The Four Most Prevalent Models for Instructional Design
When you’re creating new training or coursework, choosing an instructional design model is typically essential. The selected methodology gives you a core framework, guiding the process and ensuring critical steps aren’t overlooked. While there is a wide array of options, specific strategies are more commonly used than others. Here’s a look at the four most prevalent models for instructional design.


The ADDIE model has been a part of the instructional design landscape for decades, but it’s still as effective now as it was during its creation. ADDIE is an acronym that stands for Analysis, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate, representing key phases in the process. During the analysis phase, the learning and development (L&D) team determines what training is actually required, ensuring the results fill a critical gap. For design, everything from learning goals to delivery mechanisms are defined, while development focuses on creating the coursework. With implementation, it’s about transitioning the training to the deployment platform. Finally, evaluation allows for gathering feedback and results for future improvements.

2. Merrill’s Principles of Instruction

Merrill’s Principles of Instruction (MPI) is a long-standing instructional design model that relates the learning to real-world needs. It’s focused on usefulness, though it also embraces opportunities to connect new information to existing knowledge, support broader engagement, and make the experience more meaningful to the learner. Often, the relating of training to real-world struggles the learner faces serves as a foundation, as it makes the content feel highly relevant. Making connections between existing knowledge and new information can lead to faster understanding, as the material inherently feels somewhat familiar in nature. There’s also a storytelling component when developing coursework and the need for learners to practice and engage directly with the information, both of which boost retention.

3. Kemp

The Kemp instructional design model uses circular instead of linear stages. There are a total of nine steps that cover key development needs, including identifying goals, factoring in user characteristics, sequencing content to promote logical learning, identifying strategies that support mastery, outcome evaluation, and more. Overall, the Kemp model is comprehensive and clear. Additionally, it works well for a variety of training modalities, including everything from in-person, instructor-led classes to coursework delivered through eLearning platforms.


For blended learning, one of the most prevalent methods is the ASSURE model. ASSURE is an acronym, which each letter relating to a critical step. It begins with analysis to gain insights into the learner’s needs. Next, there’s stating clear objectives, followed by selecting appropriate media. After that, there’s planning for the utilization of technology, media, and materials, followed by an outline of the required learner performance. Finally, the model includes evaluations, allowing it to be revised as needed.

Do You Want to Use One of the Instructional Design Models for Your Next L&D Project?

At Clarity, we have 30 years of experience in L&D, giving us the knowledge and expertise to support those who are embracing one of the instructional design models above for the first time. Plus, if you’re trying to expand your internal L&D team, Clarity can be your candidate search ally, connecting you with top talent right when you need them. If you want to partner with leading L&D professionals, Clarity Consultants is here. Contact us today. This is 12 1 1 1 1 1

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