Literacy 4-6

Brief Instruction Steps

Overview

Content that is provided in clear, short chunks can support students' Working Memory. Simple, sequential oral instructions can be complemented with visual cues to further support Working Memory.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch this video that gives tips, with examples, on giving students instructions. Combining these strategies of using brief instruction steps, providing visual cues, and verbally checking students' understanding provides multiple supports for Attention and Working Memory.

  • Breaking up instructions into short, concrete steps allows learners to pay Attention to and remember one instruction at a time. When there are multiple steps, providing written or visual instructions for learners to refer back to is helpful in supporting their Inhibition & Self-regulation and Speed of Processing.
  • Design It into Your Product

  • For a developer, it is important to provide concise steps for learners to follow. Combining audio and picture instructions can facilitate the use of both the visual and auditory channels of Working Memory to increase the likelihood of learners carrying out all the instructions.