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Basic Instructional Design Principles - A Primer
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Basic Instructional Design Principles - A Primer


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This is a very basic primer I once created to teach a staff of technical writers about instructional design. It was not designed for non-verbal delivery, but it will give you an idea of basic ISD …

This is a very basic primer I once created to teach a staff of technical writers about instructional design. It was not designed for non-verbal delivery, but it will give you an idea of basic ISD concepts.

Published in: Business, Education

  • @Mike Kunkle Hi Mike this is great thx Geoff

    I am a Procurement Specialist in Government and I have an upcoming job application and they have asked me two pre-screening questions: (any thoughts?)

    Pre-screening Question 1:
    This role is responsible for providing procurement training to staff across the whole organisation. Please provide an overview of your experience in facilitating training and how you would measure the success of the training to ensure staff were following procurement policies and procedures.

    Pre-screening Question 2:
    This position is required to ensure compliance against NSW Procurement Board directives, maintain governance documents and enact compliance requirements. Please provide examples of how you would ensure organisational compliance in the areas of procurement and governance.
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • @Michael Webster
    People learn by doing. Roger is a recognized instructional design expert and his work is very respected in the field. For those who are unsure about what we're discussing, see:

    I do believe you can orchestrate 'learning by doing' without practicing live on clients. If you look at my post on Blended Learning ( it uses some of these principles by getting knowledge into heads first, then orchestrating classroom learning by doing (albeit live simulation) with feedback loops and chances to practice again to improve. This is the Flipped Classroom model, to some degree. If you connect this approach back to the job with follow-up reinforcement and skills coaching, it can speed time to mastery.
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  • Thanks, Mike.

    Do you have an opinion on Roger Schank's work on 'Learning by Doing?'
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  • @Michael Webster Sorry you found it confusing, Michael. I assume you're referring to slide 8. These are very basic instructional design principles.

    Under Chunk, the graphic simply represents a series of similar things (but which are not exactly alike - but similar), chunked together. This is what chunking means, putting like thing together in chunks, and teaching smaller chunks of content at one time. The colors just show some difference, in the similar things.

    Under sequence, this teaching things in a particular order, which will make it easiest to understand. First you do this, then this, and then. Last you do this.

    The Layer diagram is just a visual indicating that after you teach one set of like things, in a sequence, you then can teach another set (layering on top of what you've already done).

    Hope that helps.
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  • @Ken Morrison many thanks, Ken, glad you enjoyed it.
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  • 1. Training is… The achievement of pre-determined learning objectives through planned instructional techniques The transfer of knowledge, skills & attitude (KSA) • Training focuses on influencing attitude, providing knowledge and transferring skills Developed through a systematic process known as instructional design or instructional systems design
  • 2.  The analysis of learning needs and systematic development of instruction to meet those needs Models typically specify a method, that if followed will facilitate the transfer of knowledge, skills and attitude to the learner Some Names to Know and Resources: • Robert Mager • Robert Gagne • Benjamin Bloom • Walter Dick, Lou and James Carey (Dick & Carey) • Ruth Clark • M. David Merrill
  • 3. Analyze ADDIE Determine needs and Analyze performance gapEvaluate Design Write learning objectives Design Plan the training Develop evaluation plan Develop Build the course Implement Teach or make available Implement Develop Measure effectiveness or Evaluate impact
  • 4. Objective Part Description Example Statement describing Given 5 case examples where a Condition circumstances under which clear need is presented… behavior is to be performed The agent will determine and Behavior What the student will say or do explain why term or whole life insurance is a better choice Statement that specifies how Within 5 minutes per case, with Criterion well the student must perform 80% accuracy (4 of 5 cases). the behaviorAt the end of this module, given <a set of conditions>, you will be able to <action verband behavior> to <criterion - level of accuracy>.
  • 5. • RememberingKnowledge Acquisition • Understanding • ApplyingKnowledge Deepening • Analyzing • Evaluating Knowledge Creation • Creating
  • 6. Chunk Sequence 1 2 3 4 5 Layer C. Then This B. Then This 6 4 A. This First 5 3 1 2
  • 7. A Simple Method That Works: Tell: Provide the information, knowledge, expectations. • Include “What, Why, and How” (and sometimes, “When and Where”) • Have them verbally summarize their understanding to your satisfaction Show: Demonstrate how to do it • Have them demonstrate it back to you, to your satisfaction Do: Set expectations and have them do it • Observe them do it Review: • Provide feedback and shape their behavior appropriately • Have them do it again, using the feedback • Cycle between Do and Review until they master it • Monitor results after that, coaching as required.
  • 8. Adults: Want to know why they should invest the time Need to feel responsible for their own learning Bring valuable experience to learning Are ready to learn when the need arises Are task-oriented (hands-on, activity-based)
  • 9.  Find ways to restate and review important concepts Get them doing something (Tell, Show, Do, Review) Engage multiple senses when possible Separate review and learning assessment • Review helps them and doesn’t need to be scored • Consider scoring assessments – they tell us whether students “got it” and helps us know how we’re doing, too (was the course effective?)
  • 10.  Write great objectives Think ADDIE but don’t get locked into a linear model Using objectives as a guide, how deep do they need to go per topic (per Bloom)? Design accordingly Keep Gagne’s Nine Events in mind – flow the events where you can Use the “Tell, Show, Do, Review” method – make training active Treat learners like adults Chunk, sequence and layer Repeat key points where possible Repeat key points where possible Review for them, assess for us.
  • 11.  Transfer, when it occurs, does so via strategy or luck • Note: Strategy is better! (Hope is not a business strategy.) Transfer is a purposeful, shared responsibility What will each stakeholder do to ensure transfer occurs? will Stakeholder Before During After Learner Trainer Learner’s SupervisorAdapted from Broad and Newstom’s book: Transfer Of Training: Action-packed Strategies To EnsureHigh Payoff From Training Investment
  • 12. ReactionLearning Names to Know  Donald, Jim and Wendy KirkpatrickApplication of Kirkpatrick Partners  Jack and Patti Phillips of the ROI InstituteResults  Jac Fitz-enz of Success Factors and founder, Saratoga InstituteROI / ROE (Expectations)
  • 13.  Stolovitch & Keeps: Telling Ain’t Training Mager: The New Mager Six-Pack Hodell: ISD From the Ground Up Swanson: Analysis for Improving Performance 15