Definition of Instructional Strategy
Instructional strategy refers to a plan that logically exposes learners to situations and experiences that help them attain verbal information, develop intellectual skills, new attitudes and motor skills (Rothwell and Kazanas 231). A designed instructional strategy is used as criteria to develop instructional material, to evaluate existing material, revise existing material, and provide a framework. The framework allows planning of homework assignments, class lecture notes, and interactive group exercises can be planned. Importance of using an instructional strategy is to assist in planning holistically. This contributes in timesaving and reducing the cost used in preparation and selection of instructional materials.
Types of Instructional Strategies
The two types of instructional strategies are the macro-instructional strategy and the micro-instructional strategy. Macro-instructional strategy refers to the general plan that oversees a discrete learning experience, for example, a course (Rothwell and Kazanas 232). On the other hand, a micro-instructional strategy is a specific plan that addresses and oversees each section of the learning experience, for example, a unit within a course.
Instructional Strategy and Instructional Tactics
According to Rothwell and Kazanas (232), an instructional tactic is different from an instructional strategy since it is more comprehensive and specific than an instructional strategy. In order to achieve the instructional strategy, instructional tactics have to be implemented. Instructional tactics serve as activities carried out to achieve the instructional strategy.
Conceptualizing Instructional Strategy
Conceptualizing instructional strategy is based two approaches, the philosophy of the instructional designer concerning learning and instructing and from the events of instruction and learning setting. Both this approaches provide guidance to instructional designers when identifying the range of available instructional strategies.
One of the key aspects of instructional strategy based on philosophy of learning and instructing is through reception and discovery learning. Reception learning revolves around the communication process. Learning will occur when individuals receive, comprehend, and use the information they receive from other individuals. The learning process using this approach involves four steps. Presentation of information to the learners, testing learners on their understanding, presentation of opportunities to learners to apply what they have learnt and presentation of opportunities for learners in real situations or problems. Discovery learning occurs through an experienced oriented process that involves structuring opportunities for learners, questioning the learners about experiences and observing their reactions, assisting them to think about critical, emotional experiences they have experienced and structuring opportunities for learners to apply in real situations (Rothwell and Kazanas 234). Instructional strategy based on events of instructions involves what should be done in a planned learning experience.
Choosing and Appropriate Instructional Strategy
Choosing an appropriate instructional strategy depends on the learners, desired learning outcomes, learning and working environments and the constraints on the instructional design process (Rothwell and Kazanas 237). When learners are inexperienced, the best approach is an expositive strategy. Exposition guides the learner at a uniform rate set by the instructor. Different learning outcomes will require different instructional strategies. When the learning and working environments are the same, an expositive strategy is best, and when they differ, a discovery strategy is the best. Constraints that affect the choice of learning strategy include time and control factors. A discovery strategy will require more time than an expositive strategy.
Cognitive Strategy Overview
Cognitive strategies include input cognitive strategy, process cognitive strategy, output cognitive strategy, and feedback cognitive strategy. An example of input cognitive strategy includes remembering career goals, which motivates the individuals to try new ways to meet these goals (Rothwell and Kazanas 250). Process cognitive strategy assists the learners to understand what they learn through rehearsal, elaboration, and organization. An output cognitive strategy involves the learners attaining a new skill by applying what they have learnt. Feedback cognitive strategy involves learner learning through giving feedback to other individuals.
Ethical and Cross-cultural Issues in Specifying Instructional Strategies
Cultural issues influence the approach a trainer might take. Key issues include power distance, task orientation, individualism, and uncertainty avoidance. For instance, cultures that have a high power distance maximize individualism are contented with a more structured, and formal teacher learner relationship. On the other hand, cultures that have a low power distance minimize individualism and use experimentation as a way of learning.
Rothwell, William, and H. C. Kazanas. Mastering the Instructional Design Process: A
Systematic Approach. 4th Ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Print.