The concept of “Advance Organizers” is a new approach for me. After this week’s module, I see how this could easily apply in future classrooms. Since this was an instructional strategy that I had not previously heard of, it was helpful for it to be described in detail from our readings. Ausubel (1978) states, “Advance organizers help the learner recognize that elements of new learning materials can be meaningfully learned by relating them to specifically relevant aspects of existing cognitive structure” (p. 1). I can easily see how organizing new knowledge into categories for students could help them better understand the material.
Dell’Olio and Donk (2007) proposed that advance organizers could also be “visual information” (p. 395). In our small group discussion this week, I talked about how visual advanced organizers could be very helpful in my media driven classes that I have taught in the past. Photography, graphic design and video production all have visual components that are crucial in the instruction concerning the tools and skills utilized in this field. Dell’Olio and Donk (2007) also stated, “Students must understand the purpose of the advance organizer. One this is understood, it is most effectively used if students are reminded to connect their new learning to it” (p. 396). This was an important factor for me in my consideration for implementing this strategy. I cannot just give students a visual map to follow, but rather need to teach them how to use the visuals for guidance in their learning.