Monday, April 5, 2010

Class Meeting 17- Monday April 5: Anchored Instruction Introduction

Today’s class introduced the idea of Anchor Instruction. Professor Petrosino started with looking at the differences between the initial reports of yesterday’s earthquake in Baja, Mexico with later reports. He showed news footage that initially reported an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8 on the Richter scale, and then later footage that changed the magnitude to a 7.2 on the Richter scale. Students then worked in groups to try to understand what these differences in numbers actually meant. Professor Petrosino emphasized that the connect of mathematical thinking to real world events like this were crucial to empowering our students to be “informed citizens”. After students talked over their interpretations of the Richter scale, Professor Petrosino moved on and told students to wait until Wednesday to present their conversations.

For the next part of class, Professor Petrosino presented a slide show about Anchored Instruction. He introduced Anchored Instruction as a part of the PBL framework, connecting ideas with how to create Anchored Videos with the Bransford et al. article (1990) . Then, Professor Petrosino brought up some background history of the project mentioned in the Bransford et al. article and how the researchers were unable to obtain rights to using footage from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. So, Bransford and his team created their own video called “The Golden Statuette” which eventually led to the Jasper series of videos. Professor Petrosino showed these videos to students to they could see not only the difference in production value, but how ideas in science, mathematics, and pedagogy could be infused into Anchor Videos


Bransford, J., Sherwood, R., Hasselbring, T., Kinzer, C., & Williams, S. (1990). Anchored instruction: Why we need it and how technology can help. Cognition, education, and multimedia: Exploring ideas in high technology, 115-141.

Anchored Instruction 2010

Picture: Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt- Fall 1990

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