Finding the instructional ‘Sweet Spot’

Year: 2019

Author: Bentley, Brendan

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In recent years, a growing body of knowledge has emerged regarding instructional design and theory. This presentation examines the accumulation of this understanding and looks at a component of instructional theory taught in the University of Adelaide’s Initial Teacher Education program in the preparation of classroom ready teachers. The presentation identifies the elusive instructional ‘sweet spot’, a location where instruction is fun, efficient and rigorous. Cognitive load theory is used as a lens to interrogate contemporary ideas of instructional design andexplore the salient variables within the various instructional models such as direct instruction, social modelling, corrective feedback, and extended practice found in schools today. The misconceptions and benefits associated with each of the models are detailed and an evidence based argument is made highlighting which of these models produce substantial and efficient learning effects. The presentation highlights models that offer clear, short, and unelaborated instruction that don’t overload the mind and provide attendees of the presentation with specific skills to aid their own teaching methods and practices, supporting them to find their own instructional ‘sweet spot’.