Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Week 10 (April 5 - April 11, 2011)

This week we started getting into the nitty-gritty of the instructional design process. The reading we were assigned was a tutorial entitled The Basics of Instructional Design which focused on the Holland Process Model (HPM).

The ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate) model is considered to be the base for most other process models used in the field. ADDIE is “cyclical and iterative” as each component follows one after the other and “evaluation is ongoing throughout all stages” (Holland, 2005). The HPM builds upon ADDIE in that it includes a few other important components. An acronym to easily remember the components is DADDIAE (Define, Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, Assess and Evaluate). Like ADDIE, the HPM is also cyclical and “evaluation is continuous in all phases” (Holland, 2005).

The following is a brief overview of what takes place during the various phases of the HPM:
Define: Identify the problem and ideal solution.
Analyze: Work with others to determine course content, draft ability statements (to be discussed), review existing materials and identify learning setting and tools.
Design: Draft ability-based objectives (to be discussed), matching assessments (to be discussed) and order of instruction.
Develop: Create student materials and instructor guide, and determine learning events.
Implement: Deliver instruction.
Assess: Review student learning vs. objectives, learner feedback and course content, and suggest any necessary changes.
Evaluate: Continuously question validity of instruction, whether a better approach exists and if learning is taking place (located in center of the HPM to highlight its importance).

After presenting the HPM, the tutorial went on to discuss how to write ability statements (part of the Analysis phase). Holland (2005) states that “ability statements describe what students will be able to do as a result of your instruction.”
A great way to easily remember the components of an ability statement is the following: Ability Statement = Action Verb + Object (or subject content reference) (Morrison, Ross, & Kemp, 2004, p.114; Norton, 1985, 157). Some examples include: DESIGN instruction, PRESENT material and WRITE lesson plan. A number of verbs that should be avoided are also mentioned because they cannot easily be measured; they include the following: Know, Understand, Feel and Enjoy (Mager, 1984, p. 20).

Ability statements form the basis of the next focus of the tutorial, drafting ability-based objectives. Ability based objectives address “the two most important questions an instructor should ask in planning instruction”:
1. What will my students learn as a result of taking my course?
2. How will I know they have learned?
(Holland, 2005)

Ability-based objectives are separated into two types: formal and informal.

Formal (or terminal) objectives are more detailed than informal ones. They consist of four parts: Conditions + Who + What + Acceptable Performance (Cook, 1977, pp. 18-19: Seels & Glasgow, 1990, pp. 134-141).
The following is an example: Working in teams (conditions), the History students (who) will be able to demonstrate their knowledge, by creating a timeline, of past events (what). To be acceptable, the timeline must include at least five events studied in class, in chronological order.
Informal (or supporting/enabling) objectives provide less detail than formal ones. They consist of (at least) two components used in formal objectives: Conditions (optional) + Who + What
The following is an example: Given background information on X (conditions, optional), the student (who) will write a report summarizing what interested them (what).

Ideally, at the time of writing ability-based objectives, one should come up with matching assessments in order to ensure agreement between the two. Three characteristics of good assessments include:
1. Clearly written directions explaining what the student is supposed to do.
2. An appropriate setting allowing for the student to complete the task.
3. Agreement between the objective and assessment (Dick, Carey, & Carey, 2001, p. 146; Gagné & Briggs, 1979, pp. 219-220; Gagné, Briggs, & Wager, 1992, p. 257; Morrison, Ross, & Kemp, 2004, pp. 270-271).

This last characteristic cannot be stressed enough as problems most often arise here. In order to ensure agreement, it is necessary to focus on the action verb in the ability statement of the objective. For example, if the ability statement requires students to WRITE a report, having an assessment where they EDIT one would be inappropriate.
The following is a sample objective and matching assessment:
Objective: The Drama student will to be able to ACT out a scene at random from the short play read in class.
Assessment: CHOOSE a slip of paper from the box with a scene written on it from the short play read in class. ACT it out for the class.

In conclusion, this tutorial was definitely insightful, to say the least. In my limited past teaching experience, I never knew so much thought could be required in order to create (good) learning objectives. I also appreciate the effort involved in devising matching assessments. I’m sure there have been several past occasions both I and fellow teachers have not properly assessed students thinking that any related tasks to the objectives would suffice. In actuality, it really makes sense to devise assessments at the same time of objectives; it’s probably easier too since it doesn’t require one to go back and try and rethink their thought process. I’m sure all of these tips will be a lot of help in not only completing the final project in this class, but future instructional design scenarios as well.


Cook, M. J. (1977). A classroom guide for the successful teacher: A systematic approach. Columbia, MD: John D. Lucas.

Dick, W., Carey, L., & Carey, J. O. (2001). The systematic design of instruction. (5th ed.). New York, NY: Longman.

Gagné, R. M., & Briggs, L. J. (1979). Principles of instructional design. (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Gagné, R. M., Briggs, L. J., & Wager, W.W. (1992). Principles of instructional design (4th ed.). Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College.

Holland, G. (2005). The Basics of Instructional Design. Retrieved from:

Mager, R. F. (1984). Preparing Instructional Objectives (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Lake.

Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. M., & Kemp, J. E. (2004). Designing effective instruction (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Norton, R. E. (1985). DACUM handbook. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University.

Seels, B., & Glasgow, Z. (1990). Exercises in instructional design. Columbus, OH: Merrill.

No comments:

Post a Comment