Instructional design models are a systematic approach to creating a course or curriculum. They’re roadmaps that include everything from pre-learning activities to assessment.

Instructional design models for teaching ensure the educational course or program achieves the desired objectives. Designing the learning environment, developing technology-based programs and materials, developing instructional strategies for teaching and assessing student understanding are all part of it.

  1. Bloom’s Taxonomy

  2. ADDIE Model Of Instructional Design

  3. Merrill’s Principles Of Instruction

  4. Instructional Design Models For Online Learning

There are many types of instructional design models. Course designers use them to figure out what they need to do to create an effective instructional design plan for their learners. Let’s look at three different instructional design models in use today.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom developed this model in 1956. Its guiding principles are:

  • Knowledge: 

Domain knowledge is taught by taking learners through a curriculum

  • Comprehension: 

This is about getting a good grasp of various concepts using different instructional strategies

  • Application:

 In this stage, learners apply a concept in the real world through a variety of activities, such as simulations, role-playing activities and case studies

  • Analysis: 

The ability to analyze information in a way that they can understand it and know how it’s used. This may be done by helping students compare different things, find patterns or practice on the tools they’re learning

  • Synthesis: 

The ability to combine different concepts or ideas to make a new one. In educational settings, synthesis can be achieved by using a case study method where learners are presented with a difficult situation and they must work together to solve it

  • Evaluation: 

Learners must evaluate information and make judgments about how things are working. For example, the ability to discover what works well, what doesn’t work well and find out better alternatives

Though it has gone through several revisions over the years, the concepts behind Bloom’s Taxonomy make it one of the most popular instructional design models still in use. 

ADDIE Model Of Instructional Design

This is a five-stage process that is widely used by training professionals. It focuses more on the analysis of the learning objectives. It stands for Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate. The five stages of the ADDIE model are:

  • Stage 1: 

Analyze the purpose and audience of the training

  • Stage 2:

Design the structure and flow of the training program

  • Stage 3: 

Develop the material that is the basis for the training

  • Stage 4:

 Implement the material. Collect feedback from learners

  • Stage 5: 

Evaluate and refine. Have the learners achieved the desired results from the course of study? If not, this is when designers can go in and tweak the content as needed

This is one of the highly flexible instructional design models for teaching that allows for all manner of learning material.

Merrill’s Principles Of Instruction

Raymond W. Merrill, a professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, in the 1970s, developed a set of principles to guide instructional design. We still use this today for its practical, concise and simple approach to instructional design. Learners move through the following five stages:

  • Problem-centered:

 Learning occurs within the context of a real-world problem

  • Activation: 

The existing knowledge of the cohort is explored

  • Demonstration: 

Learners observe a demonstration of the knowledge or skills

  • Application:

 The learners themselves use their newly gained knowledge

  • Integration: 

The knowledge is absorbed into practice

This is one of the ideal instructional design models when designing certain kinds of courses that relate to practical skills. But it can also make more theoretical knowledge come alive.

Instructional Design Models For Online Learning

It’s important for educators to understand the differences between traditional instruction and online instruction when designing a course. Online education can take a variety of forms, from webcasts to interactive video lectures. The good news is that these three instructional design models can create both online and in-person programs.

Educators may not all know the answer to “what is instructional design model?”. Course design has evolved and the rapid spread of e-learning has caused a shift in how we think of education and teaching. The Inspiring Faculty Program is Harappa’s way of bridging this gap. Mid-career educators may feel the need to upgrade their skills and this is the program for them. It covers instructional design models for teaching, such as Bloom’s Taxonomy, and also provides skills for educators to step into the role of coach or mentor. A teacher’s skills are evergreen with the right input.


Explore Harappa Diaries to learn more about topics such as Instructional Technology For Learning, Tips For Online Learning, Ways To Become An Effective Learner and Bloom's Taxanomy that will help organizations tap into their employee's potential.

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