Gagne’s 9 Events of Instruction for Pixlr Workshop

Photo of authur with stars, leaves, and vines over image.
I used Pixlr to edit and manipulate my photo.
Pixlr Tech Teaser

This instructional sequence is based on Gagné’s (1985) nine events of instruction. The internal processes for each event are based on the work of Gagné and Driscoll (1988).


Download Pixlr software to desktop. Open picture editor. Preload folder with images for practice. Locate some great images edited with the software to illustrate as examples.

Software constraints:
• Not compatible with Mozilla Firefox; Use Google Chrome or Internet Explorer instead;
• Advance level Editor will not save as an image file. It will download as an odd file type. You’ll be able to see the icon. Simply rename it as a .jpg or .png; and
• Limited text manipulation of font. For example, you can’t make font bold or italicized. To enlarge the text,  manipulate the text box size.

  1. Gain Attention: Show some amazing images that you created with Pixlr for a class. (Internal process: reception)
  2. State Objective: Use Pixlr to modify or enhance images for course content to add visual imagery, cues, or a personal touch to your online courses.  (Internal process: expectancy)
  3. Stimulate recall of prior learning: Ask if they have ever worked with Pixlr, Picasa, Photoshop, or Gimp? Let them share their experience with these photo editing software programs.  (Internal process: retrieval to working memory)
    4. Present content: (Internal process: selective perception)
    • Free photo editing software. Free mobile app, too. Show intermediate level— Open Pixlr Express (Efficient);
    • No need to login. Can save image to desktop. Log in to save images in the cloud;
    • The more advanced level, Open Pixlr Editor, has almost the same amount of photo editing capabilities as Adobe’s Photoshop;
    • Functions include crop, re-size, fix red-eye/whiten teeth, colorization, and 600 special effects.
  4. Provide learner guidance: Share handout with tips. Demo Open Pixlr express (Efficient), which is mid-level.  (Internal process: semantic encoding)
  5. Elicit performance: Participants upload photo from desktop for editing at Efficient level.  (Internal process: responding)
  6. Provide Feedback: Answer questions and assist participants one-on-one.  (Internal process: reinforcement)
  7. Assessment: Ask some basic recall questions about software, tips, and constraints.  (Internal process: retrieval & reinforcement)
  8. Enhance retention and transfer: In one word, how do you plan to use it in your class? (e.g., lessons, projects, introductions) Invite them to a workshop on emergent technology to learn more about Pixlr.  (Internal process: retrieval & generalization)

Note: For more information on Pixlr, visit my blog on the topic. For more information on Gagne’s nine events of instruction, see my blog on that topic.


Gagné, R. M. (1985). The conditions of learning. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.

Gagné, R. M., & Driscoll, M. P. (1988).  Essentials of learning for instruction (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Sandra Annette Rogers, Ph.D.

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I love Pixlr!

Photo of authro with stars, leaves, and vines over image.
I used Pixlr to edit and manipulate my photo.


What is it? Pixlr is a free editing software program that allows you to modify or enhance images. There are three levels: playful, efficient, and advanced. It’s similar to other photo editing services like Google’s Picasa, Adobe Photoshop, or Window’s Gimp.

How can I use it in my course? Use Pixlr to add interesting visual imagery, provide cues, or add a personal touch to your online course. For example, adding a photo of yourself to your syllabus or instructor bio provides teacher presence in online environments.

How do I get started?  Go to You do not need to create an account to use it. Begin at your level of expertise. Upload a photo from your desktop and start editing. It’s fairly intuitive.

Tech Tips:

  • Save image to desktop or jumpdrive if you’re not planning on logging in.
  • The Text feature only allows you to select the font. You will need to resize the text box in order to change the font size.
  • The Stickers feature is a great way to add whimsy to your image!
  • Open Pixlr editor (Advance) has almost the same amount of features as Photoshop.
  • You can make collages that look professional with the Collage tool.
  • The mobile app is available at the App Store but is a bit cumbersome.

I forgot to mention that it’s a lot of fun!

Sandra Rogers

P.S. I presented this as part of a series of technology teasers for the USA Learning Academy this summer at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. See my instructor training guide for the workshop utilizing Gagne’s 9 events of instruction.