The Nine Events Of Instruction And The Advance Organizer




There are numerous tools an instructor may utilize to design, plan and instruct a lesson. The goal of this "e-handout" is to explain how two major learning theories, Ausubel’s; The Advance Organizer, and Gagné’s; The Nine Events of Instruction, provide structure to ID and improve the retention of the new knowledge aimed at the target learners.

These theories compliment one another because Ausubel’s advance organizers may be used to implement certain steps within Gagné’s nine steps of learning. Both theories provide instructors with tools to ensure their learners have the necessary knowledge to retain and implement large amounts of new information.

Advanced organizer: A tool used by an instructional designer to help the learner recall and transfer prior knowledge to the new information being presented. Advance organizers are typically either text based, such as a list or table, but they can also be graphical, like in a Venn diagram or a flowchart. This information would be presented before instruction as a way to provoke previously existing schema or to get the learner to start restructuring what they know into new schema. David Ausubel was one of the developers of advanced organizers and theorized that advanced organizers facilitated learning.
Application of an Advance Organizer:
An advance organizer, commonly known as a graphic organizer, may be presented in the form of charts, diagrams, concept maps, or oral presentations. Advance organizers are best employed before the start of a new unit, as discussion, homework assignment, video, or other similar activity. These techniques promote the recall of the learner's prior knowledge, and will be used to assimilate the new information into their cognitive structure.


The Events of Instruction : A subset of the overall process of instructional design, and focus on mental learning. This learning is broken down into nine components that require some kind of mastery to move from one step to another. Each of these components addresses a specific cognitive process. Gagne also stresses the importance of Instructor's guidance in this whole process.(KB) Gagne's nine instructional events are as follows:




Why Use Advance Organizers within the Nine Events Structure?

  • vital instructional tool in a learner’s ability to retain new information.
  • easy to develop and use within a wide variety of instructional settings. The fact that a book's index is an advance organizer is a key indication that they are accepted and used within a wide variety of settings.
  • Provide learner with clear, hierarchical, manageable, application to one's growing web of knowledge.
  • An excellent motivational tool to use as a pre-instructional activity.


Gagné and Ausubel have created learning theories that are both effective and practical within an array of learning environments. An instructor possessing the below qualities, will be able to apply these two theories and provide instruction of new knowledge clearly and logically to their learners.
- prescribes to the cognitive theory of learning
- has an education in ID
- understands the Nine Steps of Instruction and how to create advance organizers
- has a group of target learners who are able to recall previous knowledge


A key to creating effective instruction is designing it for the target learner. It is clear that by implementing Gagné’s theory along with using Ausubel’s advance organizers, a learner is limitless in their ability to assimilate new information and acquire meaningful learning.
These two learning theories are also at the root of the instructional designer’s purpose. They aid in designing instruction that will not only teach learners new knowledge, but will guide them in continually adding it to their internal scaffold, and encourage them to be life long learners.

Teaching a 5th grade class to use Kidspiration:
Kidspiration Lesson

Teaching 5th grade students how to navigate the Encyclopedia Britannica database to be able to find the answer to a specific inquiry question.

Number Event of Instruction Training Activity
1. Gaining attention Media Specialist(MS) poses a thought-provoking question that students need to answer and shows a graphic organizer that shows the steps to navigate the database
2. Informing learners of objectives MS displays on screen that students will be learning about how to access and find information in a database using keywords
3. Stimulating recall Ask students what kinds of tools they use to get information
4. Presenting stimulus Show students what the database looks like and give them the organizer to follow and fill out
5. Providing feedback Give individual feedback on how they are doing.
6. Eliciting performance Students will perform a scavenger hunt(handout) for information individually and with guidance using the organizer as a guide
7. Providing feedback MS will walk around and check their answers as they go. They can also work with a partner
8. Assessing performance MS will collect papers and assess who was able to find the correct information using the prompts given
9. Enhancing retention & transfer Students will return the next week to use their new skills to research a topic in their classroom using a database and graphic organizer of their choice


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Created by: Karin Bernal and Tiffany Miley