Instructional Science

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 195–219 | Cite as

The elaboration theory of instruction: A model for sequencing and synthesizing instruction

  • Charles M. Reigeluth
  • M. David Merrill
  • Brent G. Wilson
  • Reginald T. Spiller


This paper describes a novel instructional model for sequencing, syntheizing, and summarizing subject-matter content. The importance of such models is discussed, along with the need for a significant change in the role of subject-matter structure in instruction. A “zoom-lens” analogy is presented to facilitate an understanding of the elaboration model of instruction. Some basic concepts and principles upon which the model is based are described. The basic unvarying components of the elaboration model are described. And finally, some variations in the model for different kinds of goals are described. The elaboration model follows a general-to-detailed pattern of sequencing, as opposed to the hierarchically based sequences derived from Gagné-type task analyses.


Basic Concept Task Analysis Elaboration Model Instructional Model Elaboration Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles M. Reigeluth
    • 1
  • M. David Merrill
    • 2
  • Brent G. Wilson
    • 3
  • Reginald T. Spiller
    • 3
  1. 1.Syracuse UniversitySyraeuseU.S.A.
  2. 2.University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesU.S.A.
  3. 3.Brigham Young UniversityProvoU.S.A.

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