are principally verbal and explicit. Emphasis on "explicit." They state what needs to be done. Look for differences. Look for similarities. Look for the correct order. Look for what goes with what. Each of the two approaches has the capacity to account for some of the unique variance associated with achievement. Nevertheless, because of their differences, not despite them, if employed together they may account for a still larger portion of the variance. This is so because the two approaches can complement one another. Working together there would be no ambiguity as to what is expected. "In sum, one maps lesson content. The other maps instructions about how to go about learning from that content. That is the difference. And that is the source of their combined potential. Together they should be able to tap into more valid variance associated with achievement than either alone."
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A