Anchored instruction lies within the social constructivist paradigm since small groups work together to understand and solve realistic problems. Anchored instruction is most closely related to the goal-based scenario model. While anchored instruction may also resemble problem-based learning (PBL), it is less open-ended. Most anchored modules are designed for young learners, and thus embed all of the necessary data to solve the problem within the modules themselves. Substantial independent research and data collection are not required in anchored modules, but are required in PBL.
Download annotated Powerpoint slides describing the anchored instruction model (PDF File).
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Design and Development Tips
and Prestidge (1995) suggest technologies useful for delivering anchored
modules will include affordances for students to segment and chunk data
from the presented "stories" or problems. Videodiscs, for
example, include various time codes or markers for different video segments.
Students can easily write down a time code corresponding to a clue in
the story line, then refer back to that information when needed. Since
all data required to solve a problem should be embedded within the story
line, the ability to refer back to certain data segments is a useful
design consideration. Regular videotape would be inefficient for rapid
playback and review, while most multimedia formats can be readily replayed
by users (e.g., quicktime movies).
Anchored modules can take the form of full-blown multimedia with branching or simple web pages with photos and text. In general, the presentation should be as realistic as possible. Text can be readily displayed on a web page, but the use of audio, video, or graphics should be considered as well to promote realism. Interactive branching could also promote understanding, with a particular "story" changing in response to the students' inputs (i.e., different events are triggered by students choosing option A versus option B versus option C).