Instructional theory concerns anything that is done purposely to facilitate learning. This entry describes the nature of instructional theory, including its major components. It identifies the major kinds, paradigms, and domains of instructional theory. Finally, it describes a variety of research methods to improve instructional theories.
Instructional theory is a design theory rather than a descriptive theory because it is goal oriented or instrumental: Its purpose is to offer the best known methods of instruction to accomplish given goals under given conditions. This stands in contrast to learning theories, such as schema theory and information processing theory, whose purpose is to describe learning processes. They do not offer guidance about how to facilitate learning. Design theory is concerned with creating something, whereas descriptive ...
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