LATIN Clue, for Exam Review

Clue is a traditional board game that challenges players to solve a murder mystery by using deductive reasoning and process of elimination to determine the murderer, the murder weapon, and the location of the murder. Players receive cards representing the possibilities in the murder scenario (suspect, weapon, crime scene). Cards representing the actual murder scenario will be removed from the deck and placed in a separate envelop at the beginning of the game (to be revealed at the end of the game). Players roll the dice to advance into the rooms within the Clue mansion, where they will suggest a weapon, suspect, and crime scene. When challenged by a “suggestion,” players must privately show cards to the player who made the suggestion. Latin Clue keeps these traditional elements, but shifts to team collaboration and adds in content questions. See the comparisons in the table below:

Classic Clue Board Game Latin Clue
Weapons ·      Revolver

·      Knife

·      Rope

·      Candlestick

·      Lead pipe

·      Wrench

Roman Weapons:

·      Mace

·      Javelin

·      Gladius Hispaniensis (two-edged sword)

·      Amphorae (pottery jars designed to hold liquids)

·      Marble bust of a Caesar

·      Bronze figure of Venus.

Game space ·      Square game board with floor plan of house printed on it.

·      Players roll dice to determine the number of floor tiles they will advance (short-term goal is to get into one of the rooms)

·      Secret passageways exist between some rooms.

·      Whiteboard projection showing the map of ancient Rome, which is overlaid with a path (game spaces) connecting all of the ancient locations.

·      Roll of the dice would allow players to advance toward one of the historic sites.

·      Secret underground passageways exist between places


Crime Scenes Rooms in the house:

·      Kitchen

·      Hall

·      Study

·      Dining room

·      Billiard room

·      Conservatory

·      Library

·      ball room

·      lounge


Roman Places:

·      The Roman Colosseum

·      The Pantheon

·      Campus Martius

·      Baths of Diocletian

·      The Roman Forum

·      Palatine Hill (House of Augustus)

·      Temple of Saturn

·      Baths of Caracalla

·      The Arch of Constantine


game pieces

·      Miss Scarlet

·      Colonel Mustard

·      Professor Plum

·      Mr. Green

·      Mrs. White

·      Mrs. Peacock

Historical Figures of Rome:

·      Emperor Julius Caesar

·      Emperor Marcus Aurelius

·      Virgil (author/poet)

·      Octavia (first wife of Marcus Antonius)

·      Cleopatra (not Roman, but important to Roman history),

·      Theodora (wife of Justinian).

Magnetic game pieces that have the busts of the characters will be used on the whiteboard that the image is projected on, so players can physically advance their piece.

Players/teams Traditional players:

·      One player per game piece

·      Game piece represents them throughout the game

·      Roll dice

·      Navigate the game board

·      Take guesses (make a “suggestion)

Teams of three to five learners select a single game piece to represent their team.

Upon entering a historic location, the team selects question category (Latin language or Roman history); they will answer the question together, quiz bowl style. A correct answer allows them to make a suggestion, if they wish.

Teams will collaborate, represent a single entity.


The Learning Values

  • Learning goals
      • The game will be used for middle school Latin mid-term or final exam review. Encountering the weapons, historic locations, and characters in a historic setting reinforces previous learning, while quiz bowl questions review Latin language and Roman history content. For another option, students could be asked to research and propose the list of weapons, historic locations, and characters (which would allow them to have more review).
      • The game requires problem-solving skills, situated in a historic setting
      • Traveling from one ancient location to another provides a great backdrop for reviewing Roman history. In addition, adding the quiz-bowl type questions (Latin language or Roman history) adds to this creative and fun review (a sort of productive play).
      • Working in a team provides peer coaching/scaffolding by distributing the performance requirement throughout the group.
  • Criteria for successful instruction
      • Authentic settings and roles for players
  • Instructional Methods
      • When giving a wrong answer, the team loses a turn, but continues play, while receiving corrective feedback (the correct answer). The consequences are appropriate; the penalty is embedded in the game play (like missing an exam question, but finishing the test).
      • The game has interesting challenges that have been optimized to reflect the learner’s coursework.
      • Cooperative play provides practical collaboration among learners
  • The Vision of the Game
    • Learning goals: learners will review previously presented information; they will work together as a team to answer questions pertaining to Latin language and Roman history (collaboration provides embedded scaffolding)
    • The game will allow students to be temporarily immersed in Roman culture, bringing the “dead language” to life, in a natural and authentic way
    • Feedback
      • Natural consequences: missing an answer will delay their progress through the game
      • Explanations:when a question is missed, all of the teams will hear the correct answer from the teacher, so that everyone benefits from the feedback
      • Debriefing: learners will debrief, together at the end of the game
      • Immediate Feedback: Learners benefit from feedback by both the teacher and their teammates.
    • The competitive spirit of the game will motivate learners extrinsically. Intrinsic motivation will come as a result of increased enjoyment of Roman culture and team collaboration.
  • The Game Space 
    • See details in table, describing rules of game, players, game pieces, technology (whiteboard, computer projection)
    • The narrative of the game, the “work” that must be done by the players requires learners to embrace the study of Latin language and Roman History in order to succeed in the game
    • Design decisions mean to create an excitement and acceptance of a subject which often overwhelms some students and bores others; Latin comes alive when the stakes are raised by the game
  • The Instructional Space
    • Teams allow students to collaborate over difficult material, working at the edge of their ZPD (Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development)
    • Students get “Just-in-Time Instruction” during the game which can help them to identify and eliminate weaknesses in the subject matter (this is for a test, after all!)
    • The teacher will be the “coach in the classroom,” providing additional learner scaffolding


Reigeluth, C. M., Beatty, B. J., & Myers, R. D. (2017). Instructional-Design Theories and Models (Vol. IV). New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.

Pratt, A. E. (1996). Clue: Classic Detective Game. Beverly, MA.: Parker Brothers.


Wiki: ID Career Opportunities

Note: This was a group project for IDD 600. Group members were Mitchell Dykstra, Brian Jones, and Britta Lafont. If videos do not load, please refresh the page.

Instructional Design Opportunities in
Military Education &
Training Environments

Introduction to the Military Setting

In the military, training and education are highly valued, required for advancement, ongoing throughout the career, and part of daily life, so instructional designers have a great opportunity to play an important role in the support and growth of military personnel. As a setting for instructional design, the military is unique in terms of its culture and mission. “For civilians with little or no personal exposure to the military culture, the Armed Forces may seem overwhelming, incomprehensible, esoteric, or even anachronistic. However, to understand, work with, and help those who serve in the Armed Forces, it is necessary to have a general understanding of the institution” (Halvorson, A., 2010. p. 1).The militaries of the United States and other nations are marked by a particular culture, defined by its extraordinary camaraderie and, despite many differences within each branch of service, a common purpose (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017, p. 159). As instructional designers collaborate with military leadership and create training for military personnel, it is critical to keep in mind the “the highly structured collective culture of military life” and other aspects of organizational culture that might be foreign to civilians (Suzuki, M., & Kawakami, A., 2016, p. 2060). Some issues that define military culture include:

  • Core Values.”Each service has its own specific values that are taught to new recruits from the beginning of their time in service…[these values] are more than a list of terms that young recruits must learn and repeat on command; these values define how each service member lives his or her life, approaches every duty, and succeeds at every mission” (Halvorson, A., 2010. pp.9-10).
  • A high view of order, discipline, action, leadership, and respect for authority (Suzuki, M. & Kawakami, A., 2016, pp. 2060-61)
  • A highly structured hierarchy, known as the “chain of command” (Suzuki, M. & Kawakami, A., 2016, pp. 2060-61)
  • The commitment of the individual to the group, upholding the best interests of the group over the individual (Suzuki, M. & Kawakami, A., 2016, pp. 2060-61)
  • A distinctive set of acronyms, jargon, and lingo. Here is a current list from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Performance orientation and commitment to self-improvement and personal responsibility (Suzuki, M. & Kawakami, A., 2016, pp. 2060-61)
  • A high regard for training and self-improvement (see video below):

In contrast to typical bureaucracies, which tend to be resistant to change, “military organizations are subject to strong, if not irresistible, external and internal pressures to learn and to adopt new behaviors” (Foster R. E. & Fletcher, J.D., 2013, p. 308). The U.S. military’s need for regular change and improvement creates a consistent need for the development of new training and education, resulting in a natural partnership with the field of Instructional Design.

“Military training is distinguished from other forms of training by its emphases on discipline, just-in-case preparation, and the training of collectives” (Fletcher, J.D. Chatelier, P.R. 2002, p. I-1).

  • Training as Discipline: Military commanders view training as discipline that prepares the military member to perform at their highest level and keep their composure during the worst situations they can encounter (p. II-1).
  • Just-in-Case Training: Excellent military training prepares individuals and groups for the worst case-scenario of life-threatening, armed combat. This kind of preparation is called just-in-case training, which prepares the military to perform at a high-level of proficiency in conflicts and engagements. This is training that “we hope and often expect to be unnecessary” (p. II-2).
  • Training of Collectives: Many military organizations consider the training of individuals to be a personnel issue. “In this perspective, ‘training’ is what military commanders do to prepare the [collective: crew, group, team, or unit] they command” (pp. II-1-4).

For an overview of the typical training that various branches of the military undergo, visit It is helpful to keep in mind that each service of the United States military—Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard—is a subculture unto itself with different ranks and uniforms, particular core values, and history (Halvorson, A., 2010, pp. 6, 9), all under the U. S. Department of Defense (the DoD). The mission of the DoD governs the mission of the U.S. Military: “The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country” (The U.S. Department of Defense, 2017).

Though the security of the United States is the primary mission of the military, in recent years there has been an expansion of traditional duties, moving from fighting other nations to fighting terrorists, from national to global defense, from warriors to peacekeepers, dealing with human and trafficking and piracy on the open seas, and participating humanitarian efforts (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017, pp. 160-161). In addition, joint exercises are increasing between various military forces within the U.S., with other government agencies and in multi-national coalitions (p. 161). The changes and challenges facing today’s military, along with the introduction of increasingly sophisticated technologies, require continued training and education, and this is where the Instructional Designer has a great opportunity to contribute.

History of Instructional Design in the Military

As it turns out, the history of instructional design in America is closely tied to the history of instructional design in the military. Just as it was a major event shaping the entire 20th century, World War 2 made a significant impact on the history of instructional design in the military and beyond. According to Reiser (2018) in Chapter 2 of our textbook “during a two-year period (from mid-1943 to mid-1945) it was estimated that there were over 4 million showings of training films and filmstrips to U.S. military personnel.”The video below was made in 1943, so it perhaps would be included in that estimated 4 million showings:

Reiser goes on to cite the work of Walter Dick, who in 1987 wrote about how the instructional work done in World War 2 went on to affect the psychology and instructional design fields for years to come:

When the programmed instruction movement began in the late fifties, there was already a receptive environment for any innovation in the area of human learning that could be applied in the classroom. This interest had been building since the second World War.

Conversations with pioneers in the field, Robert Gagne (personal communication, April, 1984) and Leslie Briggs (personal communication, April, 1984), indicate that a number of psychologists were influenced by the training demands made by World War II and the corresponding lack of relevant research and experience that could be drawn upon from the field of psychology. After the war these training problems continued to be of interest to many psychologists. (Dick, 1987)

When the programmed instruction movement began in the late fifties, there was already a receptive environment for any innovation in the area of human learning that could be applied in the classroom. This interest had been building since the second World War.

Conversations with pioneers in the field, Robert Gagne (personal communication, April, 1984) and Leslie Briggs (personal communication, April, 1984), indicate that a number of psychologists were influenced by the training demands made by World War II and the corresponding lack of relevant research and experience that could be drawn upon from the field of psychology. After the war these training problems continued to be of interest to many psychologists. (Dick, 1987)

In 1975, 30 years after the end of World War 2, one of the most influential instructional design models, ADDIE, was developed by Florida State University researchers working on a contract from the U.S. Army Combat Arms Training Board (Branson, 1975).

Methodologies within the Military Setting

Every 4 years, the Department of Defense is required (by the U.S. Congress) to publish the Quadrennial Defense Review Report, which “establishes the vision for all efforts by each of the individual services. Each service must examine its current means of doing business and transform itself against the measures provided in the QDR” (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017).Because of the tremendous amount of training that occurs across the entire military, we suspect in practice there are a range of methodologies being used in various situations. This project cannot definitively list all of these, but we have done our best to find information that offers some insight into the overall approach.

We were able to find recent instructional design documents for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. These are long, detailed documents, and reading over them makes it clear that each branch of the U.S. Military puts a lot of thought into its instructional design approach. Three out of the four documents we reviewed uses the ADDIE model to describe its process (Department of the Air Force, 2011; Department of the Army, 2017; Department of the Navy Headquarters United States Marine Corps, 2015). The Navy document (Department of the Navy Naval Education and Training Command, 2010) showed the use of a modified ADDIE model called PADDIE+M (Planning, Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, Evaluation, and Maintenance.)

As an example of how the documents from each service branch describe systems and models, let’s look at the Army Learning Policy and Systems document, which introduces a model called the Army Learning Model (ALM) with the following text:

ALM provides a framework and is about using good instructional design principles. It is not a one size fits all model. ALM allows designers the flexibility to design according to the training and education needs of the Soldiers. It is an adaptive, continuous learning model focused on providing quality, relevant, and effective learning experiences. ALM promotes outcome-oriented instructional strategies that foster thinking, initiative, and provide operationally relevant context. It features learning beyond the learning institution in a career- long continuum of learning through the significantly expanded use of network technologies. (Department of the Army, 2017, p.24)

Later, the document describes ADDIE as the “enterprise ISD” and states reasons for its adoption:

Centers and schools will use the enterprise Instructional System Design (ISD) to produce Army learning products. ISD is the process of designing and developing instructional courses or materials that bring greater efficiency and effectiveness to acquiring knowledge, skills, and attitudes to achieve required performance for learners. The ADDIE process is the enterprise ISD.

b. The Army adopted the ADDIE process for five primary reasons:

(1) It provides thoughtful identification of learning requirements based on analyses.

(2) It ensures focused learning on critical job performance requirements.

(3) It determines the specific objectives the learning intends to address, the associated experience required, and identifies the assessment required.

(4) It facilitates the generation and application of alternative learning methods.

(5) It reduces required resources through the application of technology to achieve expected learning outcomes. (Department of the Army, 2017, pp.26-27)

The aforementioned documents offer a lot of insight into how the military views instructional design processes. If you are interested in pursuing a career in military instructional design (see Instructional Design Jobs in the Military section below), we encourage you to explore those manuals further as part of your study.

Role of Instructional Design and Development
within the Military Setting

Instructional Design and Development plays a critical role in “the transformation to accommodate the needs of today’s service members and move the military of today to the military of tomorrow” (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017, p. 159).The military provides subject matter experts to the instructional design process in the creation
of training and education programs, but places great trust in the professional Instruction Designer to have (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017, p. 159):

  • an expertise in learning theory and instructional strategies the ability to implement them
  • the ability to utilize technology at optimum levels in a variety of learning environments
  • ingenuity in approaches which blend learning solutions
  • a budget-minded approach
  • “understanding the military culture both at home and abroad as well as the culture of international forces” (p. 159)
  • excellent communication skills

The Role of Instructional Design and Technology is to apply knowledge of learning theory and technology to the subject matter, in partnership with subject matter experts, in the military setting, to achieve necessary changes in the system. Instructional Designers must balance the design considerations (theories, settings, opportunities) with the design issues (strengths, needs, limitations, and constraints) and be prepared to “make trade-offs” and concessions in order to develop plans and programs (with multiple, flexible options) to meet the needs of the military. Table 1 depicts the “systematic methodology for working through trade-offs,” and is based Bratton-Jeffery’s Figure 18.3 on page 164 in her chapter in Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology. A hypothetical scenario is applied to Figure 18.3 to demonstrate its use.

In Table 1, the most significant design issue is creation of a joint training program. Clearly, this multi-force training requires a blended solution of classroom instruction and technology applications, but funding and budget are considerations (so offering a variety of alternatives like gamified simulations, as well as lower-cost options would be helpful). In addition, the jointness of program reveals a technology issue (perhaps due to incompatibilities existing between the technological systems of the different branches). Any performance support device or tool that is expected to be used on the job would need to be compatible across all systems.

Trends and Issues


Simulators have been used in military training as early as World War II, when they were used for flight training (Reiser, 2017, p. 9). This technology is still used extensively in military training for a wide range of applications. One of the major trends shaping the use of simulators in military is the use of virtual reality (VR) to increase learner immersion in the training environment and to better replicate the real-world scenarios in which the training is to be applied (Forces TV, 2016). VR simulator-based training has a wide range of military applications, including (but not limited to):

  • Medical Training

  • Combat Training
 Simulations such as these represent the higher end of the technological range for military training; however, military instructional products also include “the simplest paper-based, pocket-sized job aids” (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017, p. 162). The wide range of technology available can present challenges for instructional designers in a military setting because they must be able to produce effective instruction from a large number of different instructional products and stay up-to-date on their performance requirements (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017, p. 162).


The wide range of industrial products available is well-suited for dealing with one of the largest issues in military education and training—funding (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017, p. 162). The proposed 2018 budget for the United States’ Department of Defense (DoD) is approximately 640 billion dollars (Office of Management and Budget, 2017, p. 2), which comprises a significant proportion of the Federal budget (see the Figure 1, which is based on Office of Management and Budget, 2017).

Though it may seem odd to say that funding is an issue in military training, only a fraction of the overall budget is designated for use in the education or training of service members. In 2007 (this was the most recent data I could find on the subject), only about 16 billion dollars were used for the education and/or training of military personnel (Horowitz, 2016, p. 5). At the time, there were approximately 3.5 million military personnel (Department of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, 2007, p. i), which means that under 5 thousand dollars were spent educating or training each service member. That’s less than half the cost of educating each K-12 student in the US in the 2007-2008 academic year (National Center for Education Statistics, 2017). Of course, things are certainly quite a bit more complicated than these numbers make it seem, it is clear that the military must be relatively frugal when it comes to education and training expenses.

Given these funding restrictions, using the most advanced and innovative technology for each instructional product is out of the question, so “suggesting new approaches to training using low-and high-tech methods incorporated with the mission equipment is an option that should be considered [by the instructional designer]” (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017, p. 162).

Delivery Environments and Distributed Learning Environments

A second issue for instructional designers working in military education and training is the wide range of delivery environments (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017, p. 162). Unlike training in a civilian environment, which typically happens a separately from the work environment, military training is “integrated into the workplace…[and] takes place in the classroom, in garrison, in base and shipboard environments, and wherever personnel are deployed—even in combat,” so the instructional designer must be able to adapt instructional programs to a wide range of environments (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017, p. 162).

In order to address the wide range of delivery environments, a current trend in military education and training is the use of distributed learning environments that permit “the interoperability of learning tools and course content on a global scale” (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017, p. 163). The goal for the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative (sponsored by the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense) is to “provide access to the highest quality education and training, tailored to individual needs, delivered cost-effectively anywhere and anytime” (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017, p. 163). In addition to providing an accessible education and training network for service members, the ADL also “conducts research, development, test [sic], and evaluation” focusing on the following areas in order to “provide learning science, specifications, guidance and best practices, and technology applications to the DoD, federal agencies, and coalition military partners:”

  • e-learning,
  • mobile learning and mobile performance support,
  • learning analytics and performance modeling,
  • learning theory,
  • Total Learning Architecture (TLA) infrastructure, and
  • web-based Virtual Worlds (VWs) and simulation (Advanced Distributed Learning, 2017).

Design Constraints and Jointness

A third issue facing instructional designers are design constraints due to the diversity of the different military branches (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017, p. 162). The designer may be required to design instruction that applies to a number of different branches; however, the visions of the different branches may conflict and the different network infrastructures and equipment used by each branch may cause product compatibility issues (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017, p. 162). Furthermore, in lieu of professional instructors, the military typically makes use of subject-matter experts (SMEs), who are very knowledgable about the material but might know very little about teaching or facilitating learning (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017, p. 162). Therefore, the instructional designer may be required to produce train-the-trainer materials that “explain the lesson plans in a step-by-step manner and incorporate learning theory as well (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017, p. 162).

Connected to the issue of design constraints is the trend of military “jointness,” which as embodied by the Doctrine for the Armed Forces of the United States(2013), “provides the doctrinal basis for interagency coordination and for US military involvement in multiagency and multinational operations” (p. i). Section six of the Doctrine for the Armed Forces of the United States includes standards for joint education and training, which is training that is designed to suit the needs of multiple branches simultaneously (p. 8-11). According to Bratton-Jeffery (2017), “inherent in this instructional design mission is recognition of the diversity of the force in terms of service perspective…, doctrine of allied forces…, and even cultural diversity such as differences in language and religion (p. 163).

Recruiting, Retention, and Lifelong Learning

In voluntary forces, such as the U.S. military, a major issue is “recruiting good people and retaining highly trained and skilled service members,” and the armed forces of various country have recognized the need to “provide for quality of life, especially in the areas of personal and professional growth” (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017, p. 162). To meet these needs, a developing trend is to provide continued learning opportunities within the service, known as “lifelong learning,” that “improve the service member within his or her occupational specialty and open the doors to many opportunities for those who leave service” (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017, p. 163). For example, the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) makes it easier for service members in European Union (EU) countries to transfer between universities in the EU, which “allows military students to continue their personal learning goals while serving their countries abroad” (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017, p. 163).

Remediation and Alternative Training Solutions

Historically, a fifth issue in military education and training was remedial training, which is required when service members do not achieve the desired results when training is complete (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017, p. 162). In the past, service members “were remediated until mastery was achieved…this remediation was often done in the manner in which the original instruction was presented” (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017, p. 162). It is easy to see how this could be problematic. If a learner is not responding well to an instructional strategy, it is unlikely that additional exposure to instruction employing the same strategy will result in drastically improved learning outcomes. A current trend in military education and training, however, is for the instructional designer to “recommend completely different instructional strategies” or recommend that individual learners be allowed to select their preferred learning option (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017, p. 162).

Instructional Design Jobs in the Military

Given the extensive training requirements and diverse needs of the armed forces, it should come as no surprise that the services of instructional designers are often invoked in this setting. According to Bratton-Jeffery (2017), “[i]nstructional designers who work in the military environment are never bored and, given enough time, will have the opportunity to work in every aspect of instructional design from analysis to evaluation” (p. 165).The wide range of technology and focus on individual educational and training requirements means that instructional designers in a military setting will be involved in the design and development of a plethora of instructional products and “The knowledge of learning theories and instructional strategies that will be needed can be employed in virtually any manner: instructor-led or instructor-facilitated classroom, informal self-study, formal online learning courses with synchronous and/or asynchronous options, or a blend of any or all of these” (Bratton-Jeffery, 2017, p. 165). The Department of the Army (2017), for example, specifies that Army training occurs across three domains:

  • The operational domain includes “The training activities organizations undertake while at home station, at maneuver combat training centers, during joint exercises, at mobilization centers, and while operationally deployed” (p. 148).
  • The institutional domain is the “Army’s institutional training and education system, which primarily includes training base centers and schools that provide initial training and subsequent professional military education (PME) for Soldiers, military leaders, and Army Civilians” (p. 142).
  • The self-development domain is the “Planned, goal-oriented learning that reinforces and expands the depth and breadth of an individual’s knowledge base, self-awareness, and situational awareness; complements institutional and operational learning; enhances professional competence; and meets personal objectives” (p. 151).

In addition to the mandatory law-directed training, the Army also requires a number of unique training and educational products in each domain. The operational domain, for instance, requires learning products that include:

  • Soldier Training Publications (STPs), which provide “guidance on the conduct of individual Solider training in the unit and aids all Soldiers in the training of critical tasks” (p. 153);
  • Combined Arms Training Strategies (CATS), which “provide a descriptive holistic and METL Focused, task-based, event-driven strategy for all TOE units” (p. 133);
  • Warfighter Training Support Package (WTSP), which is a “complete, task-based, exportable package integrating training products, materials, and information necessary to train one or more collective tasks and/or one or more individual tasks” (p. 159);
  • collective tasks, which are “clearly defined, discrete observable and measurable activity or action which requires organized team or unit performance and leads accomplishment of the task to a defined standard” (p. 133); and
  • drills, each of which is a “collective action (or task) performed without the application of a deliberate decision making process…[,] is initiated on a cue, such as enemy action or leader’s simple command, and is a trained response to the given stimulus” (p. 138).

So, that is five different types of educational programs within only one out of the three U.S. Army domains. If one extrapolates to the rest of the U.S. military, he or she can see that there is a very large number of diverse educational and training programs that require the expertise of instructional designers for analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation.


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Reiser, Robert A. (2018). A History of Instructional Design and Technology. In Reiser & Dempsey (Eds.), Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp. 8-22. New York, NY: Pearson.

Suzuki, M., & Kawakami, A. (2016). U.S. Military Service Members’ Reintegration, Culture, and Spiritual Development. [PDF file]. The Qualitative Report, 21(11), 2059-2075. Retrieved from

The U.S. Department of Defense. (2017, January 27). About the Department of Defense (DOD)., Retrieved from: 












Wiki: Performance Systems / Various Interventions

Note: This was a group project for IDD 630. Group members were Britta Lafont and Sunnie McWhorter. If videos do not load, please refresh the page.

Job Analysis/Work Design Interventions

Introduction and Scope


Job Analysis

Job analysis may be an independent intervention or it may be incorporated into the process of performance analysis as a whole. It is the systematic review of the necessary processes, skills, and knowledge required to effectively do a job. Job analysis documentation is often legally required for Human Resource purposes. Job Description and Job Specification are two examples of Job Analysis interventions (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 291). Instructional Designers should remember that the job analysis performs a similar function in the HPI model to the analysis step of instructional design models, such as ADDIE and the Dick and Carey model.

Job Description

Job Descriptions are job-focused; they are important for delineating tasks and defining the functions of a job. Though no standard format exists, a complete, written job description should include: major tasks performed (and the percentage of time devoted to each task); standards for performance; typical work conditions; the direct report chain; and the technology, machines, equipment, tools, etc (non-human resources) required to perform the job. Job descriptions are necessary for most of the aspects of work design (Van Tiem et al., 2012, pp. 292-294).

Job Specification

Job Specifications are performer-focused; they “list the minimum qualifications that a person needs to perform the job successfully: [such as] …knowledge, skills, abilities, attitudes, and experience,” but also include aptitude, necessary training, capacity limits, environment, and necessary non-human resources (tools and equipment). Performance improvement practitioners determine the difference between qualifications that are preferred, those that are absolutely necessary, and those that are legally required. (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 295).

Work Design

Work design is the strategic organization of jobs within and across departments with the goal of maximizing efficiency and productivity. These goals are achieved only when each departmental subsection is aware of the interdependence of their work. Examples of Work Design interventions include job design, enlargement, rotation, enrichment, reengineering, realignment, and restructuring. Instructional Designers should remember that work design is “tied to the strategy and goals of the organization” (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 295). Designers must be well-verse in the organization’s strategic plan so the selected work design interventions align with the stated vision, mission, values, and goals (p. 133).

Job Design

Job Design is a mechanism of change that puts “isolated tasks together to form complete job,” focused on these processes:

  • work duties
  • activities
  • responsibilities
  • desired outcomes

The performance practitioner must determine when, where and how to change the job, taking into consideration workflow, processes, necessary training, and support (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 295). For more information on job design, visit this link:

Job Enlargement & Job Rotation & Job Enrichment

Job Enlargement and Job Enrichment are similar, in that both add tasks to an existing job. Job Enrichment adds related tasks (horizontal enrichment) and responsibilities (vertical enrichment). Job enlargement increases the job scope by adding unrelated tasks, and is done to increase job satisfaction and decrease employee error, often leading to increases in customer satisfaction. An example of Job Enlargement is Job Rotation which has employees taking on completely different jobs on a regular basis, offering flexible workflow, such as cross training in another department or area (Van Tiem et al., 2012, pp. 296-297).

This is a very informative article on Job Enlargement and Job Enrichment:

This article discusses the use of Job Rotation to improve aspects of Human Factors (see below) such as ergonomics and safety:

Reengineering, Realignment, Restructuring

Reengineering, Realignment, and Restructuring are management processes designed to increase efficiency especially by making changes in organizational processes
(Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 297-298).

Reengineering is the “radical redesign of processes for the purpose of extensive rather than gradual performance improvement.” Here is the original article in Harvard Business Review (1990) written by Michael Hammer, who coined the term “Reengineering”

Realignment refers to organizational change designed to focus on being true to its strategic plan (mission, vision, values, goals); also known as “alignment,” read more about this practice here:

Restructuring results in significant change to the organizational chart (units, divisions or departments). This article shows different strategies for restructuring an organization:

Human Factors

Human factors relate to the way in which the people of an organization interact with their co-workers, the equipment, and the environment. Four areas relating to human factors that should be considered during performance analysis are ergonomics, safety engineering, security management, and the green workplace (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 298).

Instructional Designers should remember that the human side of performance (physical, mental, and social) is critical to the overall success of the organization. Other interventions that are integrated into Humans Factors include (from work design) job design, job enlargement, job rotation, (from Quality Improvement) continuous improvement and preventive maintenance.


Ergonomics is the study and development of the environment and tools necessary to complete the work. The two main areas of ergonomic study focus on the physical and mental aspects of work. Physical ergonomics is the study of the workstation and the physical movement necessary to complete the work. Mental ergonomics explores the environment’s effect on the worker’s ability to process information. Three key concepts involved in ergonomics include:

  • fitting the job and workplace to the worker
  • designing the workplace to accommodate a variety of sizes of workers
  • designing the workplace to accommodate workers at the extreme ranges of body-size

Interventions involving ergonomics may include decisions such as tool selection, proper lighting, or adjusting the height of chairs (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 298-299). The following slideshow highlights some of the many benefits to an ergonomic workplace:

Safety Engineering

Safety engineering is the term used to describe all of the principles put in place to ensure a safe and healthy work environment. The safety practices will vary depending on the type of work that is being done in the workplace. This may include anything from training on hazardous waste and blood-borne pathogens to the wearing of ear protection and hard hats. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets the standards to which most businesses must adhere (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 299). This article elaborates on the value of safety training for employees:

Security Management

Security management is quite broad in scope. It involves the protection of all personnel and company property as well as the measures taken to ensure cyber security (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 299).

Green Workplace

An organizational culture than favors green practices, or a green workplace, is showing “solid relationships with people, long-term profitability, and a commitment to improving the planet” (VanTiem, et al., 2012, p. 300). This kind of environmental awareness is displayed in a recent Newsweek article, which rated companies according to their sensitivity toward—and support of—environmentally sound practices. Analysts compared companies to industry peers based on the following performance indicators (in terms of being environmentally responsible):

  • Energy Productivity
  • Total Greenhouse gas (GHG) Emissions
  • Water Productivity
  • Waste Productivity
  • Green Revenue Percent (based on a taxonomy derived from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Green Goods & Services)
  • Having a system that ties monetary rewards for executives to achievement of environmental performance targets.
  • Employing a high level committee devoted to environmental matters, which is audited by, and accountable to, a third party.
  • Exhibiting a minimum of monetary environmental fines, penalties, and settlements
  • Not benefitting, majorly, from harmful products or services (such as coal operations, tobacco and weapons manufacturing).
From: U.S. Top 10. (2018, January 17). Retrieved March 17, 2018, from Newsweek.

This article explains how Newsweek determined the Green Rankings:

Quality Improvement

Quality improvement is the systematic approach to analyzing the quality of each aspect of performance. The goal of quality improvement is to ensure that a quality product is being produced while using the minimal resources. Quality and efficiency are the driving factors for quality improvement (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 301). Instructional Designers should remember that Quality Improvement Interventions in business serve a similar purpose to the continuous evaluation/improvement focus at work in traditional instructional design environments like education.

In fact, even though “[Total Quality Management] (see below) was designed for use in the manufacturing sector which had repetitive processes, clearly defined customers and profit as the bottom line means of survival,” it served as an inspiration for educational initiatives like the Quality Matters , a program in place here at UAB, as well as other quality assurance and accountability programs in education (White, 1994, p, 115).

Total Quality Management (TQM)

Total quality management is a business philosophy that focuses on quality, both in production and customer service. This is achieved through establishing relationships with both internal and external stakeholders to facilitate usable feedback. Organization and monitoring of controls to track progress are key to the success of this business practice (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 301). This article does a great job of explaining the eight principles involved in TQM:

Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement is the long-term practice of systematically comparing productivity, service, and customer satisfaction to the predetermined standards or goals. All stakeholders in an organization are involved in continuous improvement as this discipline is critical to setting goals, determining strategies, and achieving success (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 305).

Preventive Maintenance (PM)

Preventive maintenance is a manufacturing term, but the concept is easily applied across many corporate operating systems. PM uses a proactive approach to troubleshooting with the goal of preventing problems from occurring. “Preventive maintenance is everybody’s business; it is performer-centered and is integrated within all job functions in all industries” (Van Tiem et al., 2012, p. 306).

Six Sigma

Six sigma is a business philosophy that streamlines predictability in both the production of goods and the service required to distribute those goods.This page is a great breakdown of the many tools used in six sigma:

Six Sigma is a systematic process of quality improvement that works parallel to the Performance Improvement Model (Van Tiem et al., 2012, pp. 306-307). The application methods are included in the following chart:

Lean Organizations

Lean organizations do more with less. These organizations are value driven and strive to operate with zero waste. Any source of waste that can be identified is addressed and minimized or eliminated. Lean principles can be applied to all organizational systems to maximize efficiency and are most successful when implemented from upper management down to all employees (Van Tiem et al., 2012, pp. 307-308).
This article shows the Lean principles being applied across several very different industries;

The video below is an interview with the former Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations for Amazon, who discusses the value of lean principles.

Combination–Lean Six Sigma

It may be that neither the principles of Lean nor Six Sigma alone suit an organization. If this is the case, the United States Air Force demonstrates an additional option—combining the two philosophies. This article discusses how they created their own unique, quality program:


Tips and Tricks

Each intervention has its own considerations for workplace implementation. Job Analysis Interventions must fit within the workplace context, be targeted to the nature of the tasks, and give consideration to available resources. In Work Design Interventions, a good understanding of work requirements at each level of the organization and a knowledge that different sectors of the business influence one another are key. Human Factors Interventions are best implemented by the practitioner with strong networking skills allowing him/her to have better access to relevant information. Quality Improvement Interventions focus on problem prevention rather than problem solving; practitioners need to look for what is missing as well as what is there, so they can forecast potential pitfalls and address and avoid difficulties.

Top Takeaways

Performance Improvement Practitioners work to improve the organization (ROI, increased efficiency, higher profit margin, better branding), but are also equally committed to improving the workplace for the good of the worker (giving consideration to their safety, job satisfaction, professional growth, etc.).

Work Design interventions are implemented with the goal of increasing efficiency which benefits both the employer and the employee.

In Work Design interventions, it becomes clear that an organization is like a living entity: having a unified purpose, made up of interdependent units, with internal and external stakeholders to satisfy. The Performance Improvement Practitioner must be flexible enough to be aid in addressing larger issues like the green footprint of a company and smaller problems like the need for a job description for hiring purposes.


Duncan, E., & Ritter, Ron. (2014, February). Next frontiers for lean. McKinsey Quarterly. Retrieved from:

Gordon, B. (n.d.) Why OSHA training is important. Retrieved from:

Hammer, M. (1990). Reengineering at work: Don’t automate, obliterate. Harvard Business Review, July-August, 104-112. Retrieved from:

Here is everything you need to know about Green Rankings 2017: Methodology. (2017, December 07).  Newsweek. Retrieved March 17, 2018, from

Kulpa, J. (2015, February 23). To motivate employees, find a balance between job enrichment and job
enlargement. Retrieved from:

Lean six sigma in the US Air Force–towards a lean mean Air Force. (2017, March 17). Retrieved from:

Middlesworth, M. A Step by step guide to job rotation. Retrieved from:

Myler, L. (2012, October 16). Strategy 101: It’s all about alignment. Forbes. Retrieved from:

Onetto, M. (2014, February). When Toyota met e-commerce: lean at Amazon. McKinsey Quarterly. Retrieved from:

5 proven benefits of workplace ergonomics. (2013, January 29).  Ergonomics Plus . Retrieved from:

Thakur, S. (2011, July 31). Business restructuring: a look at some strategies. Retrieved from:

U.S. Top 10. (2018, January 17). Newsweek. Retrieved March 17, 2018, from

Van Tiem, D.M., Moseley, J.L., & Desinger, J.C. (2012). Fundamentals of performance improvement:
Optimizing results through people, process, and organizations. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

Westcott, R. (2013). What is total quality management. In The certified manager of quality/organizational excellence handbook. Retrieved from:

White, S. (1994). Total quality management in the public sector–issues for implementation. Health information management: Journal of the Health Information Management Association of Australia, 24(3), 115-117.













Re: Frameworks for Learning and Pace Layering

Responses to
Chapter 2, “Who Are Your Learners?”
& Chapter 3, “What’s the Goal?”
in Design for How People Learn.

From Chapter 2: It is important to not just hand your learners information, but instead to help them construct and organize their framework for that information. What are some strategies you could implement to aid learners in the construction and organization of these frameworks?  Why would you choose these strategies?  What theories are these strategies based on?

“Learning is defined as ‘a persisting change in human performance or performance potential’” (Driscoll, 2017, p. 52). Instructional designer, educators, and workplace trainers all desire to make that impact, to orchestrate instruction so as to create a persisting, desired change in the learner’s performance. Often the question is, “How?”

Cognitive information processing theory explains that learning begins when the learner experiences information in the form of sensory input. As the learner experiences this information, it enters the working memory. Potentially, the information can and may be transferred into long-term memory, where it can be accessed at a later time or drawn upon regularly. “In addition to stages through which information passes [sensory memory, short-term memory, long-term memory], processes such as attention, encoding, and retrieval are hypothesized to act upon information as it is received, transformed, and stored for later recall” (Driscoll, 2017, 54).

Instructional Designers can play a pivotal role in helping learners to acquire, assimilate and use the information they are learning. Use of the proper strategies can aid in organizing incoming information into coherent verbal and visual representations (Clark & Mayer, 2016, p. 261). For instance, designers can provide high-level organizers to help learners to categorize information and attend to relationships between items of information; they can also provide graphics or diagrams to summarize ideas in the visual sense (Dirksen, 2016, p. 50; Driscoll, 2017, p. 54). Both of these learning strategies agree with cognitive information processing theory, which says, “attention must often be directed so that learners heed specific aspects of the information they are being asked to learn” (Driscoll, 2017, p. 54). Sometimes a metaphor or analogy will be helpful because comparing new knowledge with existing understanding encourages encoding, where learners “make personally meaningful connections between new information and their prior knowledge” (Dirksen, 2016, p. 50; Driscoll, 2017, p. 54). “Finally, retrieval enables learners to recall information from memory so that it can be applied in the proper context” (Driscoll, 2017, p. 54).

Active learning principle explains that “meaningful learning occurs when the learner engages in appropriate cognitive processing during learning, including attending to relevant aspects of incoming information, mentally organizing the material into a coherent cognitive representation and mentally integrating it with existing knowledge activated from long term memory” (Clark & Mayer, 2016, p. 261). Retrieval of learned information is only possible because we have mentally organized knowledge we have learned.

Schema theory explains that long-term memory contains knowledge in “packets” of information, or schemas, which “organize information in categories that are related in systematic and predictable ways” (Driscoll, 2017, p. 54). New knowledge is more easily encoded when attached to existing schemas. Novice learners are missing these existing schemas and so encoding knowledge (moving from working to long-term memory) is more difficult; they are more susceptible to cognitive overload, where working memory is overwhelmed and knowledge is not encoded (Clark & Mayer, 2016, p. 261). In Dirksen’s closet metaphor, allowing novices to make their own connections is called “designing shelves,” where novice learners participate in the process of building their own meaning—finding significant ways to process, engage with, and integrate new information (Dirksen, 2016, p. 50; Clark & Mayer, 2016, p. 261). In this process, novices are learning how to learn, which is metacognition, an invaluable skill (Clark & Mayer, 2016, p. 261).

From Chapter 3: Compare and contrast fast, slow, moderate, and foundational skills.  Include strategies that are used to teach these skills.  What different real-world settings would you expect to encounter designing for these skills as an instructional designer.

Author Stewart Brand describes a process he calls, “pace layering” in civilizations where “the fast parts learn, propose, and absorb shocks; the slow parts remember, integrate, and constrain. The fast parts get all the attention. The slow parts have all the power” (Dirksen, 2016, p. 74). When pace layering is applied to learning, Dirksen says,  we see that some things are learned faster than others. For example, knowledge—like specific tools techniques, concepts, and principles—can change quickly. Other changes—like skills and attitudes and foundations, like cultural and core values or personality traits—come more slowly (p. 74). In other words, some learning is limited and outside the control of both the learner and the educator. On the other hand, employing specific strategies targets learning goals based on whether they are slow, moderate, or foundational skills, meaning that learning may be limited, but can be optimized.

“Fast skills typically have more explicit rule sets…things where you can make a list of the right answers. Slower skills tend to be things that have more tacit rule sets—it’s hard to say what ‘right’ is, but you might know it when you see it” (Dirksen, 2016, p. 77). If a learning point is fast, instruction can proceed more quickly, too. Learners need more time to grow or change in terms with slow items; so one topic—like problem solving—might take multiple lessons and much practice on the part of the learner (p. 76). Dirksen expands the concept of pace layering from simply fast and slow to very fast, moderate, slow, and foundation in order to tailor suggestions to each category. Very fast learning is best served/taught/acquired/practiced by using tools, checklists, and specific procedures. Moderate learning requires skills, practice, and proficiency development. Slow learning demands higher-level conceptual and strategic skills, expert coaching and extensive practice. Finally, growth in a learner’s foundation necessitates evaluation, self-assessment, and awareness.

In the workplace and in the classroom, tools, checklists, and specific procedures (job aids and performance supports) can be expected to make an observable impact in the short-term. Managers and teachers would have to look more closely to see gains in skills, practice and proficiency; these changes might come over the course of a unit, semester, quarter, or by year’s end. These “moderate skills” are encouraged through exercises such as role-playing and practice scenarios. As for slow and foundation learning—like improvement in strategic skills, which can be seen after extensive practice and expert coaching, or intentional self-assessment—it might take years to see change, and change might be difficult to discern (Dirksen, 2016, p. 78). The foundation skills of evaluation and awareness might be reckoned as “stealth skills,” being internal processes, which are almost impossible to observe. Stealth skills are really the personal property of the individual and are often hidden away from the rest of us. However, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, it would indeed make a sound. In the same way, growth in stealth skills, as well as in slow and foundation learning, does indeed create impact for the learner, whether they are observed or not. In fact, it is very difficult to make changes in foundation skills—Dirksen says it is unlikely (2016, p. 78). Still, many of us can look back ten or twenty years and see some great differences in our personality or cultural biases. What is difficult is not necessarily impossible.


Clark, R.C. & Mayer, R. E. (2017). Using rich media wisely. In Reiser & Dempsey (Eds.), Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp. 259-268). New York, NY: Pearson.

Dirksen, J. (2016). Design for how people learn. San Francisco: New Riders.

Driscoll, M.P. (2017). Psychological foundations of instructional design. In Reiser & Dempsey (Eds.), Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp. 52-60). New York, NY: Pearson.

Learning Styles and DISC Profile


We took tests in IDD620 to determine learning styles. I tested very high for visual and auditory but very low for kinesthetic.

Visual and Auditory Learning: I’ve always known that I am a visual learner. I prefer visual to auditory, so I wouldn’t expect to score so high in auditory. I see now that I do my best learning when I am doing both together, but I never deliberately sought to use both because they are strengths. I tend to enjoy lecture, if I am able to take notes. I have always liked outlining and drawing graphic organizers (though I never knew they were called that until this class). My favorite way of studying is by myself, reorganizing content into my own study guides. Second best, for my learning, I like teaching someone else, like in a group setting.

Kinesthetic Learning: I guess this means I shouldn’t try to walk and chew gum at the same time. In elementary school, I hated doing crafts and making dioramas.  In high school, I hated chemistry lab and home economics class where I had to sew (yes, I am THAT old). Now I know why. I didn’t mind biology lab, probably because of the visual aspect.


I think my DISC results really capture the way I see myself at work. I was surprised by how much the results resonated with me. I started with the free test, which described me this way:

You have an inner motivation to gain knowledge and become ‘the expert’. You have the self-discipline to focus and you aim for high standards. You appear to be relaxed and are likely to have plenty to talk about. People see you as knowledgeable, non-threatening and easy to get along with.

Then I was interested enough to buy access to the full test results:

  • Dominance: I score high in composed/reserved and low in direct/competitive. I agree with this because I like to compete, but mostly with myself rather than others.
  • Influence: I scored low in factual/analytical and high in social/outgoing, which surprised me because I usually test as an introvert. I think this means that I enjoy being outgoing when I am interested in something, but not just for the sake of being social.
  • Steadiness: I scored high is impulsive/changeful and low in consistent/thoughtful, which is a little surprising to me because i my score in compliance seemed to be the opposite.
  • Compliance: I scored low in independent/uninhibited and high in conventional/reliable. I do see both characteristics (impulsiveness and reliability) in the way I behave; these seem to be opposites, but somehow both feel right to me.

For my DISC profile, I was categorized as The Evaluator saying:

Your prime value to an organization is: Your ability to work with the team and make things happen. Nine times out of ten your plan will work.

I’m not sure if this is true, but I know that I like to formulate plans that other people accept and that succeed. The success of a plan gives me a better feeling than being recognized as the person who created the plan.

I like to think that my personality and preferences will make me a good team member who is flexible and more interested in doing great work than in being “right” all the time. That doesn’t mean I like to be wrong! But I want to change if I am wrong, because I am always interested in getting better, being more effective. I love the marriage of opposites in IDD: creativity and structure. I think this is another reason IDD appeals to me—because I have similar preferences in impulsivity and reliability.



Work Process: Designing a Game


I designed a board game called Super (Quiz) Bowl. It is a game combining trivia questions with the rules of football, where the game board is a football field with an “end zone” at either end, which must be crossed to score a touchdown. I made a game board out of foam core board, but you could use a sheet of paper, if you marked it at 10 yard-intervals.

This game requires the football field (described above), four dice, two timers (showing seconds—we used the stopwatch function on our phones), Play cards (I made these on Canva and printed them out at home), Question cards (I used brain-teasers and trivia from the internet), and a football game piece (you could use a paperclip here or some other everyday object).

Ideally, 3-9 people may play. This game requires two teams, of 1-4 players each, which alternate between being “Offense” and “Defense,” and an “Official.” If there is an even number of players, one person on each team must alternate acting as the Official.

The object of the game is to advance down the field toward the other team’s end zone (where a roll of dice determines the degree of advancement for each turn or “down”) and to score the most points (by touchdowns or kicks), while answering questions and overcoming the attacks of the opposite team.

The Offense (1) rolls dice to determine the possible yardage (2) draws a “Play card”, which determines the response of the Defense during the play (3) answers a question (a) brain teaser or (b) trivia.

The Defense has chances to compete during the 30 seconds allotted for the Offense to answer the question. The Defense may get a “turn over” for besting the offense during the question time, which allows them to get possession of the ball and begin competing as the Offense. The Offense can score by touchdown or kick.

The Official keeps track of downs, reads questions, judges answers, and is both time and score-keeper.

Game is over when one team reaches 35 points or 20 minutes has expired (there is a half-time break after 10 minutes of play).


Here are the iterations of my game:

Initial Concept (Brainstorming):

My main question: what are some activities where people lose track of time, while having fun?

Answer: Football!

Second question: How can I combine traditional football rules with board game play?

Answer: Use quiz-bowl type questions to determine progress of offense

Third question: Where would I find the kind of questions that anyone could answer, but would take some time, some deliberation, to add more drama during the play?

Answer: this is a weakness. I had trouble finding questions that I could use for my Beta testing. I didn’t have time to write an entire question bank. I found some websites that offered various trivia and quiz bowl type questions, but none were completely satisfactory.

Then I sketched out the elements of the game:

Roll 4 dice to determine possible yardages (rolling a pair doubles the face value of the roll, rolling a triple, triples the yardage, rolling a quad allows you to go for a touchdown right away)

Draw a “Play” card to determine the play (really, this is the response of defense during play)

Run (Defense gets to distract offense during answer time)

Pass (toss-up question, ring a bell to “win” the chance to answer)

Punt (Defense gets to answer first)

Kick (Defense gets no chance, Offense only answers)

Answer questions – timed for 10 seconds

I wrote the directions in a word document and drew up a game board and cards

The Amys’ Review

I shared the game with my friend Amy and a friend of hers (also named Amy!). They loved it, but had some confusion about:

The yardage determination with the dice

The “Run” card (this allows the defense to distract the offense during play to prevent them from answering the questions)

If each team works together, or if the individuals answer independently

The problem of the question bank was still an issue

Linda’s Review

I revised and clarified my directions and shared them with my friend Linda. We played a few rounds and she gave me some suggestions:

Rolling the dice – getting to double and triple yardage makes the number too high. Instead:

For a double, add 5 yards.

For a triple, add 10 yards

Explain the purpose of the Play cards sooner in the directions (this part was referred to early in the directions but not explained in detail till the end).

When drawing a “Pass” Play card, instead of ringing a bell to win the chance to answer, place a household object in the middle of the game board. The team that is ready first will pick it up. This was helpful in making the game for easier to replicate at home.

Increase the time allotted to answer each question from 10 seconds to 30 seconds.

The question bank was still a problem, but the game worked well. It was fun (when finding a question wasn’t a problem).


I made the corrections from my time with Linda and sat down to play with my family. There were two kids and two adults.

Changes made with Linda’s help were good. Everyone thought the game was fun and had a lot of potential.

Once again, the biggest trouble was the question bank. Some questions were too easy and went too quickly. Some questions were too hard.

Overall Effectiveness/Usefulness

Effectiveness of the game:

Games are supposed to be fun. This was fun!

Games are unique in the way you tend to lose track of time when you are playing, and this was true for this game.


It wasn’t good for the game that the difficulty level of the questions was inconsistent because it affected the sense of fairness. With the right question bank, I think this game would have excellent potential in the commercial or educational markets.

You have probably already figured this out, but this game is complicated. More like a board game you would buy. It takes one time of playing it to figure it out, but then it is really fun. I think that this would be kind of hard to do with homemade objects because of the need for the Play cards (see the picture below).

Value for learning/Usefulness in educational or training setting

This game is not dependent on a particular genre of trivia, so any category of questions could be inserted into the structure of the game, and it would still work (provided the questions were written for the skill and age of the players).

Therefore, this would be an excellent game for review of concepts, for use with small groups, in classrooms for kids ages 10-18. And also, there could be some usefulness in higher education and training for review of concepts or skills, but might be more popular with adults in the board game market.

Ultimately, the greatest challenging was writing appropriate questions. This was the biggest problem with this game, but building a bank of questions is a project unto itself and so I concentrated on the mechanics of the game, which worked very well (once we got the kinks out).

Re: Public Training Seminars about Hurricane Evacuation

A response to Chapter 37, “Diversity and Accessibility,” in Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology


The Gulf Coast city of New Orleans, Louisiana, is often threatened by dangerous hurricanes during the time between June 1 and November 1 each year. As you may recall the city was devastated by hurricane Katrina in August 2005.  Many people lost their lives because of, among other things, a seriously flawed evacuation plan.  In an effort to ensure that this never happens again, city planners and public safety officials have devised an innovative and remarkable evacuation plan in the event of another catastrophic hurricane.  You have been hired to develop and implement a series of public training seminars to educate the public about the evacuation plan.

  • What questions would you ask in a learner analysis to ensure that you collected information regarding culture and physical/cognitive impairments?
  • What strategies would you use to meet the needs of a diverse population: culturally, economically, educationally, and otherwise?
  • What are the challenges in implementing strategies of the multimodal diversity model?


What questions would you ask in a learner analysis to ensure that you collected information regarding culture and physical/cognitive impairments?

“When designing instructional interventions for a cross-cultural audience, designers and design teams must identify the societal and learner cultural factors” (Tracey & Morrison, 2017, p. 155). The first question to ask in this scenario is, “What do we already know about our learners?” By anecdotal reports and by the numbers, New Orleans is a culturally diverse city. The Metro area encompasses eight Parishes—Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. James, St. John. The Metro area racial demographics are reported as 36% white, 56% black, 6% Hispanic, and 1% Asian (“Who Lives in New Orleans…,” 2017, June 30). In 2016, the U.S. Census estimated for New Orleans: 27% of the people are living in poverty, 85% of the people being a high school graduate or higher, and 10 % of the people under the age of 65 report having a disability (U.S. Census Quick Facts, 2016).

Societal cultural factors that may impact instructional interventions include generational and social heritage or traditions; the ideas values and rules for learning; the problems are solved; the interpretation of patterns, colors, or symbols; and the comprehension of ideas and behaviors. (Tracey & Morrison, 2017, p. 156)

“When considering reaching as many learners as possible, the instructional designer must be aware of the presence of different abilities and cultures, and technologies used by individuals to overcome learning barriers” (Lewis & Sullivan, 2017, 9. 309). The demographic information is relatively easy to obtain. There are some critical questions that would need to be answered in order to compete a more thorough learner analysis. For instance, what percentages of people have access to technology such as telephones, mobile devices, Internet, radio and television, and what are their preferences for media and social media? What sorts of disabilities are included in the 10% of people who are disabled, as reported by the Census Bureau? In addition, it would be helpful to know how many people residing in New Orleans are already familiar with hurricane preparedness issues. What percentages of people have their own vehicles and how many would require public transportation? What are the attitudes about hurricane evacuation? Having lived there for 20 years, I can tell you that New Orleans has its own unique culture where its varied people groups are bound tightly together, reflecting of the history and diversity of the city. To be local is everything. To call New Orleans home is to embrace a common heritage built on diversity. So, what language idiosyncrasies and attitudes are common to native New Orleanians, regardless of ethnicity or race? There are probably many more topics that would be helpful to breach, but these questions make a great start.

What strategies would you use to meet the needs of a diverse population: culturally, economically, educationally, and otherwise?

Because New Orleans is such a unique and diverse city, any instructional intervention must be engineered from a universal design standpoint: “minimizing barriers through implementing designs from the beginning that address the needs of diverse people rather than making accommodations through individual adaption later” (Lewis & Sullivan, 2017, p. 309). Local News is king in New Orleans and local media personalities, on radio and television carry a lot of weight with people from all walks of life. Radio and television spots with familiar local celebrities and with well-loved religious leaders would result in a typically diverse group of people delivering messages, and this would be very effective in promoting new plans. Working with churches in the area, local politicians, and sports figures to spread the word on social media could be very effective as well, since people tend to follow these voices (whether they agree with them or not).

What are the challenges in implementing strategies of the multimodal diversity model?

Some aspects of the multi-modal diversity model could be very helpful in engineering universal design learning, or UDL. “Universal design for learning, uses innovative technologies to address diverse learning needs” and its three basic principles are multiple means of representation, multiple means of expression, and multiple means of engagement (Lewis & Sullivan, 2017, p 313). Representing the instructional methods in multiple formats or modes (per my suggestions above) activates a cultural learning strategy. In this case, reviewing the unique culture and history of the city, varying the cultures represented in the television and radio spots would maximize cultural aspects to learning. Increased engagement could be created, again through a cultural means, by representing real-life experiences from previous hurricanes in the instructional materials. Other strategies are just common sense. For instance, cognitive strategies for the multi-modal diversity model also include creating a “logical flow of information” and the need to “avoid unnecessary clutter” (p. 313).

Unfortunately, for the most part, the multimodal diversity model falls short for a public information campaign. The model seems to be geared more toward classroom situations or traditional education and training; it includes many suggestions like “avoid timed tests,” “offer optional assignments,” “offer success rich practice,” and “avoid online, real time chat” (Lewis & Sullivan, 2017, p 313). This model could be helpful in some ways, but it seems it would be a better to borrow from this resource, carefully

Lewis, J. & Sullivan, S. (2017). Diversity and Accessibility. In Reiser & Dempsey (Eds.), Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp. 309–315). New York, NY: Pearson.

Tracey, M.W. & Morrison, G.R. (2017). Instructional design in business and industry. In Reiser & Dempsey (Eds.), Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp. 152–158). New York, NY: Pearson.

U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts selected: New Orleans city, Louisiana. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Who lives in New Orleans and metro parishes now? The Data Center. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Instagram in the College Classroom?

Instagram is a very popular, visually-driven social media platform. For the optimum socially-constructive experience on Instagram, users must be on a smartphone and working within the Instagram app. In the past, Instagram users could not post unless they were on their phone, using the app. Recent changes allow access to Instagram on mobile phone or tablet through the mobile site, though all of its features are not available as they are on the app (like some video sharing and messaging options) (Valente, 2017). Instagrammers using a laptop or desktop cannot access the mobile site without a third part app, so using the platform on a personal computer is a decidedly cumbersome process (Hall, 2017).

Opening an Instagram account and creating a profile is simple—requiring registration with name, username and password, and an email address, phone number, or FaceBook account. Recently, users have been allowed to manage up to 5 instagram accounts under the same login, but each one must have its own email address (Carey, 2017). Users interact by posting images or video to their profile feed, creating a stream of these posts with text and—for many—deliberately curating particular content. Instagram can be searched by username or hashtag to view the feeds of other Instagram users or collective feeds, by topic. Networks are created when users follow other users, and accounts which are followed then become part of the user’s home feed.

Unfortunately, privacy can be an issue on Instagram. According to Instagram, “there’s no way to hide your bio or profile image on Instagram. If you don’t want people to see this info, we’d suggest removing it from your profile” (Instagram Help Center, 2017). “By default, anyone can view your profile and posts on Instagram. You can make your posts private so that only followers you approve can see them,” but making posts private certainly limits the networking aspect of the platform because “if your posts are set to private, only your approved followers will see them [and]…if your account is set to private and you add a hashtag to your post, the post won’t appear publicly on the corresponding hashtag page. Only your approved followers will be able to see your posts on hashtag pages or in Instagram Direct messages” (Instagram Help Center, 2017).

Communicating through Instagram is getting easier than it used to be. Now, Instagram Direct lets you send messages to one or more other account holders. You can send photos or videos from your library, posts that are in your feed, other user profiles, text, hashtags, and locations (Instagram Help Center, 2017). Sharing posts is an important method of communication with Instagram and beyond Instagram Direct, the app allows you to link your account to FaceBook to share posts directly with your Facebook connections. You can also link to photos and videos that have been shared publicly, by copying and pasting the URL . Instagram URLs can be shared like any other URL—on social networks, via email, etc. However “if an account is set to private, you won’t be able to copy a link to any of their posts” (Instagram Help Center, 2017).

Privacy and ownership of content can be compromised when users download images and video from Instagram. Images and video from feeds can be downloaded to a variety of devices. There are third party apps that allow Instagram stories (temporarily posted videos) and entire Instagram feeds to be downloaded (Edsall, 2017; Med Anis, 2016). Instagram offers a better way to archive other users’ posts: users can bookmark and save posts to their own collections. Users who want to promote and share their live feed can embed code into their websites, which is often used as a marketing tool for businesses or individuals. Unfortunately, anyone can embed any public feed onto a website, which could result in a tremendous breach of content ownership (“Can I display”, 2016).

There are many applications for Instagram in higher education instruction. Business and marketing students can use Instagram to develop branding and marketing campaigns and to analyze the market. Classes from any discipline could be asked to follow leaders in the field of study or hashtags that explore the subject matter at hand. In addition, students who produce visual media, such as visual artists (film/video/digital, graphic design, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture) as well as those in interior design, architect engineering, landscape architecture, and industrial and product design can create and share portfolios or share the story of producing a particular piece of work, over time. Students in writing classes may be tasked to create visual stories or post a series of images to accompany micro-writing (via posts). Students in social work, counseling, or education can participate in digital storytelling about issues, practices, people groups, and individuals, as well. Class projects might include collective storytelling, having students to post to Instagram to recap a class session or to review for a test. Students can create the visual equivalent to an expository composition (showing and telling how to do something), or collect images to demonstrate a particular principle (for example: gothic architecture, the photographic rule of threes, proper ergonomics at work, etc.). These sorts of learning activities tap into both constructivist and social construction learning, are more learner-centered, are popular among university level students, and allow for tremendous creativity (DeCoster & Naatus, 2017, p. 84).

There are some limitations to using Instagram in the classroom. In m-learning, the medium should complement the learning activity, but text-heavy content or assignments (like this threaded discussion question) would not lend themselves to this type of platform (Drennen, 2017, p. 238). In addition, students who do not want to be on Instagram or who want their accounts to be private would not be able to participate (p. 240). In marketing, storytelling, or curating, creativity is tested, but critical thinking may not be stressed. In addition, with these types of assignments, student learning assessment would be very subjective. As previously mentioned, encroachments on intellectual property rights and inability to protect privacy would be major constraints to implementing learning activities using Instagram (p. 240). So, while Instagram shows much promise as an adjunct to augment learning, it must be used judiciously.

Here are some links that you might find useful:

A very current article on how to get started on Instagram (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Great ways for students to use instagram: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

How faculty can protect privacy and intellectual property: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

These K-12 suggestions would also work in the college classroom: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Can I display photos from someone else’s Instagram account. (2016, June 01). Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Carey, C. (2017, August 30). How to Make a Second Instagram (or Create Multiple Accounts!). Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

DeCoster, D., & Naatus, M.K. (2017). Experiential learning in digital marketing: a library social media takeover
. Business Education Innovation Journal, 9(1), 84-88.

Drennan, V. P. (2017). Social Media and Instructional Design. In Reiser & Dempsey (Eds.), Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp.237-243). New York, NY: Pearson.

Edsall, N. (2017, September 08). How to save someone’s Instagram Story to your phone. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Hall, Z. (2017, May 08). Instagram now lets you post photos from its mobile site including iPad. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Huff, D. (2017). Telling the Story of America: Digital Storytelling Projects in American Literature. English Journal,106(3), 32. Retrieved from Questia.

Instagram Help Center. (n.d.). Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

[Med Anis] (2016, April 08). Download all Instagram photos from any user 1 Click. [Video File]. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Valente, D. (2017, June 06). You Can Use Instagram Without The App, So Don’t Worry About Data Anymore. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Re: Using Rich Media Wisely

A response to Chapter 31, “Using Rich Media Wisely,” in Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology


Suppose you wish to help people learn how to carry out a fitness exercise routine using workout equipment.  Would it be better to use a series of still diagrams, an animation, or a video?  Would it be better to use printed text or spoken text or no text?  Justify your answer in terms of research evidence and a cognitive theory of learning.


In order to select the best options for training, in terms of rich media, it is best to begin with a learner-centered approach, asking, “How can we adapt rich media to aid human learning?” rather than beginning with the technology-centered question, “How can we use rich media to design instruction” (Clark & Mayer, 2017, pp. 259-260). Using the learner-centered approach means focusing on the facilitation of the learners’ natural learning process in order to gain the most ground in terms of instruction and knowledge construction (p. 260). “Rich media should be used (or not used) in ways that are consistent with what we know about how people learn and with research evidence concerning instructional effectiveness” (p. 260).

In this case, the overall objective is to help people learn how to carry out a fitness exercise routine using workout equipment. Utilizing evidence from research in cognitive theory, a learner-centered plan for effective instruction can be developed. According to cognitive information processing theory, proposed by Atkinson and Shriffin in 1968, there are three types of memory: sensory, working, and long-term (Driscoll, 2017, p. 54; Clark & Mayer, 2017, p. 261). Sensory memory receives external input though audio and visual channels. Next, the information is processed by the working memory, the center of all conscious thinking. Working memory is very limited and susceptible to cognitive overload, when overtaxed. Storage in long-term memory is the goal of learning, where knowledge is retained and can be accessed and built upon. Meaningful learning occurs when selecting, organizing, and integrating of information occurs, which moves that information from working memory into long-term memory (Clark & Mayer, 2017, p. 261).

The amount of mental work imposed on working memory is the cognitive load. “Novice learners with little related knowledge in long-term memory are much more susceptible to cognitive overload” (Clark & Mayer, 2017, p. 261). What differentiates novice learners from experts is how they construct knowledge and their ability to solves problems.” Novices lack “schemas.” These are chunks of information that have been encoded into long-term memory and are used by learners to “interpret events and solve problems” (Driscoll, 2017, p. 54). In fact, “differences in relevant prior knowledge” are recognized as “perhaps the single most important feature to be considered when designing instruction” (Clark & Mayer, 2017, p. 261).

Therefore the first question to ask when developing training for the workout program is, “Are the learners novices or experts?” For the purpose of this discussion, we will assume that the learners targeted by the workout program are novices.

“The major challenge of instructional design is to promote selecting, organizing, and integrating information (cognitive processing), in order to develop or build upon schemas in long-term memory without overloading the working memory” (Clark & Mayer, 2017, p. 261). There are three research-based principles that must be considered to prevent cognitive overload, and promote cognitive processing, during instruction: limited capacity principle, dual-channels principle, and active learning principle (p. 261).

Limited capacity principle

The limited capacity principle says, “People can only process a small amount of information in each channel at any one time” (Clark & Mayer, 2017, p. 261). Supporting research demonstrates that novices benefit from visuals but experts experience the reverse effect. Visuals may depress learning in experts (p. 263). Since our learners are novices, it is important to remember that explanations that use visuals, rather than text only, are better. In terms of visuals, although animated graphics can illustrate processes that cannot be otherwise illustrated, a series of still frames can result in learning as good or better than animated version, usually at a lower cost (p. 263).

Since it is also proven that simple line diagrams more effective than more elaborate ones, especially for novices, the major component moves of each exercise, and the mechanisms of the workout equipment, will be represented by simple line drawings (p. 263). Still drawings are helpful in allowing learners to compare one phase of movement to the next (pp. 263-264). However, since research has shown that physical tasks, particularly those using the hands, are best represented by animation rather than still graphics, our learners will be given several simple animations to bring together the component exercise moves that were illustrated by still visuals (p. 264).

Dual-channels principle

The dual-channels principle says that, “People have separate channels for processing visual/pictorial and auditory/verbal information” (Clark & Mayer, 2017, p. 261). The dual-channels principle is true for both sensory and working memory, so if information delivery is divided between auditory and visual channels, cognitive overload (which occurs in working memory) is reduced (p. 266). For the same reason, it is not ideal to use written (text) graphics along with other visual input since that is accessing the same visual channel. Augmenting visuals with verbal or audio instructions is more beneficial. Research shows that, whenever audio is used, it is best for learners to have access to replay or stop/start buttons. (p. 266).

So, when animations are used for our learners, audio narration will be added, though learners will have the ability to stop and start the lesson, as needed.

Active learning principle

The active learning principle explains that people must engage in cognitive processing in order for meaningful learning to occur—attending to relevant information, categorizing/organizing the material, and integrating it with knowledge schemas stored in long-term memory (Clark & Mayer, 2017, pp. 261-262). Utilizing research that supports active learning principle means helping learners to better attend to information, so it can be categorized and integrated with existing knowledge. Studies have shown that there is better learning when a reading precedes a video—learners are more apt to attend to the details in the video that were covered in the reading. In addition, information is better attended when extraneous footage and distracting visuals are eliminated (p. 265). Finally, animations that employ cueing devices—such as arrows on the line drawings and color flows and audio on the animations—draw attention to relevant aspects of the animation (p. 264).

So, our learners will read the directions for each exercise before seeing any animation (Clark & Mayer, 2017, p. 265). Animations will be focused on the exercise moves to eliminate extraneous distractions (p. 265). Finally, cues will be added to the stills, in the forms of arrows, and to the animation in the form of color flows and audio cues (p. 264). Learners will have individual controls that allow stopping and starting as deemed necessary, by the learner (pp. 264-265).

By drawing on cognitive processing research, the design for workout instruction, using machine, aims to provide learner-centered instruction, in order to “accommodate the learner’s limits on information processing and leverage the strengths of the human memory” (Clark & Mayer, 2017, p. 260).

Clark, R.C. & Mayer, R. E. (2017). Using Rich Media Wisely. In Reiser & Dempsey (Eds.), Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp. 259-228). New York, NY: Pearson.

Driscoll, M. P. (2017). Psychological Foundations of Instructional Design. In Reiser & Dempsey (Eds.), Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp. 259-228). New York, NY: Pearson.

Re: Intentional vs. Unintentional Learning & Technics

A response to Chapter 27, “E-Learning and Instructional Design,” in Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology


Assume you have been told to design a “Twenty-First Century Learning Course” that incorporates the full range of technics and technologies that are used today (social networking, collaboration, Facebook, etc.). What are the key characteristics for which you would design, and how would you design for intentional versus unintentional learning?


Instructional technics are “the activities or tactics that use technology designed or selected to attain specific learning activities” (Dempsey & Van Eck, 2017, pp. 232-233). For example, students might participate in class discussion by posting responses to the instructor’s question via Twitter, using the class or chapter hashtag. Or students might take photos of trees in their neighborhood—posting them to Instagram or Pinterest with text that identifies the family, genus, and species—in order to learn and share about plant taxonomy. Obviously, the use of technics can contribute tremendously to a rich learning experience for students. However, Quinn says designers should stay focused on “finding the right balance between what we have people do and what we have technology do” (Quinn, 2017, p. 248).

With that in mind, technics should be selected to meet the needs of the learner and in order to “create a rich, flexible [learning] environments that reflect elemental outcomes, support necessary synthetic outcomes, provide connections to the world outside the e-learning environment” (Dempsey & Van Eck, 2017, p. 234). Elemental outcomes are associated with the real-life outcomes, in terms of actual tasks, required by the learning environment or situation. Synthetic outcomes are the higher order, more internal outcomes such as “decontextualized procedures, concepts, and knowledge” (Dempsey & Litchfield, 2011, p. 26).

In designing learning experiences, it is important to determine if the desired learning outcomes require interaction, collaboration, and interaction with real-world environments. Synchronous web conferences and in-person presentations, which are re-corded and can be shared later “via Web, iPod, or cell phone playback,” support outcomes necessitating learner interactions (Dempsey & Van Eck, 2017, p. 234). On the other hand, collaboration outcomes are supported by other activities associated with group work, where group members can “self-select from a variety of tools such as instant messaging, texting, wikis, and conferencing technology” (p. 234). When interactions with real-world environments is necessary, “secure Web-conferencing tools and virtual worlds should be valuable for discussion, meetings where presences is desirable, or role-playing” (p. 234).

For the instructional designer, there are many systematic models available for designing intentional learning outcomes. Fink’s Significant learning model strikes me as the most intentional of models—targeting various aspects of the learning process such as foundational knowledge, application, integration, human dimension, caring, and learning how to learn (Litchfield, 2017, pp. 186-190). Beginning with the significant learning objectives in mind, the designer can progress through Fink’s twelve steps of design. In steps four (select effective teaching and learning activities), five (make sure the primary components are integrated), seven (select or create a teaching strategy), and eight (integrate course structure and the instructional strategy to create an overall scheme of learning activities), the designer can incorporating the appropriate technics into the overall learning strategy to address the desired outcomes (p. 188).

“Pedagogical philosophies such as constructivism, connectionism, and situated learning address incidental learning” and use of e-learning environments such as the Internet allows for “serendipity in acquiring or expanding knowledge” (Dempsey & Van Eck, 2017, p. 231). Keeping these principles in mind, the designer works from the mindset of arranging the learning experience rather than the learning. It seems best to arrange for a combination of both intentional and unintentional by coordinating technics (learning activities using technologies to achieve desired change in the learner) with effective, systematic design, balancing both elemental and synthetic outcomes whenever possible.

Dempsey, J.V. & Litchfield, B. C. (2011). Elemental and synthetic e-learning. [PDF File] International Journal of Innovation, Management, and Technology, 2(1), pp. 25-30. Retrieved from:

Dempsey, J. V. & Van Eck, R. N. (2017). E-Learning and Instructional Design. In Reiser & Dempsey (Eds.), Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp.229-236). New York, NY: Pearson.

Litchfield, B. C. (2017). Instructional design in higher education. In Reiser & Dempsey (Eds.), Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp. 185-191). New York, NY: Pearson.

Quinn, C. (2017). Mobile Learning. In Reiser & Dempsey (Eds.), Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp. 244-249). New York, NY: Pearson.

What’s an Educational Wiki?

Education wikis are used in both traditional and online classes from elementary school through graduate school and into the workplace. Wikis are used for group or collaborative authoring, building courseware, developing and documenting work on papers or research projects for peer review, tracking and streamlining group projects, reviewing classes and teachers, and building critical skills for similar application in the workplace (Robinson, M., 2006, p. 108; Duffy, Peter and Bruns, Axel, 2006).

The individual and collaborative work developed using Wikis is transforming how people learn in many ways. For example, wikis are contributing to the shift from instructor-centered teaching to student-centered learning (Bold, 2006, p. 12). In this way, the use of the technological platform is a reflection of the theories of Constructivism (knowledge is developed internally, by learners, as they encounter and solve real world problems) and Social Constructivism where collaboration is integral for the group construction of knowledge (Reiser & Dempsey, 2018, pp. 72-73). Brown explains “knowledge has two dimensions, the explicit and tacit. The explicit dimension deals with concepts…[whereas] tacit knowledge is best displayed in terms of performance and skills” (Brown, J. S., 2010, p. 15). Both explicit and tacit knowledge increase when learners collaborate in a constructivist “community of practice,” dealing with real problems. (Brown, J. S., 2010, p. 15). The real world applications serve to connect knowledge to situations where the purpose is clear—this is both Situated Cognition and Anchored Instruction (Reiser & Dempsey, 2018, p. 70).

Educational use of online sharing platforms is actually changing both learning and technology. In the past, technology was used to facilitate learning. Today, new technologies, like Wikis, continue to facilitate learning activities, but now the learning activities are also changing the face of technology (Reiser & Dempsey, 2018, p. 69). This dynamic relationship between technology and learning points to Pea’s concept of distributed knowledge. He explains that learners develop intelligence when “interacting with [cognitive tools] distributed across minds, persons, and the symbolic and physical environments, both natural and artificial” (1993, p. 47-48). Pea defines cognitive tools as any practice or medium (including the use of computer, online, and social technologies) “that helps transcend the limitations of the mind, such as memory, in activities of thinking, learning, and problem solving” (Gebre, E., Saroyan, A., & Bracewell, R., 2014, p. 9). Cognitive tools like wikis create the opportunity to transcend traditional educational limitations by “allowing learners to externalize their internal representations” and to participate in the construction of both technology and learning (Gebre, E., Saroyan, A., & Bracewell, R., 2014, p.10).

Classmates, have you realized you are participating in the growth and change of both knowledge and technology? I hadn’t really considered this until now. What do you think about the idea of distributed intelligence—that anything in your environment can be a cognitive tool to grow intelligence?



Bold, M. (2006) Use of Wikis in Graduate Course Work Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 17(1), 5-14. Retrieved from: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Brown, J. S. (2010). Growing Up Digital: How the Web Changes Work, Education, and the Ways People Learn. [PDF file] Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 32(2), 11-20. Retrieved from: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Duffy, P. & Bruns, A. (2006). The Use of Blogs, Wikis and RSS in Education: A Conversation of Possibilities. [PDF file] In Proceedings Online Learning and Teaching Conference 2006 (pp. 31-38). Brisbane. Retrieved from: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Gebre, E., Saroyan, A., and Bracewell, R. (2014). Students’ engagement in technology rich classrooms and its relationship to professors’ conceptions of effective teaching. British Journal of Educational Technology, 45, 83–96. doi:10.1111/bjet.12001 Retrieved from: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Pea, R. D. (1993). Practices of distributed intelligence and designs for education. [PDF file] In G. Salomon (Ed.), Distributed Cognitions: Psychological and Educational Considerations (pp. 47–87). New York: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Reiser, R. A., & Dempsey, J. V. (2018). Trends and issues in instructional design and technology. Boston: Pearson Education.

Robinson, M. (2006) Wikis in Education: Social Construction as Learning. Community College Enterprise, 12(2), 107-109. Retrieved from: (Links to an external site.)

Re: Performance Supports

A response to Chapter 15, “Performance Support,” in Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology


Imagine you are an instructional designer in the not-too distant future, where the use of performance support is commonplace. How might these tools be used outside formal course instruction to enhance learning?  How might these tools be integrated into a formal course design to enhance learning?  How might performance support be used before or after the formal leaning?  Provide an example of each.


Performance support is “a tool or other resource, from print to technology supports, which provides the just right amount of task guidance, support, and productivity benefits to the user—precisely at the moment of need” (Rosenberg, 2017, p. 133). As an instructional designer, performance support creates a bridge from the classroom to the workplace. These tools can be used outside formal course instruction to enhance learning, saving precious employee hours that might be lost in training classes (p. 133). For example, in lieu of some classroom courses, we have inserted the multi-device app, Skillpill, into the overall instructional design plan for management training at Waltech, Walmart’s big box technology offering.[1] Skillpill is a microlearning app that provides customized content via “learning videos, sophisticated learning apps, support templates, gamified techniques, or social learning tools” in order to improve learners’ engagement and increase desired behavior by up to 10-20% (“Skillpill Digital Tour”, n.d). This Inventory Sidekick is an example of an embedded resource—employees don’t have to try to fit training into their scheduled because the device shows them how to do their work (p. 133).

All Waltech, employees must complete a yearly, half-day team training designed to improve communication, make the workplace more enjoyable, set personal and store goals, and help employees understand their own strengths and weaknesses (University of Minnesota Publishing, 2016). The class consists of some lecture and group discussions, augmented by gamified scenarios dealing with interpersonal skills, plus online personality quizzes, where the performance support tools are supplied through our partnership with Skillpill. Group discussions are facilitated by the instructor after participants utilize the gamified scenarios and personality tests. These technological supports are essential to engaging the learners within the classroom setting. Since much of the instructional technology is outsourced through our partnership with Skillpill, these classes are cost-effective, easy to update due to the myriad numbers of course options, and instruction is scalable to the number of participants who rotate weekly through the program (Rosenberg, 2017, p. 135). Student acceptance of this blended model of teaching is very high (p. 137).

At Waltech, employees use an Inventory Side-kick performance support device as they stock the shelves (Rosenberg, 2017, p. 134). As part of our learning design plan, this performance support tool is integrated into their “New-Hire Hello” course, which takes place in the classroom, during the first week of employment. Then, after training, the Inventory Side-kick aids in the management of store inventory, which though complex, is a “clear and repetitive task” (p. 136). This device is helpful because maintaining inventory requires a “standardized and reliable output” and necessitates good record keeping and monitoring of employee work (p. 136).

[1] FYI: I totally made that store up.

Rosenberg, M.J. (2017). Performance Support. In Reiser & Dempsey (Eds.), Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp.52-60). New York, NY: Pearson.

University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing. (2016, March 22). Types of Training. Human Resource Management. Retrieved from This resource is licensed under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 License.

Re: Time Continuum Model of Motivation vs. ARCS Model

A response to Chapter 9, “Motivation, Volition, and Performance,” in Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology


Do additional research on Wlodkowski’s Time Continuum Model of Motivation and then describe two or more situations in which his model would provide useful guidance.  When it is time to prepare a list of specific motivational tactics to use in a given situation, how would the decision-making process be different with the ARCS model than with Wlodkowski’s time-continuum model.  Hint: With the ARCS model, what is the process for determining what motivational tactics are appropriate.


In Wlodkowski’s Time Continuum Model of Motivation, planning is essential in order to select the best motivational tactics for a lecture or learning activity. To have the greatest impact, instruction must be designed with consideration of three particular points in a learning sequence—the beginning, middle, and end. At these times in a lecture or learning activity, specific strategies for motivation are employed to have the most impact: “attitude and needs strategies are most relevant at the beginning of an activity, stimulation and affect strategies during the activity, and competence and reinforcement strategies when ending the activity” (Hodges, 2004, p. 3). In order to design the most beneficial learning experience, the appropriate motivational strategies should be selected and planned in advance to ensure variety, good preparation, and timing (Lowery, 1992, p. 34).

The Time Continuum Model is focused on meeting the needs of the learner during each particular phase of an instructional event—the beginning, during, and end (Hodges, 2004, p. 3). Keller’s ARCS Model of Motivational Design, where ARCS is an acronym for Attention, Relevance, Confidence, Satisfaction, is a contrast to the Time Continuum Model. ARCS is based on analysis of the situation—the course, the teacher, and the students—and number and types of motivational strategies are selected to address the needs of the audience (Keller & Deimann, 2017, p. 82). “The primary difference in the application of Keller’s and Wlodkowski’s strategies is that Keller performs the analysis of his audience before designing motivation…[so it can have] a better fit for the learners. On the other hand, Wlodkowski does not require an implicit stage of audience analysis, thus allowing the motivation to fit the instruction” (Lowery & Young, 1992, p. 41).

Time Continuum Model of Motivation, Example 1: It is the purpose of dental hygiene education to educate learner’s, who have little to no background in the field of healthcare, so that after two years of specialized training, they will be equipped to enter the dental hygiene profession as caregivers. One important concept that all dental professionals must grasp is the nature of the chain of infection. During every instance of patient care, the potential for cross contamination of the dental operatory and for contamination of the dental operator is extremely high. At the beginning of their first semester, long before they enter the clinical facilities, first year dental hygiene students are given a lecture on the chain of asepsis, the measures needed to protect themselves and patients from contamination. Because there is little to no margin for error in implementing the chain of asepsis, students often shown a particular video at the beginning of instruction, called, “If Saliva Were Red” (O’Keefe, 2015). In this film, a patient is given a medication to stain the saliva in the mouth. As the dentist and his assistant provide routine dental care, the film captures the red liquid being carried throughout the operatory—on various surfaces, on the patient, and on both dental professionals. This short film is legendary in dental hygiene education for its shock value. Students are repulsed and revolted, which creates a very memorable message about the significance of proper aseptic technique. This important lecture is typically considered to be a very boring topic, but showing this video at the beginning makes students much more attentive to the minute details of infection control.

The placement of this film in the lecture, and in the curriculum, is an application of the Time Continuum Model of Motivation, by Wlodkowski, who advocates using the time continuum of instruction as a guide for selection of particular motivational strategies. In this case, placement of the film at the beginning is a strategy to create a positive attitude toward an unpopular topic. In addition, this is an appeal to the feelings of the learner in order to create a positive attitude toward the instruction and to demonstrate the value of learning the material (Lowery & Young, 1992, p. 32; Brophy, 2010).

Time Continuum Model of Motivation, Example 2: Dental hygiene students receive hundreds of hours of instruction pertaining to various disciplines within the field of dentistry. The dental radiology course is both didactic and clinical in nature. Students are more apt to attend to the clinical instruction since they see direct application to patient care. The didactic portion can be more difficult in terms of engaging learners, but the content is extremely important in relation to passing the Dental Hygiene National Board examination, which allows students to apply for a state or regional license to practice dental hygiene.

The following is an real-life example of the use of a stimulation strategy to engage waning attention, in the middle of a lecture full of complicated and difficult concepts: During a particularly tedious lesson on the principles of shadow casting, Dr. Sean Hubar, a dead-wringer for Woody Allen, unexpectedly injected humor with a prop in order to explain the concept “penumbra” and “object to film distance.” Dr. Hubar retrieved a gigantic foam cowboy hat from below the slide carousel and placed it on his head. As he marched toward the screen, amidst uproarious laughter, the shadow that he and his cowboy hat cast became both smaller and darker, with more distinct edges. The lesson was, the shorter the distance between the object (hat) and the screen (or between the tooth and the x-ray film), the more accurate and clear the shadow (or dental radiograph) becomes. Since the middle of a lecture can be a time when students disengage and lose motivation, Wlodkowski suggests that this is the optimal time to employ a stimulation strategy such as using humor, spontaneity, and props (Brophy, 2010, p. 384).

Brophy, J. E. (2010). Motivating students to learn. New York: Routledge. Retrieved from

Francom, G., & Reeves T.C. (2010) John M. Keller: Significant contributor to the field of educational technology. [PDF file]. Educational Technology 50(3), 56-58. Retrieved from

Hodges, C. (2004). Designing to motivate: Motivational techniques to incorporate in e-learning experiences. [PDF file]. The Journal of Interactive Online Learning. 2(3). Retrieved from

Keller, J. M. (1987). Development and use of the ARCS model of motivational design. [PDF file]. Journal of Instructional Development, 10(3), 2-10. Retrieved from

Keller, J. M. (n.d.). ARCS Design Process. Retrieved September 07, 2017, from

Keller, J.M. & Deimann, M. (2017). Motivation, volition and performance. In Reiser & Dempsey (Eds.), Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp. 259-228). New York, NY: Pearson.

Longfield, J. (2015). Integrate motivation planning into lesson planning. Teaching Academy, 34.

Lowery, B., & Young, D. (1992). Designing motivational instruction for developmental education. Research and Teaching in Developmental Education, 9(1), 29-44. Retrieved from

O’Keefe, J. [Dr. John O’Keefe]. (2015, March 4). If Saliva Were Red from OSAP [Video file]. Retrieved from


Re: Simple vs. Complex Learning Outcomes

A response to Chapter 6, “Psychological Foundations of Instructional Design,” in Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology


Select two instructional goals that represent simple versus complex learning outcomes. How would the learning theories discussed in this chapter be employed to develop instruction to teach the goals you have selected?  How would the instruction differ in each case?  Would one or another theory be more applicable to one goal versus the other?  Why?


When designing instruction for students, it is important to begin with the end in mind. Setting instructional goals points to the path that the learners and teachers should follow. Examining those goals provides a window into the learning processes and theories that instructional designers are utilizing to elicit learning outcomes. In fact, the theories and the learning processes are the path to get learners to that end point. In the following paragraphs, two instructional goals for dental hygiene education, one simple and one complex, will be examined and the underlying principles of instruction and learning will be highlighted.

The Simple Instructional Goal: By the end of the first month of school, first-year dental hygiene students can label intraoral landmarks on a diagram and properly describe the normal anatomy found there.

One of the underlying principles at work in this simple instructional goal is the Behavioral Learning Theory, where knowledge exists outside of the learner and must be pursued (Driscoll, 2017, pp. 53-54). In this case the student must memorize a discrete set of intraoral landmarks and their location in the mouth along with the standard descriptors of healthy, normal anatomy. The memorization is a criterion-reference activity, a matter of learning a defined set of terms and relating that information to a fixed standard (the intraoral cavity), where multiple choice and fill in the blank quizzes test recall and students’ answered are compared to the specified standard (Reiser, 2017, p. 14). Instructors, as the experts assign readings with diagrams, then give lectures with slides, then give quizzes to test learning, and finally allow students’ the opportunity to practice in the pre-clinical setting, providing feedback (formative evaluation) as necessary. Students’ correct answers are reinforced by the stimuli of high scores on quizzes and positive verbal feedback in pre-clinical setting. Students repeat the same identification/labeling exercises, either in written or verbal form, multiple times, until it they are well versed in this basic, yet critical skill for the profession of dental hygiene (Driscoll, 2017, p. 54).

The influence of the Cognitive Information Processing Theory on this instructional goal is readily apparent, as well. Here the information exists outside of the learner and is the stimulus, or input, that triggers internal processing required for learning to occur (Driscoll, 2017, p. 54). The activities first appeal to the learner through sensory memory, and as the input progresses (visually) from diagrams to slides to live patients. Then the information moves to the short-term memory and finally to the long-term memory (p. 54). As an aside, this is where the Schema Theory is also applied in that schemas develop as learners increase in familiarity from repeated visual exposures to the material until what was foreign becomes commonplace. Schemas are also used as learners move from learning vocabulary to classifying tissues (e.g. soft vs. hard tissues, keratinized vs. non-keratinized) and categorizing anatomical structures in terms of their purposes (e.g. the different salivary glands, the assorted tissues that compose the periodontium, and the various types of papillae on the tongue) (p. 55). Returning to Cognitivism, the dental hygiene students receive feedback at multiple intervals during the learning process to allow them to ascertain the correctness of their answers and to modify their performance if necessary (p. 54). Finally, information processing is facilitated for learners due to practice in a variety of settings (p.54).

The Complex Instructional Goal: By the end of the first semester, first-year dental hygiene students will use information gathered in the initial oral exam and medical history to develop a dental hygiene treatment plan for a patient requiring quadrant scaling and root planning.

Once again, the instructional goal is sustained by practices associated with Cognitive theory. This goal draws on all previously learned information where leaners must retrieve encoded knowledge about health and disease and then use critical thinking skills to develop a plan and schedule appropriate treatment (Driscoll, 2017, p. 54). The clinical environment requires the highest level of problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, which are higher order cognitive skills (pp. 57, 62).

In addition, Constructivist influences are woven into this learning process in that these are live patients, people with real health concerns and dental disease; this is “authentic performance in a realistic setting” (Driscoll, 2017, p. 63). Students are practicing the profession of dental hygiene, as novices under the “cognitive apprenticeship” of their professional dental hygienist instructors (pp. 62, 73). In the clinical environment, instructors move from their classroom position of “sage on the stage” to a more collaborative relationship of “guide on the side” (pp. 57, 61). This shift also demonstrates Situated Learning Theory where the dental hygiene student moves to the place of performing the same tasks and skills that the experts in the subject matter do, where learners “participate in the practices of the community” (p. 55). Creation of a treatment plan for patients is authentic to the discipline of dental hygiene and allows learners to “reflect on what and how they are learning,” another aspect of constructivism (pp. 57, 63). Assessment of the instructional goal is indeed complex because patient care, in a clinical setting, is unlikely to reveal “uniform level of accomplishment among learners.” The subject of learners’ study and work is the patient, who cannot be standardized. This means, for a learner, every patient (learning experience) is different due to variances in terms of level of difficulty (pertaining to deposit removal), degree of disease, and complication of management (pain, physical limitations, psychosocial factors). For the same reason, it is impossible to standardize the learning experience in the clinical setting from one student to another (p. 57). Obstacles such as these are considered in the planning of instruction, and the solution to this problem is the multiplicity of learning experiences.

Driscoll, M. P. (2017). Psychological foundations of instructional design. In Reiser & Dempsey (Eds.), Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp.52-60). New York, NY: Pearson.

Reiser, R. A.  (2017). A history of instructional design and technology. In Reiser & Dempsey (Eds.), Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp.8-22). New York, NY: Pearson.

A Comprehensive Evaluation Model

Evaluation is an essential element in the process of designing and implementing educational and training programs. The analysis of a program’s successes or failures allows for improvement in the learning and performance of individuals as well as greater efficiency for the organization (Reiser & Dempsey, 2018, pp. 87, 91). Models should assess both formative and summative evaluation (p.87). With this in mind, what follows is a proposal for a new order for evaluation, which borrows from Stufflebeams’ influential CIPP model, Rossi’s question-based Five-Domain Evaluation Model, and Kirkpatrick’s Training Evaluation, Levels 3 and 4 (pp. 88, 92).

In this, The Comprehensive Evaluation Model, there are three stages: Foundational Considerations, Procedural Concerns, and Outcomes Valuations. The three stages provide opportunities for both formative assessment, which evaluates the process of the program and implements improvements as needed, and summative assessment, which is concerned with evaluation in any area other than development (Reiser & Dempsey, 2018, p. 87).

The first stage of the Comprehensive Evaluation Model is Foundational Considerations, which begins with context evaluation, derived from CIPP and Rossi’s Five-Domains; this is a needs assessment to determine if the program is necessary (Reiser & Dempsey, 2018, p.88). The second step, like CIPP’s Input Evaluation, is concerned with whether the available resources and support are adequate to implement the program (p. 88). And the third and final step considers the concept of the program, like Rossi’s Theory Assessment, analyzing the potential success of the overall program concept in an effort to avoid theory failure (p.88).

The Procedural Concerns portion of this new model deals primarily with formative evaluation where the development of the program and the process of implementation are deliberated, looking for measures that might improve effectiveness (Reiser & Dempsey, 2018, p. 88).

Finally, the Outcomes Valuation is a summative evaluation focusing on the overall success of the product (i.e. the program). Considerations here include an implementation assessment, asking Rossi’s question, “Was the program implemented properly, according to the program plan?” (Reiser & Dempsey, 2018, p. 88). What follows is an impact study, evaluating whether or not the learner behavior was changed, as intended by the program. This evaluation investigates using Kirkpatrick’s Training Evaluation Model, Levels 3 and 4. At this point, evaluators must determine (1) if learners can apply learned concepts to the necessary arena (workplace or classroom) and (2) if the program implemented change that improved the performance of the organization (p.92.). All of these factors must be weighed on the balance with an efficiency assessment, like Rossi’s, to determine the return on investment or the cost effectiveness of the program (pp. 88-89).

Reiser, R. A., & Dempsey, J. V. (2018). Trends and issues in instructional design and technology. Boston: Pearson Education.

Re: The Seven Characteristics of Instructional Design

A response to Chapter 3, “Characteristics of Foundational Instructional Design Models,” in Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology


According to chapter 3, Instructional Design:

  1. is a student-centered process
  2. is a goal-oriented process
  3. is a creative process
  4. focuses on meaningful experiences
  5. assumes outcomes are measurable. reliable, and valid
  6. is an empirical, iterative, and self-correcting process
  7. typically is a team effort

You have recently been hired by a large plumbing company to design a course to train recent high school graduates how to perform some basic plumbing skills. Describe how you might use each of the seven characteristics of instructional design that were described in chapter 3 to help you design an effective course.


For the group of recent high school graduates in need of basic plumbing skills, the program of training must be student centered. Students will come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Baseline knowledge of plumbing and hardware should be assessed to determine how familiar students are with the subject. In order to develop this evaluation, the instructional design team will consult with subject matter experts. Using this preliminary assessment, student groups can be formed so that students who are less knowledgeable may be paired with those who are more knowledgeable. A collaborative environment will encourage learning and personal development in students, with some leading or teaching and others growing their knowledge and developing trust in the team.

Teams of students will have very specific goals and be given measurable standards of performance. Though the teams will work apart from one another, the teams will be encouraged to help one another in a spirit of general cooperation. This sort of setting is meant to create a sense of community, as might be found in a workplace setting or a neighborhood. The skills, in terms of plumbing knowledge and teamwork, are meaningful life skills that students can share with others in the future. Individually, students must be able to perform proficiently to the given standards, repeatedly demonstrating the correct procedures according to the rubric specified in the course syllabus. Smaller, more frequent skill evaluations, both formal and informal, will be given throughout the course.

The design of the course will rely on the expertise of subject matter experts, technicians, and technology developers. Subject matter experts, the professional plumbers, will help determine the order of instruction, creation of learning experiences, and specifications of the learning objectives. Technicians will be instrumental in providing practical resources by constructing a series of sinks and toilets in the classroom to allow students to work simultaneously, in real-world situations, with immediate feedback from instructors and other students. Technology developers will create content-rich modules, using recorded lectures from experts, computer simulations of skills, and live close-up video demonstrations so all the students can watch in real-time as the on-site instructor performs important tasks.

The initial drafts of the course outline and the construction of classroom will be reviewed by subject matter experts at each phase of production. A small cohort, three teams of students, will test the modules of the training, providing feedback and allowing for correction, before the course is finalized and a full class of students is accepted. Each course will end with student and teacher evaluation of the course so that changes can be made to improve shortcomings before beginning a new class.

Branch, R. M. (2017). Characteristics of foundational instructional design models. In Reiser & Dempsey (Eds.), Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp.8-22). New York, NY: Pearson.

Re: ADDIE, SAM, and Pebble-in-the-Pond Models

A response to Chapter 4, “SAM and Pebble-in-the-Pond: Two Alternatives to the ADDIE Model,” in Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology


Compare and contrast the ADDIE, SAM, and Pebble-in-the-Pond models. Discuss strengths and weaknesses of each model. You are encouraged to utilize texts as well as graphs to share your information.


Unfortunately, some of ADDIE’s strengths are connected to its weaknesses. Because of the sequential order, an error or misjudgment at the beginning is often carried through the process. The documentation for this model is laborious and produces a written plan that is essentially an abstract concept until it the implementation phase, at which point major revisions of the project could be costly, if not impossible. The written plans of the instructional designer are subject to misinterpretation by others and the proposal is a description of what to do, but not necessarily how to do it. In all of this, it is easy to lose sight of the learner in lieu of focusing on the instruction (Branch, 2017, p. 24).

SAM (Successive Approximation Model) is one of the instructional design alternatives to the ADDIE model. It is a process model that relies on successive throwaway prototypes to communicate suggestions visually and provide opportunities for early and frequent formative testing of functionality (with live learners). As opposed to ADDIE’s document-heavy, abstract process, SAM’s use of prototypes throughout the project allows troubleshooting from the very beginning and makes for clearer communication of ideas and feedback between the designer and the stakeholders. SAM also develops preliminary plans for all of the content, from the beginning. Operating in this manner makes the SAM model very time-efficient, and therefore more cost-effective, in comparison to ADDIE (Allen & Merrill, 2017, pp. 33-35).

Above is the more basic SAM, which is a two-phased approach for simpler projects. The three-phased approach, for more complex projects, breaks the second phase into design and development phases. A key strength of the SAM approach is the Savvy Start where the design team meets (including stakeholders) to brainstorm the initial prototypes, constantly analyzing for weaknesses by asking themselves, “Why shouldn’t we do this?” From the outset, the team is committed to flexibility by generating multiple disposable iterations. Obviously SAM is a very creative process that keeps the end in mind from the beginning. The weakness of SAM is the possibility of getting stuck in the cycle of revision and having trouble finalizing the product (Allen & Merrill, 2017, pp. 33-35).

PEBBLE IN THE POND is another design alternative to ADDIE that is a problem-centered approach where the problem, something learners must solve, is the catalyst for instructional design. This model begins with the assumption that some initial evaluation and analysis has occurred and that the solution to the problem is instruction instead of some other option (Allen & Merrill, 2017, p. 35).

In this illustration, each concentric ring represents a step in the process of instructional design, where the problem initiates the process. The “pebble” represents the problem the student must be able to solve. The pebble is thrown into the “instructional pond,” causing a ripple that begins the design process.

  • The first ripple is the development of a prototype that illustrates the problem and how students can solve it (Merrill, 2013).
  • The second ripple is the creation and demonstration of a progressive series of prototypes that illustrate increasingly complex problem solving for students (Merrill, 2013).
  • Ripple number three is comprised of determination and demonstration of the specific skills required to respond to the problems as seen in the progression of prototypes (Merrill, 2002).
  • The fourth ripple is development of a structural framework for the problems in the progression using specific, task-centered instructional strategies and peer collaboration (Allen & Merrill, 2017, p. 35).
  • Ripple five is finalization of the prototype. Necessary components include design of “interface, navigation, and supplemental instructional materials” (Allen & Merrill, 2017, p. 35; Merrill, 2009).
  • The sixth ripple is the evaluation phase where data is collected to evaluate the course (formative evaluation) in order to make revisions to the prototype (Allen & Merrill, 2017, p. 35).

Unlike ADDIE, the Pebble model is very student-centered and learning-focused because it begins with the problem that the student must solve and demonstrates the skills necessary for students to succeed. Use of prototypes throughout the process avoids some other pitfalls of ADDIE such as inefficient use of time due to laborious documentation and miscommunication within the design team due to the abstract nature of a written plan. On the other hand, the Pebble model is limited since it lacks “the important steps of production, implementation, and summative evaluation” that are essential to the overall instructional design process (Allen & Merrill, 2017, p. 35).

Allen, M. W. & Merrill, M. D.  (2017). SAM and Pebble-in-the-Pond: Two alternatives to the ADDIE model. In Reiser & Dempsey (Eds.), Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp.31-41). New York, NY: Pearson.

Branch, R. M. (2017). Characteristics of foundational instructional design models. In Reiser & Dempsey (Eds.), Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp.23-30). New York, NY: Pearson.