The ADAPT design model: towards instructional control of transfer

Otto Jelsma, Jeroen J.G. van Merriënboer, Jim P. Bijlstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
199 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents a detailed description of the ADAPT (Apply Delayed Automatization for Positive Transfer) design model. ADAPT is based upon production system models of learning and provides guidelines for developing instructional systems that offer transfer of leamed skills. The model suggests that transfer of training can be attributed to procedure overlap between the original training task and the transfer task, as well as to analogy between new problem solving situations and acquired cognitive schemata. More specifically, the role of schemata in transfer is thought to increase as the transfer task becomes more different from the original training task. Several instructional tactics are suggested to optimize transfer of training. Declarative tactics pertain to the instructional design for acquiring knowledge which is relevant to performance of the skill; such tactics include demonstrating the skill, verbal instruction, the encouragement to paraphrase particular pieces of information, the application of advance organizers and mnemonic systems, and the presentation of concrete models and examples. Procedural tactics refer to the instructional design for acquiring the skill, that is, to the design of practice; such tactics include the encouragement to imitate the skill, the application of variability of practice and contextual interference, and the presentation of annotated examples. The relevance of ADAPT is evaluated and implications for future research are presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-120
Number of pages32
JournalInstructional science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1990


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