You need to formulate the learning design strategy for your digital course depending on the type of content. There are five types of content- concepts, facts, principles, procedures, and processes.
In this blog, we will be focusing on concepts and guidelines to teach them.
Concepts are a class of items that share common features and are known by a common name. They are objects, which can be represented mentally and explained using several examples.
Concepts are of two types – concrete and abstract. Concrete concepts are those which have defined parts and boundaries, which can be represented using diagrams.
On the hand abstract concepts are those which are less tangible and cannot be directly represented using diagrams. (Source: Developing Technical Training: A Structured Approach for Developing Classroom and Computer-Based Instructional Materials by Dr. Ruth Colvin Clark)
Guidelines to Teach Concepts
When you teachconcepts, always use the following guidelines to make the learning more meaningful.
Let us discuss about each of these in detail.
Begin with definitions
It is advisable to start with the definition, which includes the features of the concept.
Simplify using Examples
When the definition is clear to the learner, give examples to help your learners understand the concept more clearly. It is better to use real-life instances as examples. By providing these examples, you “solidify” the learning and help the learners retain information effectively. One example will suffice for a simple content, but for complex content provide more.
Clarify using Non-examples
A non-example is an instance which is related to the concept that can be confused with the actual learning concept. By providing these, your learners will be able to get a clear idea of the concept.
Explain with Analogy
Analogy refers to a representation that resembles a concept in function or form, but is otherwise dissimilar. Analogies are usually taken from a domain different from that of the concept being discussed.
Let us now see the example of a chair using the above guidelines..
Definition: A chair is a piece furniture that is intended for single sitter and has features such as a seat, a back rest and support from the floor.
Examples: Wooden chair, revolving chair
Non-examples: Bed, couch
These are a few guidelines that can be used to teach concepts. If you have any other tips, please share them.