Instructional Design

The 10 Principles of Merrill+ Model

Margaryan and Collins added five additional principles to Merill’s First Principles to create Merrill+ Model which builds on Merrill’s philosophy and synthesizes contemporary instructional theories and practices (2014).

Learning is promoted…

Problem Centered Learning: …when learners are engaged in solving real-world problems

Activation: …when learners activate existing knowledge, experience or a skill set as a foundation for creating new knowledge and/or skills.

Demonstration: …when learners observe a demonstration [that includes learning of new knowledge via a primary resource] of the skill [knowledge] to be learned.

Application: …when learners apply their new knowledge or skill through discussion, written work, or creation of an artifact to solve a problem.

Integration: …when new knowledge is integrated and into the learner’s context

Collective knowledge: …when learners contribute to the collective knowledge of a subject or topic

Collaboration: …when learners collaborate with others to expand knowledge of individuals and a community of practice

Differentiation: …when learners are provided with different avenues of learning, according to their need, e.g. scaffolding

Authentic resources: …when quality learning resources are curated from and applicable to real world problems

Feedback: …when learners are given expert feedback on their performance

Instructional Design Models

ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation). Utilizing the ADDIE phases in a systematic manner could lead to efficiency and cost effectiveness in the design and development of an effective formal training solution.

SAM (Successive Approximation Model). Created by Allen Interactions, SAM has emerged as an alternative to ADDIE, especially when doing e-learning solutions to drive performance improvement.

Context, Challenge, Activity, Feedback (CCAF) Model:

Context: The framework and conditions. What is the general context for the task? (e.g., where does it come in the workflow, what is the purpose, and how often is it used?) What is the emotional context for the task? (e.g., is the learner going to be under pressure or stress when they using the knowledge? Are they going to be bored, or disrupted?) What are the triggers that alert the learner that they will need to retrieve and use this knowledge? What’s happening in their environment to let them know they need to do something? What is the physical context? Where are they, what objects are around them, and what or who are they interacting with?

Challenge: A stimulus to action within the context. What is an appropriate real-world challenge or accomplishment that the learner would do?

Activity: A physical response to the challenge.

Feedback: A reflection of the effectiveness of the learner’s action.

Effective Learning Methods

  • Worked examples – Helps people gain expertise more quickly by learning from the expertise of others. (source 1) (source 2)

  • Case Studies – Learners need to answer questions that require deep processing of the problem state and the solution steps. (source)

  • Realistic practice & Feedback – Practice is where we apply what we are learning. It’s where people make it meaningful and take it from what to how. Realistic practice makes learning easier to remember and apply for the job. Feedback supplies information about needed changes. (source)

  • Contextually-meaningful scenarios

  • Spaced repetitions

  • Interleaving – practicing or learning different skills in quick succession. It would be preferable to see interleaved examples of hawks and falcons (HFHFHFHF) rather than several examples of hawks (HHHH) followed by several examples of falcons (FFFF; Eglinton & Kang, 2017). The latter would be called a ‘blocked sequence’. (source) (source)

  • Experiential methods (scenarios or case studies) can be quite effective for understanding and application levels. But literally hundreds of research studies show that more direct methods (lessons, lectures, tests) are more effective for creating foundational building blocks of knowledge. (source)

  • Breaking content into logical segments makes the information easier to process, learn, and remember. (source)

  • Effective Study Habits

  • Tests & Questions

  • Desirable Difficulties – short-term pains can lead to long-term gains in learning. Spacing, interleaving, and retrieval are considered desirable difficulties because their challenging nature improves learning. (source)

  • Think, Pair, Share. (source)

Cognitive Load Theory

CLT assumes that the human information processing system is characterised by

  1. Limited working-memory capacity

  2. Unlimited long-term memory capacity (long-term memory consists of a vast number of hierarchically organised schemata)

  3. Automatic processing (after being sufficiently practiced, schemata can operate under automatic processing and therefore require no or minimal working memory resources).

Learning Styles

The three primary learning styles are:

Visual. Tend to learn by looking, seeing, viewing, and watching. Visual learners need to see an instructor’s facial expressions and body language to fully understand the content of a lesson.

Auditory. Tend to learn by listening, hearing, and speaking. Auditory learners learn best through lectures, discussions, and brainstorming. They interpret the underlying meaning of speech by listening to voice tone, pitch, and speed and other speech nuances. Written information has little meaning to them until they hear it.

Kinesthetic. Tend to learn by experiencing, moving, and doing. Kinesthetic learners learn best through a hands-on approach and actively exploring the physical world around them. They have difficulty sitting still for long periods of time, and easily become distracted by their need for activity and exploration.

Evaluation Types