Information taken from the book, Instructional Design, by
Smith & Ragan (2005).
What is a concept?
According to the article, a concept is “a set
of specific objects, symbols, or events
which are grouped together on the basis of
shared characteristics and which can be
referenced by a particular name or
symbol” (Merrill & Tennyson, 1977, p.
Examples of concepts:
The backhand stroke (tennis)
And so much more!
Types of concepts:
As the article tells us, there are types of
Concrete concepts (known by their
Abstract concepts (know only as they fit
a particular definition
What learners need to do:
When learning a concept, one needs to
Learners can overgeneralize; or
Learners can under-generalize
Learners who overgeneralize do not
discriminate between examples.
From the article: a young girl may learn
what a cow is and then call, “cow,” to
pictures of any large, four-legged animal
(moose, horse, zebra, etc.)
Learners who under-generalize, as the
article tells us, may see a cow and think
that only black-and-white animals with
cow features are cows
“an exploratory strategy or a discovery
Learners discover the answers (often with
“yes” or “no” choices
“presents the concept, its label, and its
criterial attributes earlier in the lesson
“presents many examples and non-
examples; however, these instances follow
a discussion of a best example and how it
embodies the characteristics of the
“Pointing out the criterial attributes”
“Providing visual clues may be helpful”
“Feedback should include and
explanation of why an instance is
classified as an example or non-example”
Analogies, mnemonics, imagery, and the
transfer of knowledge help learners to
What does this mean?
How does all of this information apply to
How can I use teaching concepts in my
Passes are used in almost all team sports
Basketball passes are used to create
movement and opportunity within the
Soccer passing is also used in the same
For the sake of basketball and soccer, we
will say that a pass is the action of one
person sending the ball to another person
on their same team who is in a different
location on the court/field
How to teach it:
Give audio and text definitions
Give video examples
Give live demonstrations and practice
Provide opportunity for application of
Application of Knowledge:
Why use a pass?
What is its purpose?
How could it be used?
What else could it look like/different
types of passes
Create an interactive presentation with a
character/characters that will pique
Give them opportunities to make choices
(“yes” or “no”)
And that’s a wrap!
I hope you enjoyed learning about
concepts and how to teach them
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