Advanced Organizers

Advanced Organizers


Learners have to be prepared well prior to introduction of new material. This is to help them familiarize with what they are going to learn so as to do away with impediments to the learning process. Underpinning on this, the report is going to explicate advance organizer is a method of helping learners familiarizer with topics.


The instructional designers will be able to

  • Define advance organizers
  • Establish why they have to be used
  • Determine when they should be used
  • Establish how advance organizers can be used

What Advance Organizers are

Advance organizer is “information that is presented prior to learning ad can be used by the learner to organize and interpret new incoming information” (Section II Instruction, p.378).This is to help the learner to organize and interpret new information. Advance organizer provides ideational scaffolding for retention and stable incorporation of differentiated and more detailed material (Section II Instruction).

When to Select and Use

Advance organizers are used in “situations where the learner either does not possess or would not normally use appropriate prerequisite knowledge for organizing incoming information” (Section II Instruction, p.379). Moreover, when a lesson is difficult and has a lot of information that needs to be understood, expository organizers are the most appropriate.

Why it should be selected

Advance organizers have to be used in situations when learners do not have the required skills (Section 11 Instruction). This is effective since it helps the learners through activation of prior knowledge or schema before the new information is presented (Shaw et al., 2010). Moreover, through the application of advance organizers, learners are easily able to connect what they already know with the new information.  This makes learning meaningful. Additionally, advance organizers motivate learners to learn new information and prepare the learners for the new lesson through capturing their attention (Kovalik & William, 2011). Advance organizers activate the comprehensions and cognition of the learners (Ahmed et al., 2012). However, in order to access all these benefits, advance organizers “must be correctly designed to be effective” (Section II instruction, p.380)

How it is Best Utilized

Advance organizers can be employed through use of interesting and simple to understand techniques like cartoons, movies and simple games about the topic (Kovalik & Williams, 2011). The learners are supposed to participate in the activities so as to gain interest. Therefore, when teaching student about the uses of technology in the industry, before the commencement of the lesson, the students can be made to watch carton, animation or a film on the same. The selection of these should be dependent on the age of the learners. Alternatively, students can be taken to an industry for firsthand experience. By the end, they will have an idea of what the topic entails hence they will be able to connect what they have seen with the content of the lessons.

The topic that has to be taught has to be analyzed. Activities that capture the interest of the learners have to be decided on. The activities have to enhance comprehension and interest in the topic.  Additionally, learners have to actively participate in the activity. The activity has to elicit the desire to learn and gather more information. Additionally, the activity has to help the learner familiarize with the unknown topic (Section II Instruction).


  • Define advance organizers?
  • List two conditions that have to be met prior to the usage of the advance organizers?
  • How can advance organizers be used? List examples
  • You are going to teach learners about global warming. List some of the advance organizers that you can use.

Related Research

During early studies with regard to the impact of advance organizers on learning, it was found out that advance organizers did not yield significant results in learning. However, through more research, it was established that there are conditions that are supposed to be met for advance organizers to be fruitful. Thus, advance organizers are effective when the learners lack prior knowledge. Additionally, the second condition is that advance organizers have to be involved in the creation of problem solving or transfer to new situations to help the learner organize material into a familiar structure (Section II Instruction).  On the other hand, a study was carried out to determine the relationship between the structuring of different advance organizers in relation to learning outcome. From the results generated, it was established that varied structures used before reading the text result into differences in the proto schemata (Gurlitt et al., 2012).

Another strategy that be used to enhance learning is through aiding the learner to familiarize with new information. This can be done through the use of use of advance organizers. However, it has to be comprehended that advance organizers are only effective in situations when the learners are not familiar with the topic. Hence advance organizers have to act by helping the learners familiarize with the topic.


Ahmed, I., Gujjar, A., Bajwa, N., & Janjua, S. (2012). A Comparative Study of Effectiveness of Advance Organizer Model and Traditional Method in Teaching of English in Teacher Education Course. Language In India, 12(4), 196-208.

Gurlitt, J., Dummel, S., Schuster, S., & Nückles, M. (2012). Differently structured advance organizers lead to different initial schemata and learning outcomes. Instructional Science, 40(2), 351-369. doi:10.1007/s11251-011-9180-7

Kovalik, C. L., & Williams, M. A. (2011). Cartoons as Advance Organizers. Journal of Visual Literacy, 30(2), 40-64.

Section II Instruction, Chapter 10 Teaching by Guiding Cognitive Processes During Learning, 378-86

Shaw, S., Nihalani, P., Mayrath, M., & Robinson, D. (2012). Graphic organizers or graphic overviews? Presentation order effects with computer-based text. Educational Technology Research & Development, 60(5), 807-820. doi:10.1007/s11423-012-9257-2

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