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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Instructional Design Models

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If you have interacted with anyone on the Academic Technology Services team, you have probably heard us use the words "Bloom's Taxonomy" when referring to writing learning objectives or outcomes.  But what does that mean exactly?  What models or methods do instructional designers use when designing certificates, courses, or instruction?  These four models will give you a brief visual overview of some of the instructional models you can use to build your courses.  If you want to know more about these models or one not listed here, please contact one of the instructional designers.


Merrill's First Principles of Instruction

David Merrill's First Principles of Instruction are a set of interrelated principles that can be applied to instruction in order to increase student learning gains.  Merrill's Principles are considered task-centered instruction that uses real-world problem solving as the vehicle for information processing.  The First Principles can be applied regardless of which learning theory the instructor subscribes to.  While the First Principles share features with Problem-based Learning, there are methodological differences between the two. 



ADDIE stands for Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation which are the five phases of this linear instructional systems design model.  The idea is to complete each phase before progressing to the next.  There are several identified drawbacks of this model that have led to significant improvement including thinking of the model as circular, rather than linear.


Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction

In 1965, Robert Gagne published his Nine Events of Instruction that identified the mental conditions needed for learning based on an information processing model.  Gagne's Nine Events are closely tied to Behaviorist principles of learning and focus on the outcomes of training and instruction.  Used in combination with Bloom's Taxonomy, Gagne's Nine Events can lead to engaging and meaningful instruction.


Bloom's Taxonomy

Benjamin Bloom published his Taxonomy of Educational Objectives in 1956 which classified different objectives for students into three domains: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor.  When designers refer to "Bloom's" they are generally referring to the Cognitive domain.  In the 1990's Anderson and Krathwohl revised the Taxonomy to reflect verb forms of the taxonomy words and they reorganized and renamed some of the categories.  In order to represent the needs of the digital learner, Andrew Churches created a Digital Taxonomy based on the Bloom's Revised Categories.