Commonly Used Instructional Design Models

eLearning is a fast-growing industry. Instructional Design is a tool that leverages learning experience. This design and development tool ensures the instruction provided on various e-learning platforms is effective for imparting knowledge or learning.

While designing a learning module, the instructional designer must keep the three components in mind: learning objective, activities, and assessments. Various models and theories have evolved with time on what approach should be followed while designing a course.

Listed below are some of the popularly known and widely used models which might suit your requirement.

ADDIE: Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate are the five main phases used for course development. It is best to follow the sequence in a linear fashion. This approach helps in developing personalized e-learning courses as it is based on the needs, learning objectives, and the required outcomes.

  • Analyze Understanding why the learner has taken up this course. Analyzing the knowledge and skill gaps to set the goals of training.
  • Design: Based on need analysis, the course is to be designed in terms of course material, the kind of activities required, inputs from subject matter to be taken, communication tools to be included, assessments to included at various stages of the course, etc. 
  • Development: Once a concrete design is formed, this stage starts with the production and testing of the methodology. The development stage is all about putting the plan in action. This also can be done with the help of a simple project management tool to ensure the timely progress of the developmental plan.
  • Implementation: Once the development stage is completed, it is time to evaluate the final product and implement the required changes for the improvement of the final delivery of the product.
  • Evaluate: Final review of the product in terms of what was required and how the same was accomplished is done in this stage of the method.

Merrill’s Principles of Instructions: This model is based on task-based learning. The basic principles on which this model is based are activation, demonstration, integration, and engagement.

  • Demonstrate: Demonstrating the scenarios with examples using visuals, infographics, videos, etc. so that the learner can absorb the information more effectively. This also helps the learners to develop problem-solving skills to improve task proficiency.
  • Activation: Applying what is learned through an example in real-world scenarios by solving the problems they have been coming across in the past. This can be done by adding real-world examples and case studies.
  • Integration: Learning new skills is only useful if integrated successfully with the real work scenarios to achieve their objectives and goals.
  • Engage: Engaging the learner is the most important feature of this model. Their participation will align the difficulty levels with the course objective. This will also help them to identify the areas of improvement.

Design Thinking Model: This model is based on thinking about a design keeping the need, problem, and solution in mind. This includes 5 phases: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test.

  • Empathize: Understanding the needs problem areas of the end-user while designing the course is the way to start. This begins with getting into the shoes of the end-user by dwelling and empathizing with them.
  • Define: Once you have understood the need, define the problem clearly. These problem areas should be integrated with the design of the e-learning course.
  • Ideate: Coming up with innovative customized solutions/ideas to the needs and problem area is what this phase of the model defines.
  • Prototype: Create models for the solutions you plan to implement. As these are meant just for demonstration, the cost should be the bare minimum. The use of scrap material is the best way to show the prototypes.
  • Test: Ensuring what works the best is the purpose of prototypes. If the changes are required, should be managed at this stage. The final and best-suited idea can then be pushed forward.

Bloom’s Taxonomy: This model is based on defining the learning objectives for both the learner and the instructor in a manner that helps to create relevant learning activities with the final objective of creating a new structure. This includes 6 phases: remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating.

  • Remembering: It is the process of remembering and relating the prior knowledge to create a better understanding of the new learning objective and goal.
  • Understanding: Drawing conclusions from the knowledge and learning in interpreting and summarizing the ideas.
  • Applying: Implementing the learning process.
  • Analyzing: While keeping the overall goal in place, diving and understanding the information in smaller parts.
  • Evaluating: Assessing the learning based on learning objectives.
  • Creating:  Arranging the ideas to learn and create the new structure.

Gagne’s Taxonomy: This model is based on the behavioural approach of learning that can be adapted based on different learning situations. It includes the following 9 steps:

  • Attention: It is important to begin right by gaining the learner’s attention. This can be in the form of ice-breaking activity or by raising a thought provoking question.
  • Inform: Setting the right expectations and defining the goal keeps the ball rolling keeping everyone focused.
  • Recall: Prior knowledge should be linked with the new objective and learnings.
  • Content:  Lengthy lessons tend to distract the learner and make it difficult to stay focussed. Present the content in smaller chunks that are easy to absorb and understand.
  • Guidance: Explain the topics with examples and case studies.
  • Performance: It is very important to keep them engaged and evaluate them from time to time through various activities and quizzes.
  • Feedback: Performance should be discussed along with the feedback that can be constructive, corrective, or informative. If feedback is not handled well, the whole purpose of learning goes waste.
  • Assessment: Learning is fruitful and the learner remains focussed if assessed from time to time. Testing the knowledge gained should be based on transparent criterias.
  • Retention: Before wrapping up the training, for better retention of the knowledge and practical implementation, use the retention strategy by summarizing, rephrasing, etc.

Conclusion: There are many more instructional design models one can opt for. Visit the website of 360Learning for the best options.