Instructional Design Models and Theories - Educational Technology (2024)

ByDr. Serhat KurtPosted onUpdated on Reading Time: 2 minutes

An instructional design model provides guidelinesto organize appropriate pedagogical scenarios to achieve instructional goals.Instructional designcan be defined asthe practice of creating instructional experiencesto help facilitate learning most effectively.Driscoll & Carliner (2005) states that“ design is more than a process; that process, and resulting product, represent a framework of thinking” (p. 9).

Instructional design models describe how to conduct the various steps. These steps involve instructional design process. The models help trainers and educators to guide and plan the overall process.

Instructional Design Models and Theories - Educational Technology (1)

Branch & Kopcha say that “instructional design is intended to be an iterative process of planning outcomes, selecting effective strategies for teaching and learning, choosing relevant technologies, identifying educational media and measuring performance” (p. 77).

There are numerous instructional design models. These are commonly accepted design models:

Characteristics of Instructional Design Models

According to Branch and Merrill (2002), there are several characteristics that should be present in all instructional design models:

  1. Instructional design is learner-centered: Learner and his/her performance are the focal points.
  2. Instructional design is goal-oriented: Well-defined goals are essential.
  3. Instructional design focuses on real-world performance. Help learners perform the behaviors that will be expected of them in the real world.
  4. Instructional design focuses on outcomes that can be measured in a reliable and valid way. Creating valid and reliable measurement instruments is essential.
  5. Instructional design is empirical. Data are the heart of the process.
  6. Instructional design typically is a team effort. This process usually involves teamwork.


Gustafson, K. L., & Branch, R. M. (2002). What is instructional design? Trends and issues in instructional design and technology, 16-25.

Branch, R. M., & Kopcha, T. J. (2014). Instructional design models. In Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (pp. 77-87). Springer New York.

Driscoll, M., Carliner, S. (2005) Advanced Web-Based Training: Adapting Real World Strategies in Your Online Learning, Pfeiffer. ISBN 0787969796

Instructional Design Models and Theories - Educational Technology (2024)
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