Comparing Instructional Design Models


One of the benefits of participating in this program is the readability of the course materials. For instance, the excerpt, “Is ADDIE a Blond, Brunett, or Bald?” (Morrison, Ross, Kalman, & Kemp, 2011, p. 13) is both engaging and informative providing a brief history of instructional systems design (ISD) and the original of the acronym ADDIE. The ADDIE evolved from the “major stages in the generic ISD process: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation” (Morrison et al., 2011, p. 13).

In the “Introduction to Instructional Design and the ADDIE Model” (Kruse, 2009) the author states that “there are more than 100 different ISD models, but almost all are based on the generic ADDIE model” (Kruse, 2009, p. 1). The stages of the ADDIE model are characterized as:

• “Analysis – the designer develops a clear understanding of the “gaps” between the desired outcomes or behaviors, and the audience’s existing knowledge and skills;
• Design phase – documents specific learning objectives, assessment instruments, exercises, and content;
• Development phase – the actual creation of learning
• Implementation phase – these materials are delivered or distributed to the student group
• Evaluation phase – after delivery, the effectiveness of the training materials is evaluated” (Kruse, 2009, p. 1)

“The ADDIE model has been criticized by some as being too systematic, that is, too linear, too inflexible, too constraining, and even too time-consuming to implement” (Kruse, 2009, p. 1).

Morrison, Ross and Kemp Model

This model is classroom-oriented characterized as “usually having an output of one or a few hours of instruction, and assume an instructor, students, a classroom, and a piece of instruction that needs to be improved” (The Herridge Group, 2004, p. 8). Additionally, this model “describes a holistic approach to instructional design” and “prescribes a process that is iterative and subject to constant revision. This extremely flexible model is designed to focus on content and appeal to teachers” (The Herridge Group, 2004, p. 10).

This model consists of nine flexible, independent elements: “identify instructional problems and specify goals for designing an instructional program; example learner characteristics that will influence your instructional decisions; identify subject content and analyze task components related to stated goals and purposes; specify the instructional objectives; sequence content within each instructional unit for logical
learning; design instructional strategies so that each learner can master the objectives; plan the instructional message and develop the instruction; develop evaluation instruments to assess objectives; and, select resources to support instruction and learning activities” (The Herridge Group, 2004, p. 10-11).

Similarities between ADDIE and Morrison, Ross and Kemp Models

As mentioned previously, most instructional design models are modified versions of the ADDIE phases. Therefore, there are many similarities between the Morrison, Ross and Kemp Model and the phases of ADDIE. For instance, both consider instruction from the perspective of the learner. Both include stages for analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation.

Differences between ADDIE and Morrison, Ross and Kemp Models

One of the primary differences between these models is that the Morrison, Ross and Kemp model is more flexible, has additional independent elements without the constraint of linearity. “The model takes a general systems view towards development (model components are independent of each other) with instructional design being presented as a continuous cycle” (The Herridge Group, 2004, p. 10). Further, the ADDIE stages are generic by nature, whereas the Morrison, Ross and Kemp Model is context specific to the classroom.

These models also different in three other respects:

(1) Level of instructional design skill – classroom-oriented models require a low level of design skill, while a systems-oriented model requires a “high to very high level of skill” (The Herridge Group, 2004, p. 8).

(2) Amount of front-end analysis – classroom-oriented models require a low level of analysis … and systems oriented a very high level of analysis” (The Herridge Group, 2004, p. 8).

(3) Amount of formative evaluation (try out and revision) – “classroom-oriented models perform a low to medium level of evaluation … and systems-oriented a medium to high level” (The Herridge Group, 2004, p. 8) of evaluation.

Describe a situation or context in which using the other model would provide you with a distinct advantage over following ADDIE. Explain your reasoning, including references to the resources to support your explanation.

Clearly, situations with time and/or budget constraints with limited personnel resources would benefit from utilizing the Morrison, Ross and Kemp Model. It addresses the major criticisms alleged as “too systematic, that is, too linear, too inflexible, too constraining, and even too time-consuming to implement” (Kruse, 2009, p. 1). Further, the Morrison, Ross and Kemp Model would be extremely beneficial in the secondary classrooms when the subject matter experts (teachers) could be trained to utilize it relatively quickly due to its limited time requirements, flexibility, independent elements, and low skill requirements in instructional design and front-end analysis. This is all the more true in that this particular model is a “classroom-oriented model” created with the classroom, students, and teachers in mind, as mentioned previously.

ADDIE model. (n.d.). Retrieved January 10, 2011, from

Cowell, C., Hopkins, P. C., & Jordan, D. L. (2006). Alternative training models. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 8(4), 460-475. doi: 1148851661

Gustafson, K., & Branch, B. (2002). Survey of instructional models (4th ed.). Retrieved from

Kruse, K. (2009). Introduction to instructional design and the ADDIE model. Retrieved from

Moallem, M. (1996). Instructional design models and research on teacher thinking: Toward a new conceptual model for research and development. Retrieved from Eric Digest Clearinghouse:

Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. M., Kalman, H. K., & Kemp, J. E. (2011). Introduction to the instructional design process. In Designing effective instruction (6th ed.) (pp. 1-26). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

The Herridge Group, (2004). The use of traditional instructional systems design models for eLearning. Retrieved from The Herridge Group:

3 thoughts on “Comparing Instructional Design Models

  1. Pingback: Top 5 E-Learning Skills for 2011 | Cybersmart E-Guide for Teachers

  2. Pingback: Comparing Instructional Design Models | ilearnvlearn

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