Instructional Design Models

Instructional design models offer users a way to comprehend a problem or situation with more ease. It gives structure and meaning to the instructional problem, allowing the designer and learner with tools to help visualize the problem, to break it down into discrete, manageable units. The value of each model is determined within the context and purpose of use. It therefore assumes a specific intention of its user.

Therefore, it should be judged by how it mediates the instructional design, and how effectively it shifts focus away from itself toward the object of the design activity. Instructional design models are based on the ADDIE model. ADDIE stands for Analysis Design Development and Implementation. The ADDIE instructional design model is really a roadmap for the entire instructional process and/or project.

Taxonomy of Instructional Design (ID) Models

Classroom Orientation ID Models:

Used primarily by teachers in classrooms using the principle that their role is to teach, and that their students require some form of instruction. Examples include:

  • Gerlach and Ely
  • Kemp, Morrison and Ross
  • Heinich, Molenda, Russell and Smaldino

Product Orientation Instructional Design Models:

Modes assume that the amount of product to be developed will be several hours, or perhaps several days, in length. It is assumed that the time needed for front-end analysis varies but that a technically sophisticated product will be produced. Users sometimes do not have have contact with the developers. This is common in educational software development and corporate and business environment. Features include:

  • Assumption that an instructional product is needed.
  • Assumption that something will be produced, rather than selected or modified from existing resources.
  • Emphasis on tryout and revision phases
  • Assumption that the product is usable by various designers and managers of instruction

Example of instructional models:

  • Van Patten
  • Bergman and Moore
  • Leshin, Pollock and Reigeluth
  • Rapid Prototyping (Tripp and Bichelmeyer)

Systems Orientation Instructional Design (ID) Models:

Instructional models assume that a large amount of instruction for example a whole course or curriculum, will be developed, substantial resources are available, and a team with work on the design and development. Instructional models also help designers and learners make sense of instruction. The model takes into account original or existing resources and the technological sophistication of the delivery system. The front-end analysis, tryout, and revision is often quite high given the potentially high number of end-users and serve a wider environment. Examples include:

  • Instructional Development Institute (IDI)
  • Interservices Procedures for Instructional Systems Development (IPISD)
  • Dick and Carey
  • Smith and Ragan


Instructional Design Models

Survey of Instructional Development Models. ERIC Digest

There are well over 100 different instructional systems (ISD) models and instructional design models. However, most are based on the generic ADDIE model which has the sequential steps – Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. Hence, each step produces an outcome which then feed the next step in the process.