Gagne’s 9 Events of Instruction

Gagne’s 9 Events of Instruction suggests there are certain mental conditions that must be present in order for student to absorb and retain knowledge. They are based on the internal and external cognitive functions required, to contribute to learning.

Internal factors are the learner’s prior knowledge. External factors are the outside stimuli such as the form of instruction.

1. Gain attention.

It is important to gain the attention of the learner immediately. Begin with an introduction that will get them curious and motivated about the topic. Some examples of this include stories that pull on the heartstrings, a question that surprises or shocks them, audio, animation or graphics.

2. Inform learners of the objectives/ direction.

Always state objectives so that your learners know WHY they need to actively participate in the learning. State them as if you were face to face with the learner and tie them into real-world applications and benefits. If learners know they will take something valuable away from this learning experience they are more likely to engage in the learning process.

3. Stimulate recall of prior learning.

Recalling and applying knowledge they have previously acquired gives online learners the chance to commit it to long-term memory, rather than forgetting it a second after they’ve read it.  It is important to let the learners know what skills or knowledge they will need to apply to the learning activity before it begins. You must also include how the subject matter is connected to information they already know.

4. Create goal-centred content.

Each activity, exercise, and piece content should tie in directly to the goals and objectives. In fact, it’s best to group information and concepts together based on the specific goal. For example, an online lesson or module should focus on one core objective, which allows the learner to master that topic before moving onto the next.

5. Provide online guidance.

Learners must have the coachingthey need to develop favourable online learning behaviours, or else they might be committing incorrect information to their long-term memory. A good example is a simulation. Whether a software sim or a soft skill branching sim, it should have sound instruction/directions and feedback for incorrect choices or answers.

6. Practice makes perfect.

Repetition is key to absorbing and retaining new knowledge and skills. The inclusion of opportunities for your learners to apply the knowledge they have acquired so far and try out behaviours that can help them in the real world is key. Offer thembranching scenariosand simulations that give them the chance to see where their decisions lead them, as well as the rewards and risks involved that come of their actions.

7. Provide feedback.

By giving your learners timely and constructive feedbackthey have the power to improve learning behaviours and identify their weaknesses and strengths. Offer personal feedback so that every learner knows which steps they must take in order to reach their goals.

8. Assess performance.

Assessing your learners not only gauges their progress, but also gives you the opportunity to identify weak spots in your learning strategy. For example, if a vast majority of your learners are struggling with one particular module, you may want to re-evaluate its content and activities. Thisalso offers you the ability to identify the knowledge gap; what they already know versus what they still need to learn in order to achieve objectives.

9. Enhance transfer of knowledge by tying it into real world situations and applications

Learners must always be aware of how they can apply what they have learned once they step out of the learning environment. As such, you should include real-world scenarios, stories, and other interactive learning activities that show them the applications of the information and skills they’ve worked so hard to develop.

Using the ARCS Model to Motivate Learning

John Keller, the founder of ARCS Model of Motivational Design Theories has developed the model to help teachers engage students in learning, sustaining and promoting their learning process.

It is made up of four parts, including;


Attention can be sustained in two ways;

Perceptual arousal – gained by surprise or disbelief

Inquiry arousal – stimulated by challenging problems

  • Active participation

Engaging learners through games, role-plays or other types of hands-on practice.

  • Variety

Engaging learners through variety of methods and materials such as videos, short lectures and mini-discussion groups.

  • Use of humour

Gaining interest through small use of humour (too much is distracting).

  • Conflict

Presenting statements that may contradict what the learner already knows or believes. This will engage learners to want to learn more about the topic.

  • Real world examples

Learners believing that their newly acquired knowledge has a practical application in real life to attract their attention and interest them in further learning.



  • Link to previous experience

Linking new learning to learner’s previous experience as we learn best by building upon present knowledge and skills.

  • Perceived present worth

Linking the subject matter to how it will benefit the learners present day.

  • Perceived future usefulness

Linking the subject matter to how it will benefit the learner’s future.

  • Modelling

Presenting learners with an example of a model who has successfully applied this knowledge (speakers, teachers, fellow students) to motivate them to believe they too can be successful.

  • Choice

Giving learners the choice to decide on the specific learning methods or media that they might find most effective.



  • Facilitate self-growth

Encouraging learners to take small steps to recognise their learning progression. This gives them confidence to believe in themselves.

  • Communicate objectives and prerequisites

Allowing learners to understand, in advance, what they are to achieve. This allows them to set goals and plan out their learning journey to best achieve results.

  • Provide feedback

Providing information to allow learners to understand where they are at in their learning process and what is required of them to succeed.

  • Give learners control

Giving learners a sense of independence to allow them to facilitate their own learning journey.



  • Praise or rewards

Acknowledging success in the learner to increase their sense of satisfaction and allow them to recognise their efforts and sense of achievement.

  • Immediate application

Encouraging learners to apply their newly acquired knowledge in real world settings. It will bring satisfaction and a sense of time, money and effort well spent.


Should my organisation invest in online, blended and eLearning?

It’s no secret that the growth of online learning has increased in recent years. Students are opting for comfortable, flexible courses to do in their own time. So what does this mean for providers? Whilst face-to-face student engagement may be becoming less prominent in the education sector, it is time to assert the needs of the millennial student to get your organisation ahead of the game.

For the students, online, blended and eLearning means:

  • A variety of courses and programs

Online learning allows access to a broad spectrum of courses as teachers and lecturers are vastly available.

  • Self-paced and flexible hours

This enables students to fit studying into their own schedule and work at times that best suit them.

  • The ability to up skill

Online courses allow students to work around their schedules to up skill whilst already working. They are able to gain extra expertise in selected fields without taking time to travel to a site.

  • Reduced costs

The cost of learning and development is drastically reduced as students are saving on course materials, teachers and travel.

For you as a provider, online, blended and eLearning means:

  • Access to global markets

Online learning enables your courses to be accessed from all over the world. This evidently increases the growth and exposure of your organisation.

  • Speed of delivery

Since they are not working at the pace of the group, students are able to focus on matters they need to learn and skip parts of the program that they already understand. This means further resources available, as teachers aren’t tied up to their course for long periods of time.

  • Student tracking and analysis

Online learning enables easy analysis of student’s performances and invaluable insights into learner’s behaviour.

  • Long term cost reduction

Without a need for classrooms and facilities, organisations have the ability to cut costs and focus on the quality of courses delivered.

For further information or if you’re interested in the addition of a blended learning program to your learning organisation, speak to Darlo today.