Unit 1, Activity 2: Exploring Design Models

Instructional design has come a long way since its days of creating training programs during World War II (Dousay, 2017). Today, with the onset of COVID-19, instructional design continues to evolve and expand as education changes to suit new learning models (Alati, 2020). According to Thomas (2010), “an instructional design (ID) model provides procedural framework for the systematic production of instruction. It incorporates basic elements of the instructional design process, including analysis of the intended audience and determination of goals and objectives, and may be used in different contexts” (p.187).

My experience with instructional design has mostly been academic as I previously completed several instructional design courses through Mount Royal University, and most recently, I finished the Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design program here at Royal Roads. In my professional experience, I once had the opportunity to develop a course training plan and deliver classroom training when the regular designer/instructor was unavailable.

In retrospect, my approach to developing the training could have been approved by applying an instructional design model. I can’t plead ignorance as my team generally used a model called  The 6Ds: The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning. According to Samir (2016), “the 6Ds extend and complement traditional instructional design models like ADDIE” and was “specifically developed for corporate training [as] they place much greater emphasis on clarifying the business (not just the learning) objectives at the outset and measuring the business (not just the learning) outcomes at the end”.

While I likely didn’t use an instructional model due to a tight deadline at the time, I won’t discount that it could have been due to Thomas’ (2010) proposal that “instructional designers are faced with the challenge of facing learning situations to fit an instructional design/development model rather than selecting an appropriate model to fit the needs of varying learning situations” (p.184). With this in mind, as I prepare to enter a career in instructional design, I will need to learn how to develop a course based on the chosen model, while keeping in mind Thomas’ (2010) other suggestion that “the effectiveness of a model is heavily dependent on the context in which it is applied; instructional design methods are situational and not universal” (p.187).

When selecting future models, I will have to consider the factors proposed by Dousay (2017), including the delivery format and whether the training is synchronous online or face-to-face, asynchronous online, or a combination of both. Looking back, the training I previously developed was classroom based, and based on Dousay’s (2017) suggestions, could have benefited from one of these models: Gerlach and Ely, ASSURE, PIE, UbD, 4C/ID, or 3PD.



Alati, D. (2020, October 2). How Higher Learning Spaces Are Changing in the COVID-19 Era. Retrieved November 22, 2020, from https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/how-higher-learning-spaces-are-changing-in-the-covid-19-era

Dousay. T. A. (2017). Chapter 22. Instructional Design Models. In R. West (Ed.), Foundations of Learning and Instructional Design Technology (1st ed.). EdTech Books. https://edtechbooks.org/lidtfoundations.

Samir, R. (2016, February 2). The 6Ds® model. Retrieved November 22, 2020 from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/6ds-model-ramy-samir

Thomas, P. Y. (‎2010). Learning and instructional systems design. Towards developing a web-based blended learning environment at the University of Botswana. University of South Africa, Pretoria. http://uir.unisa.ac.za/bitstream/handle/10500/4245/04Chap%203_Learning%20and%20instructional%20systems%20design.pdf?sequence=5

2 thoughts to “Unit 1, Activity 2: Exploring Design Models”

  1. That’s a really great quote by Thomas (2010)!
    I too am often pressed for time when designing and delivering content for my courses and rather than stick closely to a particular design model. I use my instincts and common sense and it’s not until after I am done the course that I have a chance to reflect on the materials and their delivery to see how well it worked out. I suppose I at least have the E of ADDIE where you Evaluate the course so you can revise it for next time!

  2. In K-12, if you haven’t taught a course before, the first thing you do is talk to someone who has. There is so much sharing that goes on; and, for that, I am grateful. For me, at the end of teaching the course for the first time, my work begins. After three tries, I finally feel good about the final product. So yes, the evaluation is the most important phase of design.

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