When building a new course, an instructional designer must consider multiple educational models and select those that will best suit their organization’s needs. At Emerge ID, we want to demystify the process and engage you in making the best possible choices.
Here are four instructional design models that are used frequently:
Robert Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction
Gagne’s approach draws on the theory of behaviorism — the idea that learning is conditioned behavior. The student responds to environmental stimuli in a predictable fashion that can be leveraged to promote better learning.
To keep students engaged, the instructor must:
- Gain the student’s attention: Tell a story or use an ice breaker to hook the learner.
- Inform learners of course objectives: Clarify goals and expectations.
- Stimulate recall of prior learning: Relate new material to previously acquired knowledge.
- Present the content strategically: Use different media and tools. Break material down into manageable chunks.
- Provide learner guidance: Provide supplementary material such case studies, visual images, and analogies.
- Elicit performance: Have students practice and apply their knowledge to reinforce new skills and concepts.
- Provide feedback: Give real-time comments and critiques to help students identify their strengths and weaknesses.
- Assess performance: Test learners with established criteria to determine if course objectives have been met.
- Enhance retention and transfer: Connect to real-world applications and other concepts or skills.
Gagne’s events provide a narrative for learning that allows students to visualize their process and locate themselves within it.
Bloom’s taxonomy revolves around cognitive engagement instead of conditioned behavior. A strong course design should take students from lower-level skills to deeper, more complex intellectual investigations.
From lowest to highest, the six forms of cognitive engagement are:
- Remembering: Recall facts, terms, and other basic concepts.
- Understanding: Compare and interpret main ideas.
- Applying: Apply acquired knowledge to new situations.
- Analyzing: Use information to support broader conclusions.
- Evaluating: Synthesize learned material to make predictions.
- Creating: Compile information to formulate innovative answers/solutions.
The first three levels demand learners to fully comprehend new material. The higher three levels require students to integrate and apply course material in novel ways.
Merrill’s Principles of Instruction
Merrill’s principles focus on tasks and problem-solving. The theory contains five core components of effective instruction:
- Task-centered learning: Engage learners to solve real-world problems. Tasks should grow increasingly complex as lessons progress.
- Activation: Connect new knowledge and skills to the students’ existing knowledge base.
- Demonstration: Demonstrate new material in multiple ways to engage different learning styles and encourage greater retention.
- Application: Have learners independently apply their new knowledge and skills. Encourage them to learn from mistakes.
- Integration: Connect new knowledge and skills into the learner’s world beyond the classroom via thoughtful discussion, demonstration, and reflection.
These principles can be used as a standalone instructional design model or as tools to evaluate existing courses.
ADDIE focuses on course design and outlines five phases of crafting instructional materials:
- Analyze: Identify the main problem or goal. Consider your target audience.
- Design: Set specific learning objectives and determine the strategies you will use to meet them. What instructional materials will you need, and how will you deliver them to the learner?
- Develop: Assemble course materials. Flesh out lesson plans.
- Implement: Deliver the course to the target audience.
- Evaluate: Examine how well learning objectives are being met and determine which design elements contribute to which failures or successes.
ADDIE provides a recursive approach to course design, allowing for continual revision even past the initial rollout.
Your Training Needs
To choose the right educational models for your organization, you must identify your goals for the intended curriculum. Jot down some preliminary thoughts.
Begin by identifying the intended outcome of your curriculum. What is the ultimate goal that you as the educator want to accomplish? In most cases, a competency-based curriculum that relies upon the application of skills requires a human being to evaluate the learner to identify if the competencies identified in the curriculum framework have been achieved. If the curriculum does not include an assessment by a person or group of people, then learning outcomes should be used to outline the curriculum framework.
Whatever your needs, Emerge ID is here to help you identify your best option and craft a course that serves your needs. Contact us today to begin the discussion!