Critical characteristics of situated learning: Implications for the instructional design of multimedia

Jan Herrington and Ron Oliver
University Learning Systems
Edith Cowan University
PO Box 830
WA 6010

When situated learning was first described as an emerging model of instruction in 1989, its principal proponents believed that this was just the beginning--the model would continue to evolve and develop with new research and theory. This paper will describe the current thinking on situated learning and the critical characteristics that distinguish it from other models of instruction. The use of situated learning as an approach to the design of learning environments has significant implications for the instructional design of computer-based programs. Strategies for the application of these characteristics to the instructional design of interactive multimedia will be explored. Specific examples will be given to show how these strategies have been applied in the development of interactive multimedia products at Edith Cowan University.

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