This site discusses several Instructional Design (ID) theories for creating learning processes (shown in the left sidebar), related models, difference between ID and ISD, and explains Instructional Design in some depth.
Instructional Design is defined as “a systematic process that is employed to develop education and training programs in a consistent and reliable fashion” (Reiser & Dempsey, 2007). In addition, it may be thought of as a framework for developing modules or lessons that (Merrill, M. Drake, Lacy, M. Pratt, 1996):
- increase and enhance the possibility of learning
- makes the acquisition of knowledge and skill more efficient, effective, and appealing,
- encourages the engagement of learners so that they learn faster and gain deeper levels of understanding
In a nutshell, instructional design can be thought of as a process for creating effective and efficient learning processes. The left-hand sidebar lists several types of instructional design processes. Some, like Gagné or Keller, are concepts that fit most instructional design projects.
Others are aimed at specific learning processes. For example, van Merriënboer is used when the learners must master complex problem solving. Cognitive Task Analysis is even more specific — it is used to analyze tasks that are largely covert and nonprocedural in nature.
Learning can be quite complex, thus there are no one size fits all methodologies. This is why instructional designers need to familiarize themselves with the various learning theories and concepts so that they can refer back to them when they experience complex design problems.
Instructional Design (ID) models differ from Instructional System Design (ISD) models in that ISD models have a broad scope and typically divide the instruction design process into the five phases of analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation (van Merriënboer, 1997, pp 2-3). In addition, ISD models uses both formative evaluations in all the phases and a summative evaluation at the end of the process. Examples of ISD models are ADDIE and the Dick & Carey model.
ID models are less broad in nature and mostly focus on analysis and design, thus they normally go into much more detail, especially in the design phase.
ID models are normally employed in conjunction with ISD models. The ISD process keeps the entire training, development, or educational process on the correct path to reach the performance objectives, while one or more ID models are used in conjunction that best supports the learning process being designed. For example, you might use ADDIE to ensure you reach your goal, in addition to 4C/ID to design the parts of the learning processes that require complex problem solving. This allows ISD to be similar to plug-and-play, in which you plug the needed ID model into the ISD model as this model shows:
There are three types of learning strategies in Instruction Design — organizational, delivery, and management (Reigeluth, 1983):
Organizational strategies are broken down on the micro or macro level so that the lesson may be properly arranged and sequenced. Some methods for performing this can be found at Sequencing and Structuring Learning Modules.
Delivery strategies are concerned with the decisions that affect the way in which information is carried to the learners. Delivery is the means of communicating and transferring a learning process to the learners. For example, you can deliver a lesson in the classroom or via elearning. This is similar to the concept of media. Some methods of delivery are:
Management strategies involve the decisions that help the learners interact with the learning activities in order that they may increase their knowledge and skills. Some of the strategies are:
Some other specific strategies, such as note taking and modeling, can be found in the following links (Marzano, 1998).:
Recently, there has been some movement to call Instructional Design “Learning Design,” with the premise that this will focus the process more on the learners rather than the content. However, this has been criticized by others as we cannot design learning because it is the outcome of good instruction, rather we can only design the instruction, which is a process.
- Gagné's Nine Steps of Instruction
- John Keller's ARCS model
- Merrill's Component Display Theory
- Reigeluth's Elaboration Theory
- van Merriënboer's 4C/ID Model
- Rapid Instructional Design
- Design Methodologies: Instructional, Thinking, Agile, System, or X Problem?
- Instructional Design Framework
- Learning Design Model
- Agile Learning Development
- Learning and Instructional Templates
Gagné, R. (1985). The Conditions of Learning and the Theory of Instruction, (4th ed.). New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.
Keller, J.M., & Suzuki, K. (1988). Use of the ARCS motivation model in courseware design. In Jonassen, D.H. (ed) Instructional designs for microcomputer courseware. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Marzano, Robert J. (1998). A Theory-Based Meta-Analysis of Research on Instruction. Mid-continent Aurora, Colorado: Regional Educational Laboratory. From http://www.peecworks.org/peec/peec_research/I01795EFA.2/Marzano%20Instruction%20Meta_An.pdf
Merrill, M.D. (1983). Component Display Theory. In Reigeluth, C.M. (ed), Instructional Design Theories and Models: An Overview of their Current States. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Merrill, M.D., Drake, L., Lacy, M. J., Pratt, J. (1996). Reclaiming instructional design. Educational Technology, 36(5), 5-7. http://mdavidmerrill.com/Papers/Reclaiming.PDF
Reigeluth, C.M., Stein, F.S. (1983). The Elaboration Theory of Instruction. In Reigeluth, C.M. (ed), Instructional Design Theories and Models: An Overview of their Current States. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Reiser, R.A. & Dempsey, J.V. (2007). Trends and Issues in Instructional Design (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
van Merriënboer, J.J.G. (1997). Training Complex Cognitive Skills: A Four-Component Instructional Design Model for Technical Training. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Educational Technology Publications.