Establishes a clear problem and/or opportunity and justifies the design decision and development of materials and or processes

as an appropriate strategy to solve the problem or take advantage of the opportunity. Justifies and defends design decisions based on established models and/or project-based contextual factors that dictate the need to not follow a prescribed model. During my studies, I have had the opportunity to use a number of design and development models. Some models are systems based, such the MRK or Dick and Carey model, while others are best used only in certain situations, such as the NTeQ model for technology integration or the Planes model for end-user experience design.

One instructional design model that I have become familiar with is the Morrison, Ross, and Kemper (MRK) model. Looking at the picture below, we can see that the MRK model is very different from traditional systems models.

Instead of a flow chart, we are presented with a set of circles and bubbles. This graphic representation of the model illustrates it flexibility. Notice that there are no lines connecting each phase, meaning the designer is free to complete the phases in the order that makes the most sense for each individual project. This reflects the true nature of the design process. For example, I have had to go back and re-write learning objectives when developing assessment strategies to bring them more in alignment. With a traditional linear model, this would be discouraged. I find this heuristic approach to be very exciting, although it can at times be disconcerting attempting to view a large project in this fashion. When working on a large design project, I will often divide it into sections, which can sometimes be

counter-productive with the MKR model. However, understanding the interrelationship of each phase of the process, which the MKR model excels at, enables one to create a more coherent design than otherwise possible. I created this instructional design documentation packet in Dr. Knowlton's IT 510 class working with the MRK model. The actual instruction may be found here. The content I chose to use for working with this model was candle making. This model worked well in this case because it required me to develop generative strategies, which would help the learner formulate and carry out their own design decisions in making their candles. The instruction contained both behaviorist goals requiring the learner to demonstrate specific skills like molding the wax, as well as cognitive goal requiring the learner to remunerate on the candle making process and justify their design decisions. The MRK model is perfect for providing a coherent framework for a variety of learning objectives and the instruction was successful in teaching a novice how to create candles.

One model that takes a different approach than the MRK model and is also very popular in the industry is the Dick and Carey model (1990). This model is very linear in its layout, although it does have some feedback loops built into it, directing the designer to revise their instruction at each point in the model. Looking closely at Figure 2 below, one can clearly see that it is derived from another I will discuss later, ADDIE (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, Evaluate).

It has all of the same features as ADDIE, but then adds more or divides them into separate steps. While ADDIE would have the designer simply Analyze, the Dick and Carey model requires the designer to conduct an instructional analysis and identify entry behaviors and learner characteristics. From there the designer would develop objectives and assessments, and then finally move on to crafting the individual lessons. This latter portion, as denoted in the graph, is labeled Micro Instructional Design. The model is also behaviorist in thought, as opposed to the MRK model which works quite nicely with either behaviorism or cognitivism. Although I have not had the opportunity to use the Dick and Carey model in this program, thanks to the direction of Dr. Knowlton I have spent considerable time learning its nuances because it is a very prominent model in the industry. Another model I have grown fond of is Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction (1992). Although there are several steps to remember, I find it to be a very straightforward yet elegant model. This model, see below, can be divided into

three distinct phases. The first phase, called the pre-instructional phase, is meant to "whet the appetite" of the learner. This can be done through using instructional strategies such as setting up cognitive dissonance within the learner, or posing what may seem to be an intractable dilemma . The second stage, the instructional phase, is where the bulk of the designers effort will be spent. Finally, we have the post-instructional phase where the designer will devise mechanisms evaluate learner performance and instruction effectiveness.

I have had a great deal of experience with the Gagne model, although I was not aware of it. Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction forms the basis of U.S. military training, and as an Army veteran I received and delivered instruction based on Gagne's approach. I can personally attest to its effectiveness because even though I left the Army seven years ago, I can still perform most, if not all, of the basic soldier tasks. The problem I see with the Gagne model is that it will not work well

when designing large instructional units. Instead, I see the model being best used when developing individual lessons. In other words, I think of Gagne's model as a micro-model that can fit nicely into a larger systems design framework.

The NTeQ model developed by Morrison and Lowther (2011) also takes a more linear approach to the design process. What I particularly like about this model is that although it assumes the inclusion of computers to aid in learning, it goes to great lengths to ensure that not only do the computers serve a legitimate learning purpose, but that each lesson is student centered.

Notice that in this graphic each stage of the process is represented as a puzzle piece. This illustrates the idea that if the designer takes the time to properly use the model and develop appropriate activities, the sum effect of the resulting unit will be greater than its constituent parts. The NTeQ model is designed to be used for K-12 school teachers, however keeping these general principles in mind can be beneficial in any instructional design context. I created thissample unit in Dr. Thomeczek's IT 481 class. The

purpose of the unit was to help student's utilize computer resources to learn more about local history. The NTeQ model is perfectly suited to this type of instruction because it forces the designer to make clear decisions about what the learners will be using the computers for exactly, as well as supporting activities before and after the lesson. Because this model is best suited for a situation when technology integration is required, I consider it to be a micro-model along with Gagne's. Another micro-model that is also technology based is the Planes model from Garrett (2003). This model was developed to give a graphical representation to what user-experience design (UXD) should strive for. The model consists of a series of planes, beginning with the user needs and the sites objectives, or the Strategy plane as Garrett calls it, and progressing through to the Surface plane, which is what the user will see. Each plane in the model represents a series of decisions that the designer has to make, such as what will the information architecture look like, how will the interface function and so on.

I used the principles of this model when developing a website for a local charter school that will soon be opening. In the case of the website, I worked with the client to get a good idea on the overall look and feel of the site, and then I had to develop it based on what I thought would be of most use to the user. In this case, I made the site very simple to use with a very straightforward architecture. I did this because I felt that the audience for this site would be the parents of inner city school children and their familiarity with computers and technology could not

be assumed.

The last micro-model I would like to talk about is the ARCS (Attention, Relevance,Competence, Satisfaction) model developed by Keller (1987). This model is meant to help the designer address the motivational needs of the learner. Each phase of the model requires the designer to ask certain questions. For example, for Attention the designer will have to address how to capture the learners attention and how to create an inquiry arousal. For Satisfaction the designer must devise opportunities for the learners to use the new skill or knowledge, and to foster a positive feeling about the learning accomplishment. Answering these questions, and others derived from the model, will help the designer "get the students to give the time and intensity of effort necessary in order to learn the required knowledge and skills" (Gagne, 1992, p. 117). ADDIE (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, Evaluate) , although sometimes criticized for being too general to be of any real use, does have a place in the repertoire of the designer. What others may find it vague and general, I consider it flexible, meaning that at the least it provides a solid starting point, regardless of the project or content. This has real value for the designer because one can start addressing each component of the design process before finally settling on another model that will may be better suited to the task at hand. This project management plan was developed for Dr. Nelson's IT 530 class using the ADDIE model. Although it may be vague and slightly nebulous, ADDIE was the perfect model in this instance because the project was operating at a macro level. The problem in this case that ADDIE so perfectly met was that there was a variety of design processes occurring simultaneously, such as graphic and sound production, and web design. This meant that ADDIE could function as a project

management tool and life-cycle model, while other design models would function beneath it to carry out the individual content development. Because I am interested in eventually working for the Army as civilian in their Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), I did some research to learn more about what model they use. TRADOC uses ADDIE, not as a model, but as a philosophy. In their Systems Approach to Training white paper, they note that most, if not all, instructional design models are simply elaborations on ADDIE. The Figure 6 below illustrates how the Army views the instructional design process.

The instructional designers of the Army recognize that this is very vague and aknowledge that the graphic is a simplification of the process. In the following picture from their instructional development technical manual, we can see that they outline the procedures that ADDIE only implies.

I recently had a job interview for an instructional design internship at the Technical Training Center at Anheuser Busch. During the interview, the manager asked me what models I am familiar with and I began to recount some of the models I have

worked with so far. I ended my response with "...and then of course there's ADDIE." The manager smiled and said "Yep, that's what we use here." Based on my conversations with others in the field, the use of ADDIE is common and having a solid understanding of it will serve me well. During the spring 2011 symposium, Dr. Nelson asked a very interesting question: "what exactly is a model?" This simple question is very thought provoking. My answer would be that a model serves as a tangible representation of a thought process. While the instructional designer may develop their own personal model and internalize it, the more popular and well known models act as commonality, a lingua franca of instructional design. Most of the models I have seen share common traits, such as know the learners, develop objectives, design well thought out instructional strategies, and devise a method of assessment. In other words, most instructional design models seem to be outgrowths and refinements of ADDIE and any model will work if applied appropriately. By appropriately, I mean that the designer must choose a model that best fits the design project at hand, rather than trying to fit every project into a pre-determined model.


Altalib, S. (2011), Instructional design and development theme. Retrieved from ComTek (2000), Systems approach to training process study. Florida State University.

Dick, W. & Cary, L. (1990), The systematic design of instruction (3rd Ed.) Harper Collins

Gagne, R., Briggs, L. & Wager, W. (1992). Principles of instructional design (4th Ed.). Fort Worth, TX: HBJ College Publishers.

Garrett, J. (2003). The elements of user experience: user-centered design for the web. New York, NY: American Institute of Graphic Arts. Hanley, M. (2009). Discovering instructional design 11: The Kemp model. Retrieved from

Keller, J.M. (1987). The systematic process of motivational design. Performance and instruction, 26(9), 1-8.

Morrison, G., Kalman, H., Kemp, J., & Ross, S., (2011). Designing effective instruction. (6th Ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley and Sons.

Morrison, G. L., Lowther, D. L., (2011). Integrating computer technology into the

classroom (4th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill, Prentice Hal Spaulding, M. (2011). NTeQ. Retrieved from (TRADOC),U. S. A. T. A. D. C. (1999). Systems approach to training management, processes, and products. Fort Monroe: Department of the Army. UNT Health Science Center, Center for Learning and Development. (2011). Course design teaching strategies. Retrieved from

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