EDU 623: Instructional Design and Development, Building stronger programs and classrooms one model at a time!

What is instructional design and development? Why is it even important to know about? What if I’m not even a teacher? Why should this even matter?

Gustafson and Branch (2002) define instructional development as, “a complex process that, when appropriately applied, promotes creativity during development and results in instruction that is both effective and appealing to learners” (p. 2). 

One of the most prominent models related to instructional design is the ADDIE model. The ADDIE model, which stands for, Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation (Hodell, 2011, p. 24), is what I believe to be the foundation for all instructional design models. From my research, I found that within some instructional design models, there are some similarities and differences between these models and the ADDIE model. View the photo below for more information on the ADDIE model:

ADDIE is not the end all and be all in instructional design. I like to think of the ADDIE model as the mothership of instructional design and then there are other branches attached to ADDIE that help make instructional design what it is today.

One of the first models that caught my attention was the classroom ID model, the Heinrich, Molenda, Russell, and Smaldino model. This model is based around the acronym ASSURE: Analyze learners, State objectives, Select media and materials, Utilize media and materials, Require learner participation, and Evaluate and revise (Gustafson and Branch, 2002, p. 23). I found that this model I had the strongest connection with because these steps are what I follow when I design instruction in my classroom. Similar to the ADDIE model, this model analyzes, focuses on objectives, implements the activities chosen to support those objectives, and evaluates the activities that were conducted. For more information about the ASSURE model, the reflective video below will give more information and ideas on how teachers can implement ASSURE in their classroom.

The second model that caught my attention was the product development model- Bergman and Moore model. This model is based around six major activities: Analysis, Design, Develop, Produce, Author, and Validate (Gustafson and Branch, 2002, p. 32). I found that this model, without me conciously knowing it, played a role in my eLearning lesson design in EDU 624. This model focuses on the input, the output, and the evaluation strategies and I found myself constantly thinking about all of those things. In a way, I believe that this model is the most different from ADDIE, with some similar characteristics such as both models have evaluation strategies in place, however, I do not believe the ADDIE model has a major focus on the input and output the way the Bergman and Moore model does. I believe that the Bergman and Moore model is more about the plan before the action, whereas the ADDIE model is more action. 

As previously stated, I found that I am currently implementing the Heinrich, Molenda, Russell, and Smaldino model. I would like to eventually see myself using the Bergman and Moore model when/if the time ever comes to promote my work to my administrators to show them my vision for the school/district. 

Overall, by planning and focusing on an ID model in any setting, there are many positive implications for learning and instruction, especially in my own classroom.


Gustafson, K. L., & Branch, R.M. (2004). Survey of instructional development models. Syracuse: ERIC Clearinghouse.

Hodell, C. (Ed.). (2011). ISD from the ground up: A no-nonsense approach to instructional design (3rd ed.). Chelsea, MI: Sheridan Books, Inc.

Web and Learning (2013). ADDIE model

Yellowgreynoway. (2012). Integrating technology and media into instruction: The assure model. [Video file]. Retrieved from


EDU 625: Social Media

Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? There are more than those three?! It seems to me that everywhere we turn Social Media is constantly surrounding us.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary online (n.d.) defines social media as a, “form of electronic communication (as Web site for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos)”. Currently, there are many people throughout the United States and other countries that are connected through Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more. Although there are age restrictions to many of these sites, somehow people of all ages manage to be connected in some way.

As an educator, it can become difficult to teach because at times one might feel as if they need to compete with these Social Media outlets because at the end of the day, THAT is what is getting our students’ attention.  How do we fix it? Is it even possible? Absolutely.

I have found that unfortunately, many people that I have come across believe that technology has ruined the world and the state of education, however, with proper education regarding technology being used in education, I think their viewpoint can change. Currently in schools, students need to be taught the 21st century skills that will enhance their learning in the present and the future. Included in that future is technology. Sometimes educators can get better results from their students when technology/Social Media is integrated into the classroom.

In an article published by The Chronicle of Higher Education (2010), it was written, “One benefit of the popular social network is that, unlike course-management systems such as Blackboard, students already know how to use it, said the presenter, Denise Knowles, a Web-application specialist at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, California” (para. 3). When students are able to make a stronger connection in the classroom, achievement is that much better.

One of the programs that I have liked to use in my classroom in the past is Edmodo. Edmodo is a site that allows educators to teach classes, conduct polls, upload and grade assignments, have discussions, and more. What is beneficial about using Edmodo is that it has a very similar look to Facebook and is very easy to navigate. I have personally found that my students enjoy using Edmodo because it is so similar to Facebook. Overall, there are many positive implications that Social Media implementation has on the classroom.

In Unit 1, I had a very positive experience exploring new technology programs. Almost all of the programs presented in the Unit were completely new to me, except Prezi. I dabbled in each of the programs and was shocked when I saw what Jing is all about. In EDU 624 for my eLearning lesson, I used Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 Screen Capture and found that to be very easy to navigate. I am interested in trying out Jing when the time comes.

Another source that I used that took me forever to use was Muvizu. The character animation program is really great to use once you get the hang of it, but without knowing anything about the program, it can be very frustrating to use. The only way I got through it was through the fantastic Muvizu tutorials that they provide. The tutorials are straight to the point and if I felt like I needed more information, I was able to search for more videos that were able to guide me through. Click the video below to see what I was FINALLY able to create! 🙂

From this unit, I have concluded that there are so many great resources I can start using in my classroom. I am so excited to start using these resources, but am also nervous to implement them. One of the questions I do have is simply, “Where do I begin!?” I’m very much looking forward to continuing learning and growing in this course.


Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (n.d.). Social media. Retrieved from

Young, J.R. (2010, July 22). How social networking helps teaching (and worries some professors). The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from

Future of eLearning

ELearning, Online Learning, whatever you want to call it,

Students are engaged and achieving past their limits.

We need to work hard and embrace this epic change,

What kind of students are we building? Innovative? Or really lame? 

-G. Gurga, 2014

ELearning or online learning is something that I find in my own personal working and learning environment to be very beneficial, however, I have colleagues who have a very different opinion. I think that one of the problems that the education system is faced with in regards to eLearning is the fact that not only is there not enough time to train teachers on eLearning, but there is a lack of understanding of what eLearning truly is.

ELearning or online learning is referred to as, “the technology which can extend the availability of information for training. It appears vital technology because improve the political and cultural future of the society” (Hoshyar & Sulaiman, 2010, p. 456). ELearning also provides students with an opportunity to work on a larger range of skills that they need in order to be successful in the world that we live in. In an interview with PWC Canada (2013), the Toronto District School Board Director of Education, Donna Quan, discussed the opportunity that eLearning provides students. Quan stated, “We don’t have an option. We have to change the way we deliver education, when and where, and how” (The future of eLearning).

From this course, I have learned the true importance of eLearning and the positive implications it has for education. In my working environment, I have seen what a stronger and more positive impact eLearning has on my students when it is used as opposed to when it is not.  I find, however, that my students can operate an iPad, but have no clue how to operate a mouse, a keyboard, and even the basic functions of the computer. It is at times like these when I feel slightly defeated because I believe my students lack all the tools and knowledge they need to succeed regarding eLearning, but at the same time, I think I need to be grateful that they even have exposure to eLearning when I know there are students who have no exposure at all. I try my best to teach my students the specific skills that I find they need to know when I get them in my room and when we are using computers. I can’t control what goes on in other classrooms, just what goes on in mine.

One of the main concepts that I can strongly connect with in my personal learning environment is through  the use of gaming in the classroom.

Shute, Rieber, and Van Eck (n.d.) quote Salen and Zimmerman (2004) stating a game is, “a system in which players engage in an artificial conflict, defined by rules that results in a quantifiable outcome” (p. 321). Shute, Rieber, and Van Eck (n.d.) also write:

Prensky (2001) includes goals, feedback, interaction, and representation (or story) into the mix of essential game elements. Pulling from each, our list of educational-game ‘must haves’ includes: (a) conflict or challenge (i.e., a problem to be solved), (b) rules of engagement, (c) particular goals or outcomes to achieve (which often includes many subgoals), (d) continuous feedback  (mostly implicit, but may be explicityly cognitive and/or affective), (e) interaction within the environment, and (f) compelling story line” (p. 321-322).

For these reasons quoted by Shute, Rieber, and Van Eck (n.d.), media rich gaming and simulations engage students locally and globally. Although there has not been a lot of research conducted, I personally have had very positive experiences with media rich gaming and simulations. First, it is important to note that the main reason that media rich gaming and simulations engage students locally and globally is because in most gaming situations, students are engaged in real-world experiences that actually work on 21st century skills that they need in everyday life. Contrary to many people’s belief, media rich gaming and simulations in the classroom promote positive interactions and skills that can help advance a student’s mind in many ways.

In my classroom, I integrate gaming and simulations in a couple of different ways. One of the first ways that I integrate simulations in my educational environment is in my 7th Grade Careers unit. I use a simulation from the website, The students first do an interest survey that consists of 10 questions at a time. Based on these answers, the website then generates parts of their own car, including color. It allows the students to have ownership over their own car. Once the interest survey is complete, I have students choose their top 5 careers that they would be interested in exploring. From there, they have to narrow it down to three careers that they are going to fully explore and “drive” to. Although the students do not drive anything, it looks as if they are driving. Sometimes on the drive, they are presented with “speed bumps” and if they make the wrong decision, they get pulled over and get in trouble. It is a great opportunity for the students to be more interactive with a career search. I have been very successful with this activity and the kids love it!Another way that I integrate gaming and simulations into my education environment is with the Wii gaming system. For my 8th grade students, when we do knife cuts, my students play the game Cooking Mama. Cooking Mama gives recipes that students have to prepare within a certain amount of time. The students get to practice their knife cuts, recipe reading, and time management. This is another successful activity that I do with my students because they make the connection between the game and the actual cutting that takes place in the kitchen.

One of the main things that needs to be considered when designing eLearning environments and gaming environments in the classroom is usability and accessibility. When eLearning programs and environments are created with usability and accessibility in the front of ones mind, a positive impact is made on the students it directly affects. Usability and accessibility is important when planning and designing for global and diverse learners because as an educator, you would want these learners to feel included so they can also succeed.

One of the things I still have difficulty with is when I think of resources. I guess I take on a defeatist attitude when I think about HOW to implement eLearning to its fullest potential in my district. I can’t even get into one school (I split my days between two schools), nevermind get more technology and eLearning opportunities in my school. I wonder if somewhere down the road as I complete my next 2 classes in my planned program from now through August, if there will be some ways, discussions, or tips to help me advocate more for eLearning in the classrooms in my district. Yesterday there was a Board of Education meeting and one of the agenda items was regarding a Middle School Computer Class Curriculum. I do not know what the curriculum entails, however, I hope that it will incorporate virtual learning, gaming, and all of the other things that the students will be able to learn with and enjoy.


Hoshyar, A., & Sulaiman, R. (2010). Introduction to elearning infrastructure. Proceedings of European Conference on E-Learning, 456-462.

PWC Canada. (2013). The future of eLearning [Video file]. Retrieved from

Shute, V.J., Rieber, L.P., & Van Eck, R. (n.d.). Games..and…Learning. In R.A. Reiser & J.V. Dempsey (Eds.), Trens and issues in instructional design and technology (pp. 321-332). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.