Principles, Theories & Models

Understand many theories and models, choose from among them appropriately, and apply them effectively.

Instructional Theories Handout
Project Files: ITH_Trust.pdf
Class: EDTEC 544
ARCS Model Lesson Plan  

I collaborated with a group on the Instructional Theories Handout for EDTEC 544. We chose to do a handout on the ARCS Model of Motivational Design. I first heard about the ARCS model in EDTEC 540 and was very interested in working on this project. Our final handout included a summary of the ARCS model, a job aid for designing lesson plans, and an example lesson plan using the ARCS model. In order to prepare for this project, I researched many websites, online journals, and a few books about the ARCS model.

Our group’s main goal for this project was to create a handout that would summarize a theory and demonstrate how using the theory in education is beneficial. The ARCS model is a simple, yet very effective teaching tool. After finishing the handout, I shared it with many of my teaching friends who also found it helpful. The first part of the model, Attention, is a necessity to get people involved and interested in learning. Unfortunately, in day-to-day teaching, many teachers skip over this step because it takes too much time away from the learning. What the teachers do not realize is that more students will actually be excited and willing to learn if you grab their attention from the start. I believe that next part of the model, Relevance, is the key for getting people to learn. It does not matter what age group you are teaching, if you do not explain how the new material will help the students, then they will think that it is a waste of time. While, both Attention and Relevance are exceptionally helpful in increasing students’ participation and interest, all four parts of the ARCS model are useful teaching tools and they work together to create a productive learning environment.

Problems and Opportunities:
Since this was a group project, we split up into two pairs and did our assigned summary and lesson plan or job aid. I volunteered to compile all of the information before turning in the project. It was challenging to make sure the summaries sounded the same. I had to re-write some of the information in the Confidence and Satisfaction categories to match the Attention and Relevance sections. However, compiling the project helped me learn all four categories of the ARCS model really well.

Personal Development:
When it comes to education, there are a lot of theories, models, and concepts for how to teach and train people. This project helped me focus on just one model and learn everything that I could about the model. In EDTEC 540, I was overwhelmed with all of the new theories and models for educational technology. After I finished creating this Instructional Theories Handout, I was comfortable explaining and demonstrating the ARCS model, which gave me confidence in learning more theories. I was very lucky to have chosen the ARCS model because as soon as I understood all of the aspects of the model, I was able to start applying it to training programs and workshops that I designed.

Field of Educational Technology:
The ARCS Model of Motivational Design is very important to keep in mind when developing training programs. If you cannot prove the relevance of the material that students are learning, they will not be invested in the learning process. If you do not show students how they can succeed in the training program, they will not know what to study and this will diminish the amount of material learned. This handout is definitely something that I will keep on hand when designing lesson plans and training programs.