Theory Name: Minimalism

Authors: John Carroll

Associated Learning Theory
Social Learning Theory

Model Description
1. The Minimalist a framework for the design of instruction, especially training materials for computer users.
2. Minimalist theory emphasizes the necessity to build upon the learner's experience (Rogers).
3. Carroll also identifies the roots of minimalism in the constructivism of Bruner and Piaget.

Specification of Theory
(a) Goals and preconditions

(b) Principles
1. Allow learners to start immediately on meaningful tasks.
2. Minimize the amount of reading and other passive forms of training by allowing users to fill in the gaps themselves
3. Include error recognition and recovery activities in the instruction
4. Make all learning activities self-contained and independent of sequence.

(c) Condition of learning
1. All learning tasks should be meaningful and self-contained activities
2. Learners should be given realistic projects as quickly as possible
3. Instruction should permit self-directed reasoning and improvising by increasing the number of active learning activities
4. Training materials and activities should provide for error recognition and recovery
5. There should be a close linkage between the training and actual system.

(d) Required media
The model is often used with computer based instruction and with software programs.

(e) Role of facilitator
Provide a framework for the students to work within the instructional module. Serve as a coach for students in need of assistance.

(f) Instructional strategies
1. Instruction should be learner directed and actively use the learner’s prior knowledge.
2. Instructional materials should not restrict the learner. Trial and error and exploration should be part of learning.

(g) Assessment method

Formative Research & Application
(a) Tested context: With adults using computers
(b) Research method: Quantitative comparison and observation of individuals using minimalist methods versus materials developed using the minimalist principles.
(c) Research description
(d) Resources

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