Anchored Instruction Hybrid Learning?

Anchored instruction remains a fascinating subject which employs the strength of integrating problem solving with instruction to improve student success, interest, and achievement when it comes to working with complex real-world problems. These problem-rich environments allow students to engage in learning through exploration of complex problems and ideas (Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt [CTGV], 1992a). As shown by Shyu (2000), elementary students in Taiwan demonstrated increased interest, attitudes towards math, and achievement in problem-solving assessments. With such correlations using video-based anchored instruction, it would be interesting to discover the effects of increased interaction on students using more sophisticated technology such as videogame-style anchored instruction. Contrary to the effects seen in Taiwan, Park & Park (2012) discovered that the freedom of anchored instruction may leave students to develop incorrect knowledge when solving engineering problems. It stands to reason that the careful and deliberate implementation of anchored instruction at certain areas in education may be required to extract the most positive impact for students.

The Anchored Instructional approach suggests that “instructional goals for mathematics and science need to be quite different from the ones illustrated by typical test items that focus primarily on component skills” (CTGV 1992a). Are the effects of the Anchored Instruction studies a result of students using previous and classically taught ‘component skills’ in a new and more integrated approach? Would students who worked with Anchored Instruction from the beginning of their education have the same achievement and results? It would be very interesting to see how this approach works for the long-term benefit of children.

I believe that we have many tools at our disposal to bring Anchored Instruction into modern instruction. Rather than replacing current models of instruction, the supplementation of such models can help to bring students and teachers enrichment in both instruction and learning. A gradual implementation would be needed as such resources are assuredly difficult to construct, and deliver in a meaningful way.



Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt (1992a). The Jasper experiment: An exploration of issues in learning and instructional design. Educational Technology, Research and Development, 40(1), 65-80.

Park, K., & Park, S. (2012). Development of professional engineers’ authentic contexts in blended learning environments. British Journal of Educational Technology, 43(1), E14-E18.

Shyu, H. Y. C. (2000). Using video‐based anchored instruction to enhance learning: Taiwan’s experience. British Journal of Educational Technology, 31(1), 57-69.


  1. Hi James,

    Thanks for the interesting point of Anchored Instruction Hybrid learning. With changes in teaching pedagogies and technology advantages, like you said, we need to engage students in these new problem-rich environments in new modern ways. So the tools we have now already should be used in meaningful ways to help with lesson instruction, like maximizing the uses of hands-on manipulatives for math.


  2. I agree that the wide range of tools we have available for use as educators has the potential to engage students in new and creative ways, as we aim to appeal to a variety of learning styles. One of the important pieces of Anchored Instruction, and the Jasper series of videos, is the incorporation of real-life, authentic problem solving contexts that involve the use of knowledge and content similar to those utilized by professionals in similar fields of work. With the essential question of “why do we need to learn this” recurring frequently amongst the students in our classrooms, these authentic learning opportunities allow our students to apply their learning in meaningful ways that both challenge and motivate them to consider, and reconsider, their own, personal knowledge and beliefs.

    – Allen.

  3. I also wonder if students were to use anchored instruction from the beginning of their schooling years, would this produce a different result as opposed to introducing it later? Would they learn how to add, multiply, subtract and divide based on anchored instruction? I have a feeling teachers would need to use the basics first model (Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt, 1992). This is where educators introduce and teach new concepts before allowing students to try it on their own. Then again, isn’t the new BC curriculum wanting more anchored instruction? Makes you think twice about our teaching practices……

    Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt. (1992). The Jasper experiment: An exploration of issues in learning and instructional design. Educational Technology Research and Development, 40, 65-80.

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