What is it?
The ASSURE model is a six-step Instructional Systems Design (ISD), intended to help teachers utilize technology and media in the classroom. ASSURE is a way to ensure that the learning environment is appropriate for students. ASSURE can be used in lesson plans to improve your own teaching and your students’ learning while using technology. The ASSURE acronym stands for these important components:
A– Analyze Learners
S– State Objectives
S– Select Instructional Methods, Media, and Materials
U– Utilize Media and Materials
R– Require Learner Participation
E– Evaluate and Revise
Why Use it?
The ASSURE model is a fantastic way to plan effective, media-rich lessons. ASSURE is based on Robert Gagne’s “Events of Instruction.” The model is Constructivism-based; in other words, it is a framework that assumes passive learners will not learn at their best; learners must be actively participating in their own learning, interacting with their environment and peers. ASSURE also recognizes the different learning styles of all students.
1. Starting with the first step, Analyze Learners, it is essential to first think about your students and their general characteristics, academic levels, skills, and styles.
2. The next step is to know what state objective you are going to teach. What do you want your students to know by the end of the lesson? Looking ahead at your learning outcomes is very important.
3. Next, selecting instructional methods, media, and materials cannot be overlooked. It’s important to choose methods and materials that will appropriately meet the state objectives that you are teaching. This requires a lot of planning and preparation on the teacher’s part. Materials also need to be bought or borrowed ahead of time, which requires preparation.
4. Utilizing these media and materials comes next; it is very important to preview or use media and materials before your lesson, especially when using technology (smartboard, document camera, streaming video), to make sure everything works appropriately.
5. Requiring learners to participate is also an essential part of any lesson. Requiring that students be actively involved in the lesson will not only engage students, but will help them retain what they are learning. Some ways to do this are to incorporate cooperative learning structures, questioning, having discussions, or creating fun, hands-on activities.
6. Lastly, evaluating and revising is a step that cannot be overlooked; while this step is often skipped over, it is actually the most vital piece. “Anyone can develop a lesson and deliver it, but really good teachers must reflect upon the lesson, the stated objectives, the instructional strategy, the instructional materials, and the assessment and determine if these elements of the lesson were effective or if one or more of them need to be changed the next time the lesson is done” (“The ASSURE Model, Heinich, Molenda, Russell, Smaldino, 1999”). Re-teaching is not a negative thing; it’s actually the mark of a great teacher that recognizes when the students did not meet their learning outcome and are committed to ensuring their students’ success.