Monday, June 02, 2008
Example of Anchored Instruction
I'm crazy about the Arduino. I really want to get one. It's a circuit board you can plug in to your computer and program it to do cool stuff. But once I get one I'll have to learn how to set it up and program it. Well, there happens to be this website dedicated to instructing people how to do just that, here at Arduino.cc. I think it's a great example of anchored instruction because of its goal oriented nature. Right there on the website you can find sources to buy one, download the software, and then find tons of sample programs to learn the basics. All of the sample projects seem to have accompanying graphics that would provide the types of benefits mentioned by Bransford. While these aren't video materials, they would still provide two of the three benefits of video materials, by providing "rich sources of information" and visual cues supporting recognition of patterns. The latter is accomplished by showing the physical configuration of the Arduino and accompanying input and output devices so that you can see how the programming commands are affecting the physical device. In terms of the first benefit, it is essential that photographs be used as "rich sources of information" because one would be unable to picture the ultimate goal of the project without them.