An Advance Organiser is a brief outline or abstract of a concept that is introduced prior to more elaborate explanations.
It provides the learner with a descriptive model or schema of the information that is to be presented. This helps the learner to contextualise and file away the information that follows.
The name was coined by David Ausubel, an Educational Psychologist from New York.
#How They Work
Ausubel believed that
the most important determinant of learning is what the learner already knows. Therefore, it is more difficult to describe something that is new, novel or outside of your learner’s experience.
One of the challenges of creating innovative apps and services is that we need to explain to the user how to use them in an easily understandable and memorable fashion.
#Two Types of Advance Organiser
#1. Comparative Advance Organiser
Comparing the subject to another subject that the learner is already familiar with. Useful for for when the learners have some knowledge of similar things that can be built upon.
VizEat is like Airbnb, but for restaurants.
Comparative Advance Organisers are often based on analogy and metaphor.
#2. Expository Advance Organiser
Useful for for when the learners have little or no knowledge of the topic and are unlikely to already have sufficient points of reference for a comparison to suffice.
On the Design Council’s website they have a page about design process. Prior to going into detail about the various steps of the process they provide an overview diagram of the process accompanied by a brief description. As this advance organiser is presented in both linguistic and visual form it should be better for recognition and recall than if only one were used according to Dual Coding theory.
#More on Advance Organisers
Universal Principals of Design (2003-2010) Lidwell, Holden, Butler
http://www.glnd.k12.va.us/resources/graphicalorganizers/ [FUGLY warning]