Lessons Based on Component Display Theory

David Merrill's Component Display Theory is based on the same assumptions as Gagne's theory, that different classes of learning outcomes require different procedures for teaching and assessment. CDT is concerned with teaching individual concepts or principles, classifies objectives on two dimensions and formats instruction to provide learner control.

CDT is comprised of three parts: a performance/content matrix comprised of the desired level of student performance (Remember Instance, Remember Generality, Use and Find) and type of content (Fact, Concept, Procedure and Principle), four primary presentation forms: Expository (Rule, Example) and Inquisitory (Recall, Practice), and a set of prescriptions relating the level of performance and type of content to the presentation forms.

Lesson Example: The objective of this lesson excerpt is that the student will be able to state from memory three significant events in the history of the microscope.

Click image to view the Remember-Instance Fact prescription for the lesson.


Compare with Gagne - Briggs Lesson

Authors: Sherri Braxton, Kimberly Bronico, Thelma Looms
Send Feedback to: sbraxton@seas.gwu.edu