e3 (effective, efficient, engaging) is based primarily on a problem-centered, peer-interactive, and technology-enhanced instruction. Two memory processes exist: assoc
Problem-centered refers to instruction that is taught with the specific intent of allowing the learners to solve a real-world problem. Instruction covers all the skills that are required to solve the task. The overall sequence of problem-centered instruction is to demonstrate a skill and then apply it to a problem. This demonstrate-apply cycle is repeated until learners gain all knowledge required for solution of problems. A sequence of 3+ cycle (demonstration-apply) problems are recommended.
Peer-interactive refers to activities such as: peer sharing, peer demonstration, peer collaboration, peer critique, and peer-telling. Peer-telling is the least effective of the peer-interactive activities. Each activity relates to a First Principle.
- Activation - Peer Sharing
- Demonstration - Peer Demonstration
- Application - Peer Collaboration
- Integration - Peer Critique
- Description of problem
- Resources (papers, videos, animations, power point)
- Worked problem
- New problem
- Individual solutions (posted to assigned group)
- Group collaboration (discussion board)
- Group solution
- Group critiques
- Group collaboration (revision)
- Course development - instructor develops a sequence of the previously listed problems for the course
- Monitor course
- if a member of a group is inadequately participating - admonish
- if a group solution is inadequate - suggest revisions
Merrill provides a very clear description of the concepts presented in this article. The model of First Principles of Instruction which incorporates Problem Centered approach was extremely helpful. Even more helpful is the provided list of activities. I feel this information would be important to give any instructor of an eLearning course.
However, this kind of approach does seem slightly restrictive in some ways. By providing a list of activities, one almost feels that each step should be followed and additional activities/assignments would be inefficient or unproductive. I do not think this outline would be appropriate for every single course. As always, each topic is unique and should be approached as such. I do believe that this creates a nice guideline for instruction, if there is a question on how it should be compiled.
Merrill, M. D. (2008). What Makes e3 (effective, efficient, engaging) Instruction?