Gagne’s Nine Levels of Learning

Gagne’s Nine Levels of Learning are also known as Gagne’s Nine Conditions of Learning, Gagne’s Taxonomy of Learning, and Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction.

Robert Gagne (1916–2002) was an educational psychologist who pioneered the science of instruction in the 1940s. His book “The Conditions of Learning,” first published in 1965, identified the mental conditions that are necessary for effective learning.

It’s interesting to examine the outline of his levels on MindTools:  Essential Skills for an Excellent Career since most effective lesson plans stem from his research.

Below are Gagne’s 9 Levels of Learning.  After the hyphen are some of my thoughts about what each level looks like in the classroom.

Gagne’s 9 Levels of Learning

  1. Gaining Attention (Reception)  – The Hook, Gaining Student Attention, Raising Voice, Showing Video, Engaging Event
  2. Informing Learners of the Objective (Expectancy) – Explaining the Objective, Students Understanding Purpose of Learning
  3. Stimulating Recall of Prior Learning (Retrieval) – Activating Prior Knowledge, Giving Admit Slips
  4. Presenting the Stimulus (Selective Perception) – Delivering Mini-Lesson, Presenting New Information
  5. Providing Learning Guidance (Semantic Encoding) – Delivering Mini-Lesson, Examples, Storytelling, Analogies, Graphics
  6. Eliciting Performance (Responding) – Guided Practice, Independent Practice, Questioning, Role-Playing
  7. Providing Feedback (Reinforcement) – Share-out, Reflection
  8. Assessing Performance (Retrieval) – Formative Assessments, Tests, Essays, Exit-Slips
  9. Enhancing Retention and Transfer (Generalization) – Summative Assessments, Homework

Examining Gagne’s research will give you some insight about the organization and content of current lesson plan formats used today.


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