Design Models: A Reflective Journey

Throughout the reading within this program, I have seen a pattern of design model framework acting as a blueprint to bridge the models from theoretical concepts to real-world applications.

Among these models, the ADDIE framework is the most popular as a structured instructional design approach. As mentioned in Instructional Design Models by Tonia A. Dousay, “The ADDIE paradigm is fundamental to most models, with appropriate evaluation of each step implied. [Jon Anderle, University of Wyoming]”

It navigates Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation—a comprehensive pathway to ensure effective learning programs. Each phase, from identifying the needs to evaluating outcomes, contributes to well-designed, adaptable learning solutions.

Diversity defines design models. From Design Thinking to the precision of the Waterfall model, each offers unique viewpoints and methods. Choosing the suitable model is akin to picking the perfect tool, so one must understand its complexities before application.

Selecting a model goes beyond apparent application and is about aligning strengths with project needs. Agile methods excel in adaptability, while the Waterfall model ensures control and predictability; the crux lies in understanding the underlying principles.

Using a combination of diverse theories and practices approach is an excellent way to ensure the models you are using will be successful when moving from theoretical to real-world

No single model is an answer; adaptability and innovation define success.

I look forward to understanding more in our reading about the fields of instructional design (ID) and learning design (LD) and the models and hopefully get a better understanding of what I personally find the best model for my way of taking a theoretical concept and creating it into a real-world application. Is there a pattern that works for me? Do I pick and choose for every theoretical concept I face?

It is a journey of discovery toward finding the perfect match for design models.


Dousay, T. A. (2018). Instructional Design Models. In EdTech Books.

Lina Heaster-Ekholm, K. (2020). Popular instructional design models: Their theoretical roots and cultural considerations. International Journal of Education and Development Using Information and Communication Technology (IJEDICT), 16(3), 50–65.

Parchoma, G., Koole, M., Morrison, D., Nelson, D., & Dreaver-Charles, K. (2019). Designing for learning in the Yellow House: a comparison of instructional and learning design origins and practices. Higher Education Research & Development, 39(5), 997–1012.

One thought to “Design Models: A Reflective Journey”

  1. Hi Radhika,

    Thank you for your post. We like that you see the design models and frameworks as a blueprint to help transition theoretical concepts to real world applications. You comment that the phases of ADDIE framework contribute to a well-designed adaptable learning solution, we are wondering if you think ADDIE is enough to create that learning solution? If not, what other models might you need to create your desired outcome?

    You make another good point that selecting models is about aligning the strength of the model with the project you are working on, going on to point out that “no single model is the answer”. We agree wholeheartedly, while you may find overtime that you utilize particular frameworks more often there will likely always be opportunities to bring in something new. That said, are any of these models of particular value for creating a learning experience or are they all about moving from theory to application?

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