As Kearsley (1994d) explains, this theory suggests that:
All learning activities should be meaningful and self-contained.
Activities should exploit the learner's prior experience and knowledge.
Learners should be given realistic projects as quickly as possible.
Instruction should permit self-directed reasoning and improvising.
Training materials and activities should provide for error recognition and use errors as
There should be a close linkage between training and the actual system because "new
users are always learning computer methods in the context of specific preexisting goals
and expectations" (Carroll 1990, as cited in Kearsley 1994d).
The critical idea behind Carroll's Minimalist theory is that
course designers must "minimize the extent to which instructional materials obstruct
learning and focus the design on activities that support learner-directed activity and
accomplishment" (Kearsley 1994d).