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Characteristics of Basic Instructional Design


Models
Meltem Huri BATURAY (*)

Abstract

An instructional design indicates the existing plan and processes for any instruction
regardless of the field of study and it works as a guide indicating how to implement an
instruction. Basically the routine of the instructional design includes and follows the
stages of analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation. Although this
is the common characteristic found in almost all instructional design models, there are
some minor differences in them. In this paper, the author firstly defines the concepts
instructional design and instructional designer. Then, she examines Morrison, Ross
and Kemps model of instructional design, Dick and Careys model and Smith and Ragans
instructional model by emphasizing their main and unique characteristics.
Key Words: Instructional design, Instructional System Design, Model
Temel retim Tasarm Modelleri Karakteristikleri
zet

Bir retim tasarm alma alanna baklmakszn her retimin iinde var olan
plan ve sreleri ortaya koyar ve retimin nasl gerekletirileceini gsteren bir rehber niteliindedir. Temelde ve basit haliyle bir retim plan analiz, tasarm, gelitirme,
uygulama ve deerlendirme aamalarn takip eder. Bu tm retim tasarm modellerinde ortak olan bir karakteristik olmasna ramen, temel modeller arasnda baz kk
farkllklar vardr. Bu almada yazar ilk olarak retim tasarm ve retim tasarmcs kavramlarnn ne olduu zerinde durmaktadr. Sonrasnda ise Morrison, Ross ve
Kempin retim tasarm modeli, Dick ve Careyin modeli ve Smith ve Ragann retim
tasarm modellerinin kendilerine has temel zelliklerini vurgulayarak incelemektedir.
Anahtar Kelimeler: retim Tasarm, retim Sistemi Tasarm, Model

*) Dr., Gazi niversitesi, ngilizce Okutman


(e-posta:baturay@gazi.edu.tr)

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Introduction

The sociological changes in the societies like the shift from industrial age to
information age have required making some changes in instructional design models
because the new age moving from standardization to customization in education forced
educational organizations to make changes in their training system in line with the new
management paradigm and life style. Moreover, there are innovations in the educational
domain in terms of theory and philosophies. What is questioned is whether instructional
system design models will be able to follow these changes or not and whether
the models will be able to meet the innovations in the educational organizations.
Today, instruction is customized and learner-centered. Mass-education has almost lost
its power with the anything, anytime and anywhere approach to training1. Materials
are more authentic and strategies focus on performance enhancement. The concept
educated delineates the people who have the ability of solving critical thinking problems
and attracting others with their creative ideas. Although most of this competency might
be gained at birth no one can ignore that they can be enriched by instruction. Thus, some
changes have to be made in instructional system to meet such expectations; hence, ISD
models do not stay behind.
The Concept Instructional Design

The term instructional design can be defined as the systematic method for analyzing,
designing, developing, evaluating and managing the instructional process efficiently; based
on the knowledge and experiences of learning and instructional theories2 so that it will
improve the quality of instruction and ensure effective and retentive learning. Sometimes
it goes further and covers information technology, human-computer interaction, human
performance technology and systematic analysis methods. An instructional designer is
thought to be a multi-skilled person knowledgeable in various disciplines, and responsible
for carrying out and coordinating the planned work. He has to be a multi-skilled person as
much as possible; however, if not, he could supply himself with the necessary knowledge
by the help of resources mainly the books on the subject matter3. However, it often
becomes difficult for the designer to decide on the right topics for the design and right
strategies to apply. In such a circumstance, the second choice might be forming a team
of experts from different disciplines to consult. Hence, they could share their expertise in
1) Gustafson, K. L. and Branch, R. M., Survey of instructional development models, third edition.
Syracuse, NY: ERIC Clearinghouse on Information and Technology, 1997.
2) Dick W., Carey L.& Carey J. O., The Systematic Design of Instruction, Addison-Wesley Educational
Publishers Inc., 2001; Morrison, G.R., Ross, S.M. & Kemp, J. E., Designing Effective Instruction,
John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2004; Smith, P.L., & Ragan, T.J., Instructional Design, New York:
Macmillan Publishing Company, 1993; Posner, G. J. & Rudnitsky, A. N. Course Design. New York:
Longman, 2001.
3) Curaoglu, O., Cakir, R., Baturay, H. M. & Kiraz, E., A Technology Supported Method Course: Based
on the Revision of Instructional Design Models. In C. Crawford et al. (Eds.), in the Proceedings of
Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference Chesapeake,
VA: AACE, pp. 1484-1490, 2006.

Characteristics of Basic Instructional Design Models

473

their fields with the designer. In fact, which alternative to apply first changes according
to the situation and the field.
As for the definition of instructional designer, he is the person who decides on the
practices guided by a theory or theories. According to Mager4, the instructional designers
job is to answer three major questions:
1. Where are we going? (What are the objectives of the instruction?)

2. How will we get there? (What are the instructional strategies and the instructional
medium?)
3. How will we know when we have arrived? (What should our tests look like? How
will we evaluate and revise the instructional materials?)

Therefore, the aim of a designer is to select the right alternative among many
theoretical perspectives leading to the best results. His responsibility is not deciding on
the subject matter as some people assume but choosing the right instructional strategies
backed up with the theories in order to apply the subject matter. However, one theoretical
perspective might not meet the needs of a designer, teacher or even a student. Just as a
class is full of mixed ability students with different mental abilities, learning habits and
intelligences, the route the designer follows should consist of various perspectives meeting
the needs of the learners and solving the instructional problem(s). Bonner emphasizes that
Instructional design undoubtedly will remain an eclectic practice that will draw from
cognitive psychology as well as other disciplines, and this selective variety will continue
to be viewed as strength.5 Besides, the individual differences among the learners may
require different strategies to be applied while designing the instruction.
The terms Instructional Design (ID) and Instructional Systems Design (ISD) could be
used interchangeably. The same holds for Instructional Development and Instructional
Systems Development; therefore, both can be used interchangeably. Kent Gustafson
points out this mixed use of terminology in many places within each version of his
Survey of Instructional Development Models6. For example, while Dick and Carey refer
to their model as Instructional Design7, Gustafson believes it should be categorized as an
Instructional Development model.
Instructional System Design indicates the overall plan and it is concerned with the
processes for any instruction regardless of the field. It works as a guide indicating how
to implement an instruction. Basically and simply the routine of the instructional design

4) Mager, R. Developing Attitude T


oward Learning.
Center for effective performance; 2nd edition,
1984.
5) Bonner, J. Implications for cognitive theory for instructional design: Revisited. Educational
Communication and Technology Journal 36(1), pp. 3-14, 1998.
6)
Gustafson, K. L. and Branch, R. M., Survey of instructional development models, third edition.
Syracuse, NY: ERIC Clearinghouse on Information and Technology, 1997.
7
)
Dick W., Carey L.& Carey J. O., The Systematic Design of Instruction, Addison-Wesley Educational
Publishers Inc., 2001.

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includes and follows the stages of analysis, design, development, implementation and
evaluation and shortly this model is called ADDIE. These are the common characteristics
found in almost all instructional design models.
The first step, which is called analysis, involves with analysis of the learners, setting
and the task; design begins with the determination of the objectives for the course and
follows with the decision on the right strategies and tactics to perform those objectives.
The choice is very much dependent on the analysis results carried out in the first stage.
Development is the period in which the materials that are used to carry out those strategies
are decided and/or developed. Sometimes there is a prototype testing step(s) in which
the appropriateness and effectiveness of the materials are tested. The implementation
part is concerned with the implementation of the tasks previously decided; however, this
stage might prevent one designer from going further due to the occurrence of probable
resistance to change. In such a situation, the designer figures out the problem by either
applying orientation or getting help from the experienced people or change agents. The
last step, evaluation, involves a summative evaluation besides formative evaluation,
which often appears in various stages of the model. Formative evaluation is carried out
to revise and make any necessary changes during the instructional process. Summative
evaluation, on the other hand, is the process of collecting data and information in order
to verify the effectiveness of the instructional material with the target learners and make
decisions about whether to maintain or adopt instruction. It is generally not a part of
instructional design process; it is an evaluation of the absolute and/or relative value of
the instruction and occurs only after the instruction has been formatively evaluated.
Preferably, it is carried out as a last stage in the models. In addition, it is often conducted
by an independent evaluator and does not involve the designer of the instruction so
that objectivity could be maintained in the evaluation and in the declaration of both the
strengths and weaknesses of the material.

To exemplify, supposing that, one has been called out to design the instructional
system of a large company to educate its employees, the first modification in his model
would probably be about the strategies in the design part. After analyzing the learners
and the setting, one would define the specific objectives of the instruction through the
perspectives of the learners or the organization. Later one would choose, one of the
strategies among, say, problem-based, project-based or cooperative learning to increase
the critical-thinking skills, cooperative working abilities and job performance of the
workers. Apart from this, the designer is likely to change the way he evaluates people, and
prepare his materials more authentic, to exemplify by using portfolios. Shortly, he would
adopt the strategies and tactics that will be more effective for those workers. Regarding
the model, one would probably add more formative evaluation steps in his model to check
the progress of the instructional process and to make changes if necessary.
Because the appearance of phenomenon instructional system design met the years
when Behaviorism was the common theory to be supported by the educational authorities,
the design system was greatly affected by the characteristics of Behaviorism and a step-

Characteristics of Basic Instructional Design Models

475

by-step approach which was called linearity became dominant on the design models. As
known, in a linear design, the output of one procedure becomes the input of the following
one. Today, some people claim that this systematic format of ISD models is too rigid and
mechanic with boxes and straight lines/arrows and behind the time which impede users
freedom and kindness in education. Furthermore, this approach to instructional design
is found to be anti-humanistic by some people as it disregards the fact that humanbeings are not like machines8; they have different needs and personalities and that the
process of instructing people is open to unexpected events which require modifications. It
is obvious that, there is no certainty if you are working on human beings. Regarding the
critiques about the models rigidness, some people suggested that it might be eradicated
by using curvilinear shape with oval boxes providing addressees with more choices.
Another criticism regarding ISD is concerned with the target people making use of these
models. It is claimed that these models might assist experienced teachers but not novice
or inexperienced ones since they need further explanations and guidance for their details.
That is, ISD models are too generic and simple to work for the complicated system of
instruction. Perhaps, the problem is not with the models but with the individuals who do
not know how to use them. Whether they are simple or too generic these models guide
people at least by indicating how to progress in the instructional process.
BASIC INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN MODELS
Branch and Gustafson state that in order to understand the fundamental concepts
of guided learning and its phenomenological, philosophical and theoretical origins one
may benefit from its instructional development model9. Instructional systems leading to
learning are usually presented with models and without a model; it is hard to envisage the
system completely. Namely, in order to prevent probable misses and misunderstandings
about the whole instructional system, the models are prepared. As Gustafson and Branch
state, The role of models in instructional development is: to provide us with conceptual
and communication tools that we can use to visualize, direct, and manage processes for
generating episodes of guided learning; to allow us to view both the linear and concurrent
aspects of instructional development; and to allow us to select or develop appropriate
operational tools.10 That is, an instructional model, which facilitates the comprehension
of the process, exhibits what exists in the mind of the designer in a schema.
ID Models are made up of either rectilinear rows of boxes connected by straight
lines with one way arrows or curvilinear ovals connected by curved lines with two-way
arrows concerning the complexity of the instructional development process. That is, the
8) Schiffman, Shirl S. Instructional Systems Design: Five views of the field. Chapter 11 in Gary Anglin
(Ed.). Instructional Technology: Past, Present, and Future. 2nd ed. Englewood, CO:Libraries
Unlimited., p. 135, 1995.
9) Branch, R. M. & Gustafson, K. L. Re-Visioning Models of Instructional Development, Educational
Technology Research and Development, 45(3), 7389. 1998.
10) Gustafson, K. L. and Branch, R. M. Survey of instructional development models, third edition.
Syracuse, NY: ERIC Clearinghouse on Information and Technology, p. 18, 1997.

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application of these models indicates some reality about their process and complexity.
Whether a model is linear or not, the use of the lines, boxes and arrows makes it more
comprehensible. It provides an addressee with a route to follow which is very valuable for
one while designing his own course or curriculum.

As aforementioned, due to the behaviorist affect, the models follow a rigid and
mechanistic route. This is an old habit, which was started in 1960s because of the affect
of military education. Concerning this, Reid claims that although the general task of
ISD models has remained stable for the past 10 to 15 years, the specific approaches and
methodologies applied within each step are still evolving11. The physical characteristic of
the models is still common today, however, with a difference since the designs have been
enriched with other theories of learning that evolved after behaviorism. Today, designs
involve more cognitively oriented approaches, higher order reasoning and problemsolving skills, which is similar to real life applications. Instructional system design is no
more defined together with the skills such as writing objectives and criterion measures
but it is viewed as a problem-solving process. Moreover, ISD is a project management
scheme rather than a step-by-step process for building instructional programs and these
models are not far from reality. Any project in real life such as remodeling your bathroom
would follow the model including analyze, design, develop and evaluate sequence that is
similar to instructional design12.
Dick and Carey, Kemp, Taylor, Smith and Ragan, to name a few, are some of the
creators of well-known ISD models. These models follow almost the same routine in
the ADDIE model; however there are some additional procedures or variations in their
order. Some models support the necessity of an evaluation stage (formative evaluation)
after each procedure some respected only summative evaluation and so on. The typical
differences among those models were generally based on the steps and their order.

Morrison, Ross and Kemps Model of Instructional Design


In this instructional model, the ID process usually starts with curriculum development at
the macro level, continues with course development at micro level and lesson development
at the nano-level. It has a flexible, dynamic and adaptive set of processes and procedures
and iterative cycles and follows a flow that begins from the center and moves to the outer
parts. However, an instructional designer has the flexibility of following the model from
the steps at which s/he wants and can skip the steps, which s/he has data already present
at hand. In fact this creates an authentic design for every instructional designer. With this
reality the model seems to have a non-linear procedure.

11) McCombs, B. L. The Instructional Systems Development (ISD) Model: A Review of Those Factors
Critical to Its Successful Implementation. ECTJ, Vol. 34 No:2, pp.67-81, 1986.
12) Zemke, R., & Rossett, A. A hard look at ISD. Training, 39(2), pp. 27-35., February, 2002.

Characteristics of Basic Instructional Design Models

477

Figure 1. Components of the instructional design plan.13


This model of instructional design underlies the following principles:
1. Identifying the instructional problems and specifying goals for designing the
instructional program.
2. Examining learner characteristics which will influence your instructional
decisions.
3. Identifying subject content and analyzing task components related to stated goals
and purposes.
4. Specifying instructional objectives for the learners.
5. Sequencing content within each instructional unit for logical learning.
6. Designing instructional strategies so that each learner can master the objectives.
7. Planning the instructional message and developing the instruction.
8. Developing evaluation instruments to assess objectives.
9. Selecting resources to support instruction and learning activities14.
13)
Morrison, G.R., Ross, S.M. & Kemp, J. E., Designing Effective Instruction, John Wiley and Sons,
Inc., p. 9, 2004.
14
)
Morrison, G.R., Ross, S.M. & Kemp, J. E., Designing Effective Instruction, John Wiley and Sons,
Inc., p. 7-8, 2004.

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As indicated, the model with its nine elements is an oval shaped model which
represents the flexibility. There might be cases in which all nine elements are not applied.
The oval shape of the model gives the designer the sense that the design and development
process is a continuous cycle which requires constant planning, design, development
and assessment to insure effective instruction. In addition to this, as previously stated,
there are not specific starting points. The model is systematic and nonlinear and seems to
encourage designers to work in all fields as appropriate. Individuals may progress through
the instructional process according to their preferences, starting with one element or
another and following whatever order they consider logical or suitable. This characteristic
of the model is its main characteristic, which discriminate it from the other models.
Moreover, besides formative (in process) and summative (after process) evaluation, there
is confirmative evaluation in the Kemps model. The evaluation step assesses the degree
to which instructional objectives are being achieved over an extended period after the
course. In fact, evaluation is not the last step in the model since developing and selecting
instructional resources is the last step of the model.
Morrison, Ross and Kemp think that ID is a continuous cycle and that revision is an on
going activity associated with all the other elements. Starting anywhere and proceeding at
any order are essentially a general system view of development wherein all elements are
interdependent, and in which stages might be performed independently or simultaneously
as required. They believe that there is hardly any perfect approach to solve an ID problem
by supporting the view that a design model must grow with the instructional designer.
Besides this, according to them there is no single best way to design an instruction.

Dick and Careys Design Model


The most striking characteristic of the model is that it is flexible enough to allow the
designer to start from any of the main steps in the model provided that the preceding
steps were met. This was also true for the Morrison, Ross and Kemps model. However,
the only constraint of the model appears in the step of writing instructional objectives.
The model compels the designer to perform an analysis and needs assessment before
writing the instructional objectives. In addition, each main step of the model except for
the analysis and needs assessment steps is linked to the formative evaluation with broken
lines which enables the designer go and evaluate each main step during the development
of instructional design and turn back if any revision or refinement is required.

Characteristics of Basic Instructional Design Models

479

Figure 2. The Dick and Carey systems approach model.15


Dick and Careys design model have the following steps:

1. Determining instructional goal: Thinking of what you want learners to be able to


do when they have completed the instruction.
2. Analyzing the instructional goal: A step-by-step determination of what people are
doing when they perform the goal and what entry behaviors are needed.
3. Analyzing the learners and the context in which the skills will be learned and the
context in which the skills will be used.
4. Writing performance objectives by emphasizing specific behavior skills to be
learned, the conditions under which they must be performed and the criteria for
successful performance.
5. Developing assessment instruments based on the objectives
6. Developing instructional strategy: Identifying a strategy to achieve the terminal
objective by emphasizing presentation of information, practice and feedback,
testing.
7. Developing and selecting instruction: Using the preferred strategy to produce
instructional materials.
8. Designing and conducting formative evaluation: Testing of instructional materials
in one-to-one, small groups or field evaluations so that the materials could be
evaluated with learners and could be revised prior to distribution.
9. Revising instruction: Data from the formative evaluation are summarized and
interpreted to attempt to identify difficulties experienced by learners in achieving
the objectives and to relate these difficulties to specific deficiencies in the
materials.
10. Summative evaluation: It is the independent evaluation to judge the worth of the
instruction16.

15) Dick W., Carey L.& Carey J. O., The Systematic Design of Instruction, Addison-Wesley Educational
Publishers Inc., p. 2-3, 2001.
16
)
Dick W., Carey L.& Carey J. O., The Systematic Design of Instruction, Addison-Wesley Educational
Publishers Inc., p. 6-8, 2001.

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The model tends to be more product-oriented than system-oriented. The model tends
to be applied in product development and it is more helpful to novice designers who are
likely to work alone.
Smith and Ragans Instructional Design Model
Smith and Ragans model reflects principles associated with: the systematic process,
problem solving orientation, learner centered instruction, goal oriented instruction,
instructional alignment, and theoretical and empirical foundations.
Smith and Ragans Instructional design model17 have three main parts and these parts
have the following stages;
1. Instructional analysis
Analyzing the learning context
Analyzing the learners
Analyzing the learning task
Writing test items.
2. Selecting Strategy
Determining organizational, delivery and management strategies
Writing and producing instruction
3. Developing Evaluation
Conducting formative evaluation
Conducting summative evaluation
4. Revising Instruction
During the instructional design process, the designer should complete three steps that
form the foundations of instructional design. As aforementioned those three steps and the
questions an instructional designer should ask himself at the stages are:
Analysis step. The question is where we are going
Strategy development step: The question is how we will get there
Evaluation step: The question is how well know when we are there
Analysis step consists of analyzing the learning context, analyzing the learner and
analyzing the learning task. After the analysis step, the strategy development step which
consists of determination of organizational strategies, delivery strategies and management
strategies come and the instruction is written and produced. With Smith and Ragans
words strategy is a set of decisions (organizational, delivery, and management) that result
in a plan, method, or series of activities aimed at obtaining a specific instructional goal.
The last step of the model is the evaluation step. In this step after evaluation of whether
were there with regard to the individual students learning, the instructional designer
goes back to previous steps to revise them. In the model, the function of the formative
evaluation is to revise instruction so as to make it as effective as possible for larger
number of students. The function of summative evaluation is to study the effectiveness
of the system as a whole.
17) Smith, P.L., & Ragan, T.J., Instructional Design, New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1993.

Characteristics of Basic Instructional Design Models

481

The steps in the Smith and Ragans systematic model follow each other in a linear
way. However, if required the designer is likely to make some changes in its order. To
exemplify, if the necessary information about the learners exist, analysis of the learners
step might be left out and the designer might go on with the next step. What is necessary is
that, there must be consistency among the determined objectives, instructional strategies
and evaluation methodologies. Namely, the presentation of information, learning activities
and evaluation should complement each other.
In Smith & Ragans Instructional design model, there is writing test items stage in the
analyzing part after writing objectives. According to Smith & Ragan, it is important that
the designers think about assessing learners performance before developing instructional
strategy. It is carried out to ensure that the items in the write test items step match
with the objectives. Thus, the objectives are considered while writing of each assessment
item. There are definite benefits of writing test items in the analysis step. These are;
the intentions of the objectives are fresh on the designers mind, if the designer cannot
write an item for the objective then s/he needs to revise the objective in some way so
that students performance on it can be measured and a good time to write test items
immediately after writing objective because it is easy.

Reprinted from Instructional design by Smith, P.L., &


Ragan, T.J., 1992.

Figure 3. Instructional design by Smith and Ragan.18

18) Smith, P.L., & Ragan, T.J., Instructional Design, New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1993.

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As a conclusion, Dick & Careys design model, Morrison, Ross and Kemps model
of instructional design and Smith & Ragans instructional design model have common
fundamental elements of instructional planning and design as learners, objectives and
evaluation. They are similar in their models elements to complete the instructional design.
However, there are some differences. Kemps model is flexible, that is, the designer can
start with whatever element s/he wants to without the completion of previous steps but the
designer cannot apply this in Dick & Careys and Smith & Ragans models. In the Smith
& Ragans model, there is a writing test item stage and in Dick & Carey model there is
a developing criterion test items stage at the very beginning of the designs. However, in
the Kemps model one cannot find such a stage. Stages are called with different names
at different steps in the models but their functions and their purposes are the same. On
the other hand, there is Posners course design model which is different from all above
instructional designs in that this model works like a guide that could be used as a manual
for course teachers and for only course development19.
Conclusion
As Gayeski states, there is design in any project20. Without design everything
may get more perplexing and it is obvious that there is a need of instructional design
in every instruction; however, the instructional models need some adjustments with
respect to the educational setting, learners and objectives of the instruction. That is
the steps of instructional design have been listed in a particular sequence as analysis,
design, development, implementation and evaluation; however, particular circumstances
may cause a designer to modify the sequence of design steps. Educators often prefer
applying or using ready-made ID models to designing their own models specific to their
conditions which is great mistake because the models developed for a specific place or
school do not work as presupposed since there needs to be always a change specific
to educational circumstances. This should not be ignored by the designers or by the
teachers. Furthermore, possible changes might arise in the process any time which have
not been estimated at the design of the process. And these changes may depend on some
psychological, sociological or even technological (media) facts, which require different
strategies. The design of any model should be prepared by keeping in mind the needs of the
educational organization and the addressees so that the individuals could be able to catch
the dynamism in real life. It is stated by Schiffman21 that whether at educational settings,
business, industrial, health related or military training, when instructional designers are
at work, they are translating theory-based instructional design into practice by juggling
many sources of information and skills in keeping with the addressees needs. It is an
important and sometimes exhausting job.
19
) Posner, G. J. & Rudnitsky, A. N., Course Design, New York: Longman, 2001.
20) Zemke, R., & Rossett, A. A hard look at ISD. Training, 39(2), pp. 27-35., February, 2002.
21)
Schiffman, Shirl S. Instructional Systems Design: Five views of the field. Chapter 11 in Gary
Anglin (Ed.). Instructional Technology: Past, Present, and Future. 2nd ed. Englewood, CO:Libraries
Unlimited., p. 142, 1995