Instructional Design

Instructional Design is the practice of creating "instructional experiences which make the acquisition of knowledge and skill more efficient, effective, and appealing."

Instructional Design

Instructional designers often use instructional technology or educational technology as tools for developing instruction. Instructional design models typically specify a method, that if followed will facilitate the transfer of knowledge, skills and attitude to the recipient or acquirer of the instruction. Obviously paying attention to "best practices", and innovative teaching methods will make any instructional design model more effective.

Many instructional designers, in an attempt to make content simple, take out information. Unfortunately, this leaves learners wondering, "Why the heck am I learning this?" The solution isn't to take away content, but to present it an a simpler way. This is the art of good instructional design. When deciding what to leave out, it is essential to consider what content, when removed, will not harm the backbone of the learning.


          The instructional design 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 (process of teaching) and andragogically (adult learning) 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. 


Richard Culatta identifies 3 major challenges with our current approach to education and suggests how a shift to personalized learning is the key to the future of education in America. To make this shift, we must close the digital divide between those who can leverage technology to reimagine learning and those who simply use technology to digitize the status quo.

 A teacher by training and innovator by inclination, Richard Culatta works to leverage technology to reinvent learning.


Instructional Technology

          Effective use of educational technology is vital to solving many of our current educational challenges. The Innovative Learning website provides resources to help teachers learn about educational technology tools that can improve teaching and learning.

           While effective learning should be the driving force behind technology integration, it is important to keep up with technology advances in order to recognize potential solutions. Tools are abundant, but we must be able to recognize how to leverage their capabilities (or afforddances) in order to improve the learning experience.


Instructional Design Models

The following is a list of prescriptive instructional design models. Prescriptive models provide guidelines or frameworks to organize and structure the process of creating instructional activities. These models can be used to guide your approach to the art or science (your choice) of instructional design. The following are commonly accepted prescriptive design models:

    • 4C-ID Model (Jeroen van Merriënboer)
    • Algo-Heuristic Theory (Lev Landa)
    • ADDIE Model
    • ARCS (John Keller)
    • ASSURE (Heinich, Molenda, Russel, and Smaldino)
    • Backward Design (Wiggins & McTighe)
    • Conditions of Learning (Robert Gagne)
    • Component Display Theory (David Merrill)
    • Criterion Referenced Instruction (Robert Mager)
    • Dick and Carey
    • Elaboration Theory
    • Gerlach-Ely Model
    • Hannafin-Peck Model
    • Kirk and Gustafson Model
    • Integrative Learning Design Framework for Online Learning (Debbaugh)
    • Iterative Design
    • Spiral Model (Boehm)
    • Rapid Prototyping (Tripp & Bichelmeyer)
    • Kemp Design Model (Morrison, Ross, and Kemp)
    • Organizational Elements Model (OEM) (Roger Kaufman)
    • Transactional Distance (Michael Moore)
    • Cognitive Apprenticeship
    • Discovery Learning
    • Empathic instructional design
    • Goal-based scenarios


Teaching and Learning

          The value of teaching creativity is often overlooked. In this talk, Sir Ken Robinson makes a profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures creativity, rather than undermining it.

          Learning theories come from the study of educational psychology and attempt to describe how people learn. With a learning theory as a foundation, instruction can be structured around making learning most effective. There are several commonly excepted categories of learning theories: Behaviorist Models , Cognitivist Models and Constructivist Models.

For more details about Learning Theories, Learning Domains and Learning Concepts


Reference resource

  • is designed to provide information about instructional design principles and how they relate to teaching and learning. Instructional design, also know as instructional systems design, is the analysis of learning needs and systematic development of instruction.

  • is developed by Richard Culatta with contributions from learning leaders in k-12, higher ed, and corporate learning environments. The site focuses on best practices for teaching and learning as well as technology integration. The concepts on the site are built on the foundation that in order to have effective learning - online learning or in the classroom - it is as important to connect learners with other learners as it is to connect learners with quality content.