OU blog

Personal Blogs

Design Museum

PGCE John Carroll: Three way step approach

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 14 Nov 2020, 13:56

Could I use this?

John Carroll

Given the student profile, do I end up giving some of them or all of them the opportunity to learn in the time available? Knowing the potential group would it be better to split the group, rather than trying to cater for everyone all in one go? Self-paced learning can overcome this by signalling the choices a visitor to web content might take: fonts, graphics and image choices indicate the age range and for two extremes, kids with a brightly promoted online colouring book can be differentiated from parents in the know who are offered academic papers in the form of a link to a PDF to read.

There can only be ONE thread in a live classroom. In self-paced learning you can branch it, so letting a student find the way that is best suited to their knowledge, understanding and desired pace.

In 15 minutes there is little need for perseverance.

Achievement is the witness of the 'before' plate from the 'after' plate.

There are six elements to Carroll's model: (1) 

Academic Achievement: the outcome 

Aptitude: The "the amount of time a student needs to learn a given task, unit of instruction, or curriculum to an acceptable criterion of mastery under optimal conditions of instruction and student motivation" (Carroll, 1989: 26). "High aptitude is indicated when a student needs a relatively small amount of time to learn, low aptitude is indicated when a student needs much more than average time to learn" (Carrol: 1989: 26).

Opportunity to Learn: i.e. the amount of time available for learning (classwork, homework and private study). Carroll (1998:26) notes that "frequently, opportunity to learn is less than required in view of the students aptitude". Slow down. Take your time. Pace it. Provide opportunities for questions, feedback and going over something multiple times. (Where digital resources come into their own). 

Ability to Understand Instruction: This relates to learning skills, information needed to understand, and language comprehension. Know your students before. Get to know them during. 

Quality of Instruction: Plan the lesson with your students in mind. Follow Gagne's nine general steps of instruction for learning (2). 

  1. Gain Their Attention
  2. Describe the goal. Remember to state the Learning Objectives i.e. what they will learn and what they can do with it.
  3. Stimulate Recall. Prior knowledge based on past classes, conversations and student profiles
  4. Present the materials to be learned. Chunk information to avoid memory overload.
  5. Provide 'guidance for learning' > present rather than instruct
  6. Elicit Performance 'practice' > get the students to do something. 
  7. Provide information feedback > analyse learners' behaviour. 
  8. Assess performance > any simple indication that progress is being made
  9. Enhance retention and transfer  > look for similar problem situations, give more practice. 

Perseverance: Amount of time a student is willing to spend on a given task or unit of instruction. This is an operational and measurable definition for motivation for learning.


1) Reeves, TC, & Reeves, PM (1997). A model of the effective dimensions of interactive learning on the World Wide Web.
2) Gagne, Robert M., Briggs, Leslie, J., Wager, Walter, F. (1985). Principles of Instructional Design, Wadsworth, ISBN 0030347572

Carroll model of school learning 

Carroll, J. B. (1963). A model of school learning. Teachers College Record, 64, 723-733.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

PGCE : Provide evidence of wider reading

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 14 Nov 2020, 11:54

Who might a reference as evidence of wider reading and why are the relevant to my developing teaching practice? 

John Carroll > Three way step approach [I could use this] 

Is this the man?

Carroll, J. (1963). A model of school learning. Teachers College Record, 64, 723-733.

John B Carroll ? 

Whose 'model emphasises aptitude as a determinant of time needed for learning'. This 'suggests that increased effort' be placed on predicting student potential and so designing appropriate instruction, so that 'ideals of equal opportunity to learn are to be achieved within a diversity of educational objectives'.(1) 

Geoff Petty

Dylan Wiliams

So long as they fit the narrative, rather than being shoehorned in, then the names that come to mind and for whom I will find plenty here are:

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi - In the flow (boredom/challenge) 

  • Something you can do, then a challenge to take a further.

John Seely Brown - Communities of practice, therefore working it out collectively. 

Ebbinghaus - Forgetting curve, therefore repetition and 'spaced education'. 

Gilly Salmon - e-tivities and five stages, could be used to introduce online homework. 

They can login, use the platform (put in their name), answer a question. Ask for support.

Grainne Conole (2011) -  Flat vocabulary, more complex vocabulary, classification schemas or models and metaphors. [Designing for Learning in a Digital World]. 

  • Metaphor creates memory (and her seven stages of learning online) or was it Gareth Morgan. I never really understood him even if I got into it for a period 

Barbara Oakley - 'Learning How to Learn' chunking and metaphor + the classroom ‘observation’ of deferring to a god-like expert as witness/evidence. 

  • Chunking. Bitesiez. How we learn. 

Yrjö Engeström (1987) - Activity Theory and Systems and how people construct meaning

Van Gundy (1988) - Creative problem solving techniques. 

  • Drawing, out of their comfort zone, different ways of thinking, eliciting a response and feedback. 

Ritchey (20070 - 'Wicked Problems' are not 'true or false' but 'better or worse'. Social problems are complex and wicked. So called 'Tame Problems', even as complex as chess, have a scientific or mathematical solution so are not 'wicked' or 'messy'. 

Grayson Perry - creativity is making mistakes. 

Can someone own the following though:



1) The Carroll Model: A 15-year Retrospective and Prospective View. 

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

This blog might contain posts that are only visible to logged-in users, or where only logged-in users can comment. If you have an account on the system, please log in for full access.

Total visits to this blog: 11790484