Advance Organisers

Advance organisers are suggested schemas templates provided to learners as a way of introducing and suggesting a preferred organisation for information. The advance organiser effect occurs when presenting advance organisers as introductory pathways to new information results in greater learning than not having advance organisers presented.

Advance organisers present models for organising schemas. These should be designed mindful of the schemas organisation that is considered most suitable for the learners to acquire.

Advance organisers indicate a level of grouping amongst topics, ideas, concepts or procedures, and are based up deep structures rather than surface cues.

Advance organisers may be consider to be "coat hangers" on which to place information, "pidgeon holes" in which to place information or other such analogy where by an over arching organisation is provided demonstrating relationships between concepts, but with the details still to come.

Hierarchical networks, mindmaps, topic headings, or an index for a book all provide options as advance organisers.




At the beginning of information blocks, present clear recommendations regarding how basic schemas should be organisation in preparation to be enhanced and elaborated upon during the learning activities to follow.

Asking questions, showing images, or presenting summary previews may all be suitable ways to present the ideal template knowledge base.

Instructional Design: 

Common examples of advance organisers include:

  • segmenting content based upon the step in a process, such as beginning, middle and end.
  • use of tables to show relationships between rows and columns
  • the structure of topics in a chapter
  • the structure of chapters in a text book
  • a schematic diagram illustrating a dynamic process.
  • An index with indentations