Instructional design

Instructional design

Instructional Design is the practice of creating instructional tools and content to help facilitate learning most effectively. The process consists broadly of determining the current state and needs of the learner, defining the end goal of instruction, and creating some "intervention" to assist in the transition. Ideally the process is informed by pedagogically tested theories of learning and may take place in student-only, teacher-led or community-based settings. The outcome of this instruction may be directly observable and scientifically measured or completely hidden and assumed. There are many instructional design models but many are based on the ADDIE model with the phases analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation.

As a field, instructional design is historically and traditionally rooted in cognitive and behavioral psychology. However, because it is not a regulated, well-understood field, the term 'instructional design' has been co-opted by or confused with a variety of other ideologically-based and / or professional fields. Instructional design, for example, is not graphic design, although graphic design (from a cognitive perspective) could play an important role in Instructional Design. "Preparing instructional text" by E. Misanchuk, "Instructional-Design Theories and Models" edited by Charles M. Reigeluth, and publications by James Hartley are useful in informing the distinction between instructional design and graphic design.


Much of the foundation of the field of instructional design was laid in World War II, when the U.S. military faced the need to rapidly train large numbers of people to perform complex technical tasks, from field-stripping a carbine to navigating across the ocean to building a bomber —see "Training Within Industry (TWI)".Drawing on the research and theories of B.F. Skinner on operant conditioning, training programs focused on observable behaviors. Tasks were broken down into subtasks, and each subtask treated as a separate learning goal. Training was designed to reward correct performance and remediate incorrect performance. Mastery was assumed to be possible for every learner, given enough repetition and feedback. After the war, the success of the wartime training model was replicated in business and industrial training, and to a lesser extent in the primary and secondary classroom. [] The approach is still common in the U.S. military. [ [ MIL-HDBK-29612/2A Instructional Systems Development/Systems Approach to Training and Education ] ]

In 1955 Benjamin Bloom published an influential taxonomy of what he termed the three domains of learning: Cognitive (what we know or think), Psychomotor (what we do, physically) and Affective (what we feel, or what attitudes we have). These taxonomies still influence the design of instruction. [ [ Bloom's Taxonomy ] ]

During the latter half of the 20th century, learning theories began to be influenced by the growth of digital computers.

In the 1970s, many instructional design theorists began to adopt an information-processing-based approach to the design of instruction. David Merrill for instance developed [ Component Display Theory (CDT)] , which concentrates on the means of presenting instructional materials (presentation techniques). [ [ TIP: Theories ] ]

Later in the 1980s and throughout the 1990s cognitive load theory began to find empirical support for a variety of presentation techniques. [ [ Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. - Educational Psychologist - 38(1):1 - Citation ] ]

Cognitive load theory and the design of instruction

Cognitive load theory developed out of several empirical studies of learners, as they interacted with instructional materials. cite journal
author=Sweller, J.
title= Cognitive load during problem solving: Effects on learning
journal= Cognitive Science
] Sweller and his associates began to measure the effects of working memory load, and found that the format of instructional materials has a direct effect on the performance of the learners using those materials.cite journal
author=Chandler, P. & Sweller, J..| year=1991| title= Cognitive Load Theory and the Format of Instruction.| journal= Cognition and Instruction| volume=8| issue=4| pages=293–332| doi=10.1207/s1532690xci0804_2
] cite journal
author=Sweller, J., & Cooper, G. A.| year=1985| title= The use of worked examples as a substitute for problem solving in learning algebra| journal= Cognition and Instruction| volume=2| issue=1| pages=59–89| doi=10.1207/s1532690xci0201_3
] cite journal
author= Cooper, G., & Sweller, J.| year=1987| title= Effects of schema acquisition and rule automation on mathematical problem-solving transfer.| journal= Journal of Educational Psychology
volume=79| issue=4| pages=347–362| doi= 10.1037/0022-0663.79.4.347

While the media debates of the 1990s focused on the influences of media on learning, cognitive load effects were being documented in several journals. Rather than attempting to substantiate the use of media, these cognitive load learning effects provided an empirical basis for the use of instructional strategies. Mayer asked the instructional design community to reassess the media debate, to refocus their attention on what was most important – learning.cite journal| author= Mayer, R.E.| year=1997| title= Multimedia Learning: Are We Asking the Right Questions?| journal= Educational Psychologist| volume=32| issue=41| pages=1–19| doi= 10.1207/s15326985ep3201_1 ]

By the mid to late 1990s, Sweller and his associates had discovered several learning effects related to cognitive load and the design of instruction (e.g. the split attention effect, redundancy effect, and the worked-example effect). Later, other researchers like Richard Mayer began to attribute learning effects to cognitive load. Mayer and his associates soon developed a Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning.cite book| author= Mayer, R.E.| year=2001| title= Multimedia Learning| location= Cambridge| publisher=Cambridge University Press| id=ISBN 0-521-78239-2] cite journal| author= Mayer, R.E., Bove, W. Bryman, A. Mars, R. & Tapangco, L.| year=1996| title= When Less Is More: Meaningful Learning From Visual and Verbal Summaries of Science Textbook Lessons.| journal= Journal of Educational Psychology.| volume=88| issue=1| pages=64–73| doi= 10.1037/0022-0663.88.1.64] cite journal| author= Mayer, R.E., Steinhoff, K., Bower, G. and Mars, R.| year=1995| title= A generative theory of textbook design: Using annotated illustrations to foster meaningful learning of science text.| journal= Educational Technology Research and Development.| volume=43| issue=1| pages=31–41| doi= 10.1007/BF02300480]

In the past decade, cognitive load theory has begun to be internationally acceptedcite journal
author= Paas, F., Renkl, A. & Sweller, J.
title= Cognitive Load Theory: Instructional Implications of the Interaction between Information Structures and Cognitive Architecture
journal= Instructional Science
doi= 10.1023/B:TRUC.0000021806.17516.d0
] and begun to revolutionize how practitioners of instructional design view instruction. Recently, human performance experts have even taken notice of cognitive load theory, and have begun to promote this theory base as the science of instruction, with instructional designers as the practitioners of this field. cite book
author=Clark, R.C., Mayer, R.E.
title= e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning
location=San Francisco | publisher=Pfeiffer| id=ISBN 0-7879-6051-9
] Finally Clark, Nguyen and Swellercite book
author=Clark, R. C., Nguyen, F., and Sweller, J.
title=Efficiency in Learning: Evidence-Based Guidelines to Manage Cognitive Load
location=San Francisco | publisher=Pfeiffer| id=ISBN 0-7879-7728-4
] published a [ textbook] describing how Instructional Designers can promote efficient learning using evidence based guidelines of Cognitive load theory.

Learning Design

The IMS Learning Design [ [ IMS Learning Design webpage] ] specification supports the use of a wide range of pedagogies in online learning. Rather than attempting to capture the specifics of many pedagogies, it does this by providing a generic and flexible language. This language is designed to enable many different pedagogies to be expressed. The approach has the advantage over alternatives in that only one set of learning design and runtime tools then need to be implemented in order to support the desired wide range of pedagogies. The language was originally developed at the Open University of the Netherlands (OUNL), after extensive examination and comparison of a wide range of pedagogical approaches and their associated learning activities, and several iterations of the developing language to obtain a good balance between generality and pedagogic expressiveness.

A criticism of Learning Design theory is that learning is an outcome. While instructional theory Instructional Design focuses on outcomes, while properly accounting for a multi-variate context that can only be predictive, it acknowledges that (given the variabilities in human capability) a guarantee of reliable learning outcomes is improbable. We can only design instruction. We cannot design learning (an outcome). Automotive engineers can design a car that, under specific conditions, will achieve 50 miles per gallon. These engineers cannot guarantee that drivers of the cars they design will (or have the capability to) operate these vehicles according to the specific conditions prescribed. The former is the metaphor for instructional design. The latter is the metaphor for Learning Design.

Instructional design models

ADDIE model

Perhaps the most common model used for creating instructional materials is the ADDIE Model. This acronym stands for the 5 phases contained in the model:

* Analyze - analyze learner characteristics, task to be learned, etc.
* Design - develop learning objectives, choose an instructional approach
* Develop - create instructional or training materials
* Implement - deliver or distribute the instructional materials
* Evaluate - make sure the materials achieved the desired goals

Most of the current instructional design models are variations of the ADDIE model.

Rapid prototyping

A sometimes utilized adaptation to the ADDIE model is in a practice known as rapid prototyping.

However, rapid prototyping is considered a somewhat simplistic type of model. At the heart of Instructional Design is the analysis phase. After you thoroughly conduct the analysis--you can then choose a model based on your findings. That is the area where most people get snagged--they simply do not do a thorough enough analysis. (Part of Article By Chris Bressi on LinkedIn)

Proponents suggest that through an iterative process the verification of the design documents saves time and money by catching problems while they are still easy to fix. This approach is not novel to the design of instruction, but appears in many design-related domains including software design, architecture, transportation planning, product development, message design, user experience design, etc. cite book|author=Saettler, P.
title=The evolution of American educational technology
] cite book
author=Stolovitch, H.D, & Keeps, E.
title=Handbook of human performance technology

Dick and Carey

Another well-known instructional design model is The Dick and Carey Systems Approach Modelcite book
author = Dick, Walter, Lou Carey, and James O. Carey
year = 2005
title = The Systematic Design of Instruction
edition = 6th Edition
origyear = 1978
url =
pages = 1-12
publisher = Allyn & Bacon
isbn = 0205412742
] . The model was originally published in 1978 by Walter Dick and Lou Carey in their book entitled [ The Systematic Design of Instruction] .

Dick and Carey made a significant contribution to the instructional design field by championing a systems view of instruction as opposed to viewing instruction as a sum of isolated parts. The model addresses instruction as an entire system, focusing on the interrelationship between context, content, learning and instruction. According to Dick and Carey, "Components such as the instructor, learners, materials, instructional activities, delivery system, and learning and performance environments interact with each other and work together to bring about the desired student learning outcomes". The components of the Systems Approach Model, also known as the Dick and Carey Model, are as follows.

* Identify Instructional Goal(s)
* Conduct Instructional Analysis
* Analyze Learners and Contexts
* Write Performance Objectives
* Develop Assessment Instruments
* Develop Instructional Strategy
* Develop and Select Instructional Materials
* Design and Conduct Formative Evaluation of Instruction
* Revise Instruction
* Design and Conduct Summative Evaluation

With this model, components are executed iteratively and in parallel rather than linearly.

Other models

Some other useful models of instructional design include: the Smith/Ragan Model, the Morrison/Ross/Kemp Model.

Learning theories also play an important role in the design of instructional materials. Theories such as behaviorism, constructivism, social learning and cognitivism help shape and define the outcome of instructional materials.

Influential researchers and theorists

* Lev Vygotsky - Learning as a social activity - 1930s
* B.F. Skinner - Radical Behaviorism, Program Teaching - late 1930s-
* Benjamin Bloom - Taxonomies of the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains - 1955
* R.F. Mager - ABCD model for instructional objectives - 1962
* Jean Piaget - Cognitive development - 1960s
* Seymour Papert - Constructionism, LOGO - 1970s
* Robert M. Gagné - Nine Events of Instruction - 1970s
* Jerome Bruner - Constructivism
* Dick, W. & Carey, L. "The Systematic Design of Instruction" - 1978
* Michael Simonson - Instructional Systems and Design via Distance Education - 1980s
* M. David Merrill and Charles Reigeluth - Elaboration Theory / Component Display Theory / PEAnets - 1980s
* Robert Heinich, Michael Molenda, James Russell - Instructional Media and the new technologies of instruction "3rd ed." - Educational Technology - 1989
* Roger Schank - Constructivist simulations - 1990s
* David Jonassen - Cognitivist problem-solving strategies - 1990s
* Ruth Clark - Theories on instructional design and technical training - 1990s
* Charles Graham and Curtis Bonk - Blended learning - 2000s

ee also

Since instructional design deals with creating useful instruction and instructional materials, there are many other areas that are related to the field of instructional design.

* assessment
* Confidence-Based Learning
* educational animation
* educational psychology
* educational technology
* e-learning
* electronic portfolio
* evaluation
* instructional technology
* instructional theory
* learning object
* learning science
* m-learning
* Multimedia learning
* online education
* instructional design coordinator
* Storyboarding
* training
* interdisciplinary teaching
* rapid prototyping
* Lesson study
* Understanding by Design

External links

* [ American Society for Training & Development (ASTD)]
* [ International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI)]
* [ Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT)]
* [ Instructional Design] - An overview of Instructional Design
* [ ISD Handbook]
* [ International Journal for Instructional Technology and Distance Learning]
* Edutech wiki: Instructional design model []


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