Macro-level framework

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Draft version of a framework for the Macro Level

The macro level framework is based on a three-part hypothesis.

  1. For any instructional design issue, the alternative designs can be rank ordered according to how much assistance they offer the learner.
  2. Learners can also be rank ordered by how far along they are in their acquisition of the knowledge addressed by the instruction.
  3. Learning is most efficient when the two ranks match inversely. (Efficiency is usually defined as learning gains divided by instructional time.)

That is, for beginning learners, high assistance instruction is more efficient than low assistance instruction, and for advanced learners, low assistance instruction is more efficient than high assistance instruction. This hypothesis is familiar to teachers, and it is often associated with Vygotsky and the motto “model, scaffold, fade.” Woods, Bruner and Ross [ref] coined the term “scaffolding” for assistance that is eventually removed (faded), but the term “scaffolding” is often mystifying to those outside the Learning Sciences, so we prefer “assistance.”