Thoughts on Selecting a Design Model

LRNT524 Activity 2

This activity begins by considering three questions:
What are some things to consider when selecting a design model?
2. How do you make design decisions? What role do design models and innovation play in this process?
3. Are there any design models have you found especially useful when making design decisions?

To answer these questions, I will use a scenario based on the needs of students in the K-12 system. In reality, the choice of design in this system is limited, as there are parameters set out for educators outlining expectations and outcomes that must be adhered to, for example, the curriculum.

In this hypothetical scenario, I consider what I am responsible for and to whom. I analyze the hand I am dealt: the grade(s) and subjects to be taught, and review the curriculum to reassess long range plans. These plans become an anchor for design, but they are not fixed. Long range plans set out the curriculum expectations to be met, but how they are met is fluid and dependent on the accruement of specific skills for a digital age (Bates, 2015) which are embedded in routines and activities from the start of the year. Based on culturally relevant and reflective pedagogy, students engage in learning that melds with their environments: the classroom at the start of the year is a literal blank slate. How the walls are filled and with what, is up to the group. Every decision from a history timeline to what is included on it, are made as a unit. One challenge to this scenario is that this co-created space must also exist virtually. Once, planning and preparing for this learning environment would have been solely for face-to-face, or in-person learning. Post-pandemic, this space requires the addition of online considerations such as a virtual classroom and digital tools. Designing for a digital classroom with this type of transformational learner experience (Veletsianos, 2011) would require an AGILE instructional design model to work within the pre-existing ADDIE model developed by the school board. According to Gawlik-Kobylinska (2018) AGILE stands for Align, Get set, Iterate and implement, Leverage and Evaluate. Incorporating these two design models will allow students to demonstrate their innovativeness in this space. Students would share their prior knowledge of digital platforms and tools to contribute in meaningful ways.

Of course, all of this depends on my flexibility, confidence in subject matter, and openness, which to be honest sounds exhausting!


Bates, A. W. (2015). 4.7 ‘agile’ design: Flexible designs for learning. Teaching in a Digital Age. Vancouver, BC: Tony Bates Associates Ltd. Retrieved from

Gawlik-Kobylinska, M. (2018). Reconciling ADDIE and Agile instructional design models – Case study. New Trends and Issues Proceedings on Humanities and Social Sciences, 5(3), 14–21.

Veletsianos, G. (2011). Designing opportunities for transformation with emerging technologies. Educational Technology, 51(2), 41-46.

3 thoughts on “Thoughts on Selecting a Design Model”

  1. Hi Angela,

    This is a great post, and it sounds like we are having a similar experience as we dig into instructional design models! I appreciate how you described a new classroom as a space to be filled as learners and the teacher build connections and create knowledge together. Being that the digital tools teachers and students use are generally decided at a board level, and not by the classroom teacher, I have been pondering the idea of innovation in K-12 settings. To what extent can teachers be innovative when, as you say, “the choice of design in this system is limited, as there are parameters set out for educators outlining expectations and outcomes that must be adhered to”?

    I would be curious to hear your thoughts!


  2. Thanks for this Angela! I’m learning so much about how K-12 works from all my teacher colleagues here!

    I’m curious about how you change your lessons when you have the same curriculum and grade, but a different class, for a second, third, or more time. Many models discuss how evaluation and adjustments/amendments are made after a course/lesson is delivered. There are a number of different models that call for evaluation and change (e.g. ADDIE or Agile) and you mentioned that the school board already has an ADDIE outline for you. How does evaluation and change go in your work? Or do you start from scratch each time?

  3. Hi, Angela,

    Thanks for setting the stage with your hypothetical scenario, this is a good approach to a mini reflection as storytelling can be so powerful. The actual story we write when designing in real life is guided and structured, and as you point out, “is limited, as there are parameters set out for educators outlining expectations and outcomes that must be adhered to, for example, the curriculum”. We are curious, how does applying AGILE and ADDIE impact these limitations? Or do they?

    As you have indicated, the thought of designing for learning with the considerations of endless complexities “sounds exhausting”, and it can be, so how do “flexibility, confidence in subject matter, and openness”, impact your design approaches?

    Lisa & Leeann

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