Dick, Carey, Carey ISD Model

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Continuing with our IDT 7095/8095: Developing Interactive Learning Environments II course, we are exploring different instructional design models. We first started with the classification scheme by Branch and Gustafson in a short overview created by Suha Tamim.  Then we examined some of the seminal instructional design texts.  This module gave us a feel for the variety of different types of instructional models that exist.

Part 3: Selected ID Models

Now onto Part 3. First, view the interactive module on selected ID models. This interactive module was created by graduate student Suha Tamim. In this section, we’ll take a look at a number of selected instructional design models specifically.  We’ll examine the characteristics of these models, the authors, and the orientation as according to Branch and Gustafson.

In a few cases of the different models, we’ll hear from the authors themselves about areas of instructional design. In “voices from the field,” we’ll hear from Drs. Sharon Smaldino, Gary Morrison, and Rob Branch. I contacted each of these professors a couple of years ago about their models and what instructional designers should remember as a result of implementing the ID process.  Their quotes are embedded throughout the interactive module.

Second, after having review the interactive module on selected ID models, you should consider the following:

One way or another, you have been involved in the instructional design process  through the course of your IDT studies, through your role as student, a teacher, or as an instructional designer already at work.  Do you see any parallel between your experiences and the classification of Branch and Gustafson?

Would these characteristics be different between online and face-to-face instruction? also between instructor-led and stand alone instruction?

Post your response in the comments below.

Image from http://instructionaldesign.org/books.htmlA couple of days ago, our IDT 7095/8095: Developing Interactive Learning Environments II course began exploring different instructional design models. We first started with the classification scheme by Branch and Gustafson in a short overview created by Suha Tamim.

Part 2: Instructional Design Texts

First, view this interactive module on seminal instructional design texts.  This module was created by graduate student Suha Tamim.  This module will give you a feel for the variety of different types of instructional models that exist, as well as provide you with the references for these models … just in case you find one that really resonates with you.

If you have not developed in or viewed any instructional units with Articulate, then you may want to view this quick overview tutorial created by Suha Tamim, a doctoral student at The University of Memphis.  This short tutorial will highlight some of the navigation features of the Articulate player and how it will be used in this instructional design models unit.

Second, after having reviewed the interactive module on seminal instructional design texts, consider this question:

This selection of books contains at least two books that you have used so far. Briefly, reflect on the approaches taken in each book with respect to the ease of use of the model as guide for developing instruction.

If you have used or read other books on Instructional Design, please share their titles with the class as well as your opinion about them. What resonated with you about these texts.

Post your response in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Lars Plougmann at http://www.flickr.com/photos/criminalintent/5403052781/sizes/l/in/photostream/After coming to the US for higher education, I have taken several online courses toward completion of my Masters Degree, and I am taking some as I pursue my doctoral degree. I also design online courses for faculty members, and I think I have an insight of judging an online/web based course from three different perspectives – a student, faculty, and designer.

Though there are many things that I question when designing web based instruction, below are three areas which I think require attention.

Learning Environment

The learning environment in WBI should be carefully designed. Andrew Houle, in his blog, 4 Principles Good Design discusses the application of principles of proximity, contrast, repetition and alignment in context of building cleaner and attractive websites. I think these principles are equally relevant when designing web-based instruction/Online learning/elearning.  Applications of these principles become limited under a course management system. But still, for example, by using lowercase and uppercase letters we can create contrast which can distinguish one section from its subsection and thus create a visual hierarchy. Again, by grouping reading/assignments/PowerPoints or additional materials related to an objective together we can chunk content for better understanding and thus create a visual unit. Following a certain pattern (repetition) to organize content will provide consistency.  A consistent layout, easy and clear navigation, logically chunked information can reduce the extraneous cognitive load in web based instruction. Concise but clear instructions on the policies and procedures and schedule of the course help the students to focus on the more important aspect of the course – the learning content.


Anderson (2003) has mentioned 6 forms of interactions of which “teacher-student, student-student, and student-content interactions” are important to me. Kristy in her blog post in points 2, 3 and 4 has appropriately described the importance of teacher-student, student-student, and student-content interactions respectively. I also came across this video on “The visions of students today” in Dr. Grant’s tweets. Students of this digital age are no more satisfied with passive learning and prefer to learn by exploring. If the students being amidst hundreds of other students feel the way they do in the video, then it is high time that we think of the students who take courses detached from rest of the live world, sitting in front of a computer screen. Based on the nature of the content and the vast availability of technology/multimedia, there is a need to create unique ways to present the information that would help grab the attention of the learners, instead of just asking the students to go through a bunch of bulleted PowerPoints notes. Tom Kuhlmann, in his rapid e-learning blog, discusses ten rules to create engaging elearning. Also, as learning comes from experience, practice, conversations and reflection; creating authentic, engaging and interactive assessments, keeping in perspective how adults learn would help the learners to demonstrate their learning. Stan, in his blog what motivates adults to learn aptly mentions success, volition, value, and enjoyment as four key conditions of learning activities to keep adults motivated to learn. Seven principles for technology supported learning can be followed when designing instruction for undergraduate students.

Technical Requirements & Support

Amidst all the available sophisticated educational software and the wish to make our instruction engaging and attractive, we often tend to get distracted from our original goals and objectives of instruction. Instruction should be designed keeping in mind the audience’s technical accessibility and adeptness. In the debate of pros and cons of web based instruction where I found constant access of the online courses as an advantage, undependable technology or technological failures is reported as a disadvantage. It is also mentioned that not all students have access to computers or high speed internet at home and may have to rely on technology at school or other public places. Hence, care should be taken that the instruction is such designed that it loads quickly, is compatible with different browsers and all the links work. If any assignment requires the use of advanced technology (for example, podcasts or exercises using software’s not ordinarily used), then appropriate support for technological help must be provided (may be via help desk or tutorials).  If any part of the course requires authorizations or logins, accurate access information must be provided. Back up plans should be arranged in event of technological failures. Though technology is inevitable and is an important part of our education, it is not about technology, it is about learning. Keeping it simple is the charm for good web based instruction.


Anderson, T. (2003). Modes of interaction in distance education: Recent developments and research questions. Handbook of distance education, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Publishers, New Jersey.

Conger, K. (2011). If you are creating instruction for the web, you better be doing these 4 things. Retrieved from http://viral-notebook.com/blog/2010/02/26/if-you%E2%80%99re-creating-instruction-for-the-web-you-better-be-doing-these-4-things/

Gaytan. J (2007). Visions shaping the future of online education: Understanding its Historical Evolution, Implications, and Assumptions. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, X (II). Retrieved from: http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/summer102/gaytan102.htm

Houle, A. (2010). Four principles of good design for websites. Retrieved from http://www.myinkblog.com/2009/03/21/4-principles-of-good-design-for-websites/

Jennings, C. (2011). ID- Instructional Design or Interactivity Design in interconnected world? Retrieved from http://charles-jennings.blogspot.com/2010/05/id-instructional-design-or.html

Kulhmann, T. (2/2/2011). Here are ten rules to create engaging elearning. Retrieved from: http://www.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/here-are-ten-rules-to-create-engaging-elearning/

Pros and cons of web based instruction. Retrieved from http://www.createdebate.com/debate/show/Pros_and_Cons_of_Web_Based_Instruction

Skrabut, S. (2011). What motivates adults to learn? Retrieved from http://tubarks.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/what-motivates-adults-to-learn/

Technology supported learning. Retrieved from http://wikieducator.org/Technology_Supported_Learning

Guest Blogger

Smita Jain is a doctoral student in the department of Instructional Design and Technology at the University of Memphis. She assists faculty in designing online courses for the department of Health and Sport Sciences. She enjoys her work very much as it is also her area of interest- Online/Web based teaching and learning. She has tutored middle school children and helped preservice teachers to prepare them to integrate technology in their classrooms. After completing her degree she wants to become a faculty, researcher, and consultant in the field of Instructional Design and Technology.

Image courtesy of Lars Plougmann at http://www.flickr.com/photos/criminalintent/5403052781/sizes/l/in/photostream/

Dick, Carey, Carey ISD Model

Image via Wikipedia

Over the next week, our IDT 7095/8095: Developing Interactive Learning Environments II course will be exploring different instructional design models. So, the blog posts during that time will be directed at a number of different models and ways to classify models.  The students will certainly be discussing these models, but I hope that many of you in the field and alumni will contribute your thoughts to our discussions as well.  Please join in!

Using Articulate

If you have not developed in or viewed any instructional units with Articulate, then you may want to view this quick overview tutorial created by Suha Tamim, a doctoral student at The University of Memphis.  This short tutorial will highlight some of the navigation features of the Articulate player and how it will be used in this instructional design models unit.

Classifying Instructional Design Models

First, view this short overview of classifications of instructional design models created by Suha Tamim. This interactive module will provide you some basis for comparing instructional design models as we progress through the rest of the week.

Second, after having view the classifications of instructional design models by Branch and Gustafson, consider the following question.

One way or another, you have been involved in the instructional design process  through the course of your IDT studies, through your role as student, a teacher, or as an instructional designer already at work.  Do you see any parallel between your experiences and the classification of Branch and Gustafson?

Would these characteristics be different between online and face-to-face instruction? also between instructor-led and stand alone instruction?

Post your response in the comments below.

Rapid eLearning is a term used to denote short development times of online instruction with limited resources versus traditional instructional design approaches involving lengthy periods of time and large amounts of money (De Vries & Bersin, 2004). Another important distinction between the two is that rapid eLearning is oftentimes developed by the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) using simple-to-use tools while traditional eLearning is developed by a team of training professionals (SME, web developer, instructional designer and project manager). A simple-to-use and, undoubtedly, one of the most popular rapid eLearning development tools is PowerPoint.

As a graduate student developing online content, Powerpoint ranks very high on my list of “go-to” tools. The versatility it offers not only in development but also in delivery of eLearning content is the reason why this tool features prominently in most instructional designers’ toolkit. However, PowerPoint just provides a blank slate like any other authoring environment. Good instructional and visual design principles have to be employed to create interactive and compelling learning modules. It is then up to the creative vision of the instructional designer to harness the strengths of this tool. This requires the designer to go beyond the simple basics and possess a certain degree of technical know-how.

When you have less than 2 weeks to create a high quality and rich learning experience using PowerPoint, you are bound to have many, many “how-to” questions (unless you are this guy!). Here are some places I go to when I need help:

1.     My best friend in this endeavor has been Google. For example, a query on the term “using PowerPoint for rapid eLearning” yields 89,500 results. Some relevant but most NOT! The drawback of this method is that filtering out the extraneous results takes time, and time is of essence in RAPID eLearning. Interestingly, Gwizdka (2010) found that formulating the query for a search engine imposes a high demand on the cognitive load than looking through the search results. Here are some queries which I use regularly and yield relevant results:

  • “PowerPoint for instructional design”
  • “interactive PowerPoint eLearning” and
  • “PowerPoint nonlinear eLearning”

2.     A quicker way is to subscribe to the following blogs that provide great tips and tricks for using PowerPoint in rapid eLearning development:

3.     Youtube is a wonderful resource for getting your questions answered and for some cool tips.  Some channels that I follow on Youtube are CBTCafé, Rapidelearningblog and Elearnaway.

4.     Another Web 2.0 technology that I am thankful for is social bookmarking. These tools with their tag clouds hold the answers to numerous eLearning development questions and doubts. Some bookmarks that I have been frequently using are Dr. Grant’s bookmarks on Jumptags; ahayman, edtechtalk and viral-notebook on Diigo and edach , lavignet , bonni208 on Delicious. Since these tools use a Boolean search query technique, a search term like “powerpoint + elearning” would point to more resources than simply “PowerPoint”.

5.     A popular networking tool, Twitter is a powerful professional development tool and works very well for finding articles, and resources on a daily basis that help in creating effective eLearning modules using PowerPoint. I follow @elearningbrothers, @PowerPointWiziq and @elearningexperts on Twitter as the resources shared and dialogs that take place benefit me in my work. Asking questions, initiating a dialog and getting responses are a lot easier on twitter than on a forum or a blog.

Besides these resources, giving “ The Insider’s Guide To Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro” a thorough read, serves as a good refresher course for rapid eLearning development. Clive Shepherd eloquently says what all rapid eLearning developers should keep in mind, “As such, e-learning is neither effective nor ineffective; it’s just a channel. What you put through this channel is up to you.”


De Vries, J., & Bersin, J. (2004). Rapid e-Learning: What Works. Retrieved February 1, 2011, from Macromedia: http://download.macromedia.com/pub/breeze/whitepapers/bersin_elearning_study.pdf.

Gwizdka, J. (2010). Distribution of cognitive load in web search. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 61(11), 2167-2187.

Guest blogger: Prashanthi Selvanarayanan is a graduate student in the Instructional Design and Technology program at the University of Memphis. She assists faculty in the Department of Higher and Adult Education with online course design and development. Her research interests include technology integration and mobile learning. She aspires to be an instructional developer in the healthcare sector which combines both her interests.

Image courtesy of Mike Licht at Flickr

In a recent article for The Chronicle of Higher Education, SCORM’s limited value to eLearning and training has become more high profile.

The Chronicle reports:

Some higher-education leaders say a little-noticed technical note in a new $2-billion federal grant program could make it difficult for colleges to use the money to build free online course materials.

The issue centers around a single line of the 53-page grant guidelines for the program, known officially as the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grants Program: “All online and technology-enabled courses developed under this [program] must be compliant with the latest version of Scorm (Sharable Content Object Reference Model).”

As many of us in instructional design and eLearning know, SCORM has little to do with actual learning. Instead, SCORM represents a technical specification to help ensure that eLearning content survives different systems and upgrades. In order to take advantage of SCORM, learning has to be structured and meta-tagged appropriately so that it is retrieveable, or shareable.

The shareable factor is what I believe the government is after here. However, while much of eLearning emphasizes self-paced asynchronous training. Higher education rarely falls into this category. At the minimum, this highlights the basic difference between training and education. I believe the notion that one institution could build a SCORM-certified course and have it distributed and taught by another institution may in fact be flawed. Others may disagree with me. In either case, I would question whether the assessments are in fact aligned with the objectives and instructional methods for the content when the courses are shared. By way of the IMS GLC Public Forum, Rabel offers an extensive and deep analysis of the flaws of this thinking and follow-ups here..

Some may argue that what is being asked here is to generate generic learning content, that is content that lots of people need.  Labeling content as ‘generic’ is also flawed. All learning content has a built-in theoretical perspective for how teaching and learning should occur.  What SCORM most certainly fails to include is any identification of pedagogy or instructional methods. So, to believe that one faculty member’s philosophy of teaching that would be inherent to a SCORM-certified course is congruent with another faculty member’s philosophy of teaching fails to recognize the unique teaching skills of the individuals. I certainly do not assert that I could organize, teach, and assess the same course content the same way as another faculty would, which is what SCORM-compliant content would require.

What do you think? Can higher ed content be SCORMed?

If you have the chance, I encourage you to take a quick look at Christopher Pappas’ slide deck from Slideshare.net. In the deck, you’ll see a list of 10 open source applications targeted specifically for elearning in 2011.  A number of these tools have been around for a couple of years, including eXe and Xerte. Both of these offer some options for learning objects and/or SCORM integration.  Others are certainly new to me and ones that I’m going to be checking out.

[slideshare id=6429822&doc=top10opensourcee-learningprojecttowatchfor2011-110102104551-phpapp01]

Have you used any of these tools?  I sure like to know how you’re using them and what you’ve decided on their value.  I’d like to share your experiences with my students.

Project management for elearning, training, etc. involves the intersection of instructional design with project management processes.  The IPECC project management model involves 5 stages:

  1. Initiating
  2. Planning
  3. Executing
  4. Controlling
  5. Closing

This type of project management is directly in line with Six Sigma, total quality management processes, and continuous improvement process that organizations may already be implementing. My IDT 7095/8095 course will be working through these stages, as well as the instructional design stages, in order to produce successful elearning products.  Here are a number of resources for understanding and teaching elearning project management.

Blue-PencilIn a few presentations I’ve given, I have mentioned that I sometimes require instructional design and technology students to write blog posts.  For example, in my graduate course on elearning and project management, my Masters and doctoral students write blog posts on specific topics.  I’ve had audience members sometimes come up to me afterward and ask me about the requirements I use with these blog posts, and I usually provide some general guidelines for them.  However, I decided I would go ahead and list here what my requirements are, so everyone can see how I try to encourage blog posts to receive comments.

ProBlogger logo (suggestion)
Image by Oyvind Solstad via Flickr

Much of my understanding of how to do this, admittedly, has come from Darren Rowse at Problogger.net.  Darren and his trusty group of guest bloggers provide professional experiences of blogging and blogging for income.  While I’m not trying to get my students to become professional bloggers, what Problogger teaches is directly related to creating a professional learning community (PLC), a community that comments, and a community that cares about teaching one another.

Where I’m trying to go

Here are a couple of points I try to make with this assignment:

  1. Our profession is a community.  You have something to teach and something to learn.
  2. Bloggers are a community.  Referencing others’ posts encourages the community.
  3. Posts should have an opinion and direction.  People respond to these.
  4. By referencing and responding to other bloggers’ posts, you have to justify and relate your ideas. This is where the higher order thinking comes in.
  5. Including media enhances the post.
  6. There are good ways and bad ways to be a guest blogger.  The structure and format here includes ways to be a good guest blogger.

Here is a list of some of my students’ posts:

  1. K-12 Education: Moving from the Schoolhouse to the Superhighway
  2. The Perfect SCORM: Is there an impact to elearning or not?
  3. SCORM, standards in e-learning, and the groceries truck
  4. 5 things Facebook can teach us about elearning

Blog Requirements

Here is my list of requirements for my students’ posts:

  1. Write a blog post relevant to instructional design and development and elearning.
  2. Your post should be between 250 – 350 words.  (Doc students, this doesn’t include the references.)
  3. A list of topics can be chosen from _____ .
  4. Write your post in a word processing document. Skip a line between paragraphs. No paragraph indents.
  5. Submit it as an email attachment directly to me at _____ .
  6. Each paragraph in your entry should include at least one link to another blogger’s site.  These should be integrated as appropriate in your post.  These links should not be listed.  Consider agreeing, disagreeing, expanding or piggybacking off another blogger’s post. These links should be evidence of your thinking for this post.
  7. Your post should have a snappy/sexy/opinionated/pointed title.
  8. If appropriate, include a Web address to another media, such as a YouTube or TeacherTube video. Be sure to include a sentence that references/introduces your media.
  9. Your post should have a link to a copyright free and relevant image, such as from Flickr Creative Commons. Be sure to include the attribution information as well.  Include the image like this:
    • Image available from <insert URL here>
    • Image courtesy of <insert username> at <insert URL here>
  10. Include a brief (100 words or less) biography about you. Include descriptions of your teacher preparation, your work with children, what you’re currently doing and what you would like to do in the future. Be sure to include your name. Write this in third person.
  11. Include a list of at least 3 keywords to describe your post.
  12. Monitor your post to see if others have commented. Reply when they have.
  13. The post should be conversational and informal but free of grammar and spelling errors.

Are there other requirements that you would include or suggest for students when blogging?  Add them in the comments and let me know.

Best Presentation of the DayOh, wow! First, I was surprised that I one of my slideshows made it to the homepage of Slideshare briefly. Well, the same slideshow also was selected by Slideshare for its Best Presentation of the Day today!  I really can’t believe it.

Today, I just happen to take a look at some of the presentations I had uploaded to Slideshare as part of my course, where I had decided to publish all my slides for my “Developing Interactive Learning Environments” course last spring. I just happen to notice that this presentation on “Comparing Instructional Design Models” was approaching 3000 views, which is pretty amazing itself.  So, I happen to tweet that out and hash tagged it with #BestPreso as well for Slideshare’s daily contest.  Now, I really didn’t expect there to be anything of this, because this is a pretty esoteric topic.  I just was happy to see that this slide deck was useful to so many people.

Slideshare Email

[slideshare id=3127392&doc=idmodels-100210151043-phpapp02]

This is so cool! After the news today, the views have gone up as well.  Slideshare has really included quite a few more pieces of data about where your presentations are being seen.  Here’s a screen shot of my stats on this presentation. With Slideshare’s press about this deck, the views are well over 3000 now.

Slideshare Stats

Slideshare continues to be an excellent outlet for making content highly visible.  So, my experiment on whether Slideshare is a good way to share open educational resources.  Thanks, Slideshare for the props! And thanks everyone else for stopping by and using the slides.  I hope they are helpful.