Introduction to the Instructional Design Models

Before we talk about what instructional design models are, it is essential to first define instructional design itself. Instructional design, also referred to as Instructional Systems Design (ISD), is the process of creating instructional experiences which make the acquisition of knowledge and skill more efficient and effective. The instructional design discipline increased out of World war 2, when the U.S. military required to quickly train large numbers of personnel to perform various tasks.

Although the terms Instructional Technology and Educational Technology are often used interchangeably, they aren’t the exact same. The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) specifies Instructional technology as “the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of procedures and resources for learning,” while Educational Technology is defined as “study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and boosting efficiency by creating, using and managing proper technological procedures and resources.”

With the key definitions now out of the way, let us examine instructional design models. First, a model is a reflection of a complex entity or phenomenon, whose purpose is to objective understanding of what it represents. Models assist the instructional designer to visualize the problem at hand, and also to then to break it down into smaller, more manageable units.

It then follows that an instructional design model are frameworks for developing training that enhance learning outcomes and also encourages student to gain a deeper level of comprehension. Basically, instructional design model tells instructional designers how to organize pedagogical situations in order to achieve instructional targets. It is very important observe that effective instructional models are based on learning and instructional theories.

Models has sorted out into prescriptive and descriptive. Prescriptive models provide suggestions to organize and framework instructional activities while detailed models explain the training environment and how it affects variables at play.

There are plenty of instructional models that have been developed over the years, and most are based on the ADDIE model. ADDIE means Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation.

This systematic instructional design model consists of five generic phases, which have been processed through the years in other models like the Dick and Carey Design Model and the Rapid Prototyping Model.

Common examples of these instructional models include:
1) Merrill’s First Principles of Instruction
2) Bloom’s Learning Taxonomy
3) Kirkpatrick’s 4 Levels of Training Evaluation
4) Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction
5) Kemp’s Instructional Design Model
6) Keller’s ARCS Model of Motivational Design (Attention, Relevance, Confidence, Satisfaction)
7) ASSURE Model (Analyze Learners, State Objectives, Select Methods, Media, and Materials, Utilize Media and Materials, Require Learner Participation, and Evaluate and Revise)
8) Smith and Ragan Design Model; and
9) Rapid Prototyping Design Model.

This of course is a non-exhaustive list.

Of importance to note is that in all models, the learner is (or should be) central to instruction. The learning situation is also of importance to positive instructional outcomes. This consists of instruction at all stages, i.e. K-12 education, adult learning, and higher education. Thus instructional design models are applicable to teachers, instructional designers, trainers, and college level instructors to mention a few.