ASSURE model

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Heinrich R, Molenda M, Russell JD. Instructional media and the new technologies of instruction. New York: MacMillan Publishing, 1989.
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  • Updated.jpg 5 March 2016


See also ADDIE model | Instructional design models | Research Portal for Academic Librarians | Teaching library users

The ASSURE model is a six-step instructional design model whose intent is to help teachers systematically develop the most appropriate approach to teaching for their students. ASSURE emphasizes an instructional approach with an appreciation of students' learning styles and drawing on constructivism where learners interact with others in their environment to build on previous knowledge. Some instructional designers see ASSURE as an enriched version of ADDIE, given its additional step and emphasis on multimedia. In any case, ASSURE is designed to help teachers in their teaching by considering the use of multimedia and technology and, ultimately, to "assure" themselves that their students will be learning. The model is based on Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction, and is a useful acronym for any instructor who wants to design online courses in a systematic fashion.

A - Analyze learners

  • The first step in using ASSURE is to analyze who your learners are, whether they are librarians, undergraduates, medical students or faculty
  • What sorts of knowledge, skills and abilities will they bring to the classroom? Do you know anything about their preferred learning styles?
  • A pre-test can be administered to your learners, when possible, or you can discuss the group with one of the leaders in the class.

S - State objectives

  • After you develop a clearer view of who your students are, state your learning objectives for your class or workshop
  • A statement of what students will be able to do as a result of the instruction
  • Learning objectives or learning outcomes provide insight for your students and what you hope they will get out of the activities in the classroom
  • The ABCD's of writing good learning objectives are audience (who are your teaching?); behaviours that will be demonstrated; conditions under which desirable behaviours will be observed and the degree to which new skills will be mastered.
  • Example: Medical students (audience) will be able to name at least two databases and two search techniques in searching for medical evidence for their problem-based cases.

S - Select media & materials

  • Now that you have some idea of your audience's present knowledge, skills, and attitudes, and your objectives worked out, proceed to build an instructional bridge to connect these two
  • Select available materials, modify existing materials or design new materials to help accomplish this task
  • Select different media to use. Any of the media or technologies that have been deemed appropriate should enhance classroom

U - Utilize materials

  • As an instructor, preview all teaching materials before you use them with students, including any media or equipment
  • Be sure the room works for what you have planned. If you are using video or sound, computers or projects, ensure that everything is working well, and make sure you have a backup
  • Hardware and software are created by human beings, and mistakes can be made
  • Don't get discouraged if your equipment lets you down. Ensure your instructional materials are suitable and current

R - Require learners' performance

  • First, require the active intellectual engagement of your learners
  • At some point in your classroom activities, your learners will need to practice what they have learned from you
  • As an instructor, you will need to describe how they will use the materials you have provided. Any responses that are correct should be positively reinforced. Classroom activities should allow learners to receive feedback before any evaluation or test is administered.

E - Evaluate & revise

  • Teachers should reflect on their workshop, its objectives, instructional strategy, learning materials and the assessment to determine whether these elements were effective or not.
  • Obtain feedback from peers, people who were in the classroom or from the learners themselves. When teaching students, some things may simply not work.
  • Use group discussion, exit interviews, assessments, and other types of student feedback to evaluate your work.
  • Manage your expectations. Perhaps your learning materials were not useful enough; your instructional strategies ineffective.
  • Your assessment of students may reveal they didn't learn what you wanted them to learn. Perhaps your class was not long enough for the students to master the learning objectives.

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