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.

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

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.

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.

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.