As Tuber turns to the L&D space via Offshoots Academy, the team has been delving into instructional design theories and applying them to its various workshop offerings. Daniel, OA’s curriculum and projects intern, shares some insights on Robert Gagné’s Nine Events of Instruction and its usefulness as a framework for impactful teaching and lesson delivery.

Event 1: Gain Attention

Learners are getting more and more distracted these days. Offshoots Academy suggests that instructors, at the start of every workshop, take time to set ground rules with an emphasis on being present and respectful. You can also start with self-introductory activities. This sets the tone for the rest of the session.

Event 2: Share Learning Objectives

When I was a student, I used to fall asleep when my teachers began listing the syllabus. And when exams loomed, I had to frantically look up the same syllabus. Looking back, I understand why instructors listed the lesson objectives for young learners. Adult and corporate learners also recognise that higher stakes are at play – you’re spending good money on upskilling for personal and career development, so you naturally expect to take away some measure of demonstrable skill. At OA workshops, we inform participants exactly what learning outcomes they can expect.

Event 3: Recall Past Lessons

OA wants aims to help participants apply their learnings within their own professional contexts. Let’s say a group of marketing professionals attends one of our content-writing workshops.

We ask:

  • What content have you read over the past week?
  • What content have you put out in the past?
  • What do you like or find can be improved for that content?

Our emphasis on collaborative work always acknowledges participants’ contributions.

Events 4+5: Present Material and Guide

This is the most traditional part of teaching; in other words the direct transfer of knowledge from instructor to learner. The instructor typically invites participants to critique the material. For example, OA’s writing workshops introduce learners to its Five Writing Hacks and demonstrate how and when to apply them. Participants are invited explain the understanding of these hacks in their own words and share which ones in particular resonate with them.

Events 6+7: Elicit Performance and Provide Feedback

OA promises that participants will leave every workshop with tangible takeaways. If you signed up for a presentations workshop, for instance, you can expect to make and bring home actual presentations.

  • If you attend a public speaking workshop, you’ll get to hold a microphone (and speak).
  • If you signed up for a presentation workshop, you will be making and bringing home slide templates and/or scripts.

With constructive feedback from instructors and peer critique, OA’s workshops are a safe space for learners to hone their desired skills or offer insights for others. Participants are encouraged to continue such conversations after the sessions.

Events 8+9: Assess Performance and Enhance Retention

Any good piece of work is the fruit of multiple drafts. That’s why after a workshop activity, participants get to draft and finesse their work under expert guidance. The act of redrafting instils fundamental editorial skills, allowing learners to play on their own strengths, and recognise areas for further improvement. Reflection and revisions are ways to enhance learner retention so that the workshop’s learning objectives are not only met, but also internalised. Happy learning, growing, and branching out! ☺︎


Text by: Daniel Yee  | Illustration by: Sarah Ng