Instructional design is defined as "the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of processes and resources for learning” (Reiser, 2002, p. 1). It is the science of creating instructional curriculum that is geared towards producing specific learning outcomes, based not only on pedagogical research, but also on current instructional practices.
Instructional design models provide you with procedural frameworks for the systematic production of instruction. There are many different instructional design models out there. Below is a list of the most commonly known and well-used ones.
The ADDIE Model
One of the most common and flexible frameworks for building effective teaching, training, and performance support tools is the ADDIE Model. The ADDIE model was first developed by Florida State University for the U.S. Military to describe the five-step process for systematic development of instruction.
- Analysis: Figure out what's needed. Identify what students already know and what they should know.
- Design: Come up with a plan for meeting these needs. These include but not limited to determining all the learning objectives, evaluation criteria and the tools to be used, lesson planning, content and media selection.
- Development: Create designed learning materials and activities based on the plan. During this phase the content is written and audio and graphical materials are also produced.
- Implementation: Incorporate designed learning materials and activities into the learning environment.
- Evaluation: Perform a formative and summative evaluation of content to determine overall effectiveness.
The idea of Backward Design comes from McTighes & Wiggins’ (1999) Understanding by Design. They suggest that educators should plan learning experiences with the final assessment in mind. In this model, you start with the end - the desired results, goals, or standards - and then grow your curriculum from student learning called for by your assessments and the teaching needed to equip students to perform.
Using backwards design, you are able to avoid common problems found when planning forward from module-to-module. Especially when doing so reveals that some students were prepared for the final assessment and others did not. Click on the titles to reveal details in each stage.
- Identify Desired Results: Identify the desired outcomes for your course. In other words, identify the knowledge and skills that the students have to achieve at the end of the course. Use Bloom's Taxonomy to help you construct the learning objectives.
- Determine Acceptable Evidence of Learning: Determine how you would like to evaluate students' performance and the criteria on which students will be evaluated.
- Design Learning Experiences & Instruction: Design and develop learning materials and activities that help students to achieve stated learning objectives.
Please visit the following articles to learn more about Backward Design:
Universal Design for Learning
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn. UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone--not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs.
The UDL principles are based on learning models that take into account the variability of all learners:
- Provide multiple means of engagement
- Provide multiple means of representation
- Provide multiple means of action and expression
Successive Approximations Model
The Successive Approximations Model (SAM) of instructional design was developed by Allen Interactions. SAM is a cyclical approach to instructional design that “can be a good fit for smaller projects that don’t require a lot of complicated technology (e.g., video or custom programming) or for smaller teams” (Rimmer, 2016). SAM is comprised of three phases: the Preparation Phase, the Iterative Design Phase, and the Iterative Development Phase. Each phase is designed to allow for continual project evaluation by all stakeholders and rapid prototyping to ensure a complete final product that contains all the required components in a timely and efficient manner with lower cost to the client (Allen Interactions, 2018).
1. Reiser, R.A and Dempsey, J.V. (Eds.) (2002). Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.
2. McTighe, J. & Wiggins, G. P. (1999) Understanding by Design handbook. Alexandria, Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
3. Meyer, A., Rose, D.H., & Gordon, D. (2014). Universal design for learning: Theory and Practice.Wakefield, MA: CAST Professional Publishing. (Link)
4. Allen Interactions. (2018). Iterative eLearning development with SAM. (Link)
5. Rimmer, T. (2016, July). An introduction to SAM for instructional designers. (Link)