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: 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.