Theory Video Blog (VB)

Theory Description

Charles Reigeluth’s Elaboration Theory (ET) is based on knowledge scaffolding. Students must comprehend basic levels of knowledge, beginning with lower level think skills and then building upon those fundamental skills with higher level thinking skills. Translated into the e-Learning environment, this learning entity becomes collaborative learning in a suitable more consistent virtual environment.


Virtual Learning Communities (VLCs) are the idyllic place to foster the scaffolding of collective wisdom. As presented through ET, VLCs allow fundamental knowledge building through module learning, while building communities of knowledge holders constantly sharing knowledge. Students are able to better retain knowledge gained which in turn builds student motivation through the creation through the creation of meaningful learning contexts, and the provision of information about the content that allows informed learner control (Reigeluth, 2010).


ET lacks an explanation of assessment. The reader is left to assume that assessment is administered after the accomplishment of each of the seven components of ET: An elaborative sequence, learning perquisite sequences, summary, synthesis, analogies, cognitive strategies, and learner control.

Practical application

In practical application, ET could be applied to problem-based training. To assist in differentiation in teaching and learning, the ET applied would allow for problem solving to be broken down into various levels of understanding based on individual student needs. In turn, students will progress with the ET as problems become progressively more intricate.


Charles M. Reigeluth. (2010) Indiana University Bloomington School of Education.  Retrieved from