Special Libraries & Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction, #2

Lauren Hays

Lauren Hays

April 13, 2021

In my last post, I shared about Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction. Specifically, we unpacked the first four events. In this post, we will unpack the remaining five.

As a reminder, Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction is a series of events that occur to create the necessary mental conditions for learning. The events can be used for class planning to help get your students in the correct mental state for learning.

The nine events are:

  1. Gain attention
  2. Inform learners of objectives
  3. Stimulate recall of prior learning
  4. Present the content
  5. Provide “learning guidance”
  6. Elicit performance
  7. Provide feedback
  8. Assess performance
  9. Enhance retention and transfer to the job (Gagné, 1985). 

Applying the final five events

  1. Provide “learning guidance”: After you have presented the content, you should help students learn the content. To do this, you can provide examples, have students create a mindmap, model steps and actions, use visual aids, walk students through how to use a resource, etc. Anything that you do that is for the purpose of helping the students learn the content fits here. 
  1. Elicit performance: Next, give students the opportunity to practice using their new knowledge or skills. Examples of this are giving learners time to use a database, asking learners to work in groups to develop research questions, or quizzing learners on content.
  1. Provide feedback: After learners practice, it is necessary for you to give feedback on their performance. The feedback needs to extend beyond whether or not the learners were correct. Learners need feedback on why they were correct or why they were incorrect. They need to know what they can do next time to improve. 
  1. Assess performance: At this stage, you determine whether or not the learners have met the objectives. This can be done through a test, through a presentation, or the use of a rubric.
  1. Enhance retention and transfer to the job: Lastly, it is necessary to help learners retain the information they have learned. To do this, help students make connections between what they learned and how they will use it outside of your instruction session. Give them opportunities to reflect on how they will use the knowledge or skills they gained. In other words, help students connect the learning to real-life. 


Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction is a straightforward approach to organizing instruction. In my opinion, the nine events of instruction are an excellent tool for all librarians to use who teach instruction sessions. They provide a framework for what to do at each step of the teaching process. I hope you also find Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction useful.

Recommended Resources

Center for Instructional Technology and Training. (2021). Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction. University of Florida. https://citt.ufl.edu/resources/the-learning-process/designing-the-learning-experience/gagnes-9-events-of-instruction/

Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. (2021). Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction. Northern Illinois University. https://www.niu.edu/citl/resources/guides/instructional-guide/gagnes-nine-events-of-instruction.shtml


Gagné, R. M. (1985). The conditions of learning and theory of instruction (4th ed.). New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Lauren Hays

Lauren Hays

Lauren Hays, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology at the University of Central Missouri. Please read her other posts about skills for special librarians. And take a look at Lucidea’s powerful integrated library systems, SydneyEnterpriseand GeniePlus, used daily by innovative special librarians in libraries of all sizes and budgets.


Similar Posts

Leave a Comment

Comments are reviewed and must adhere to our comments policy.


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This