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Instructional Design Model Reflection

Working through this week’s material has made me realize how well designed the Coursera course,  Equine Welfare and Management, I’m auditing really is. The course is an excellent exemplar of the ADDIE model.  It is linear with well-defined goals.  

The instructional goals and objectives are clear.  The learner will become familiar with the five freedoms of animal welfare and apply it by creating an animal welfare plan suitable to a horse in their care.  The course follows a predictable design pattern – video lecture, group discussion, quiz – for each of the five freedoms.  I expect that there will be a request for a course evaluation upon completion. The structure is clear, consistent, and learner expectations are well communicated—a great reflection of a thoughtfully planned course.  

What would I change?  

Given the context, the course is public and has clearly defined learner outcomes. I can’t think of anything I would change.  There are no instructor interactions, yet the course feels very personal, as though I am working with Dr. Claudia Sonder herself. 

I  imagine the course is designed for a broad audience with varying degrees of familiarity with the learning material.  Information was presented at an introductory level and grew in complexity.  Small, manageable chunks of information and frequent assessments provide excellent feedback. The learner can either return to the lectures or move to the next topic.  Very much a constructivist approach.  Discussion questions are reflective in nature and prompt a compare/contrast between the learners’ experience and what is presented. Reading the discussions provides great insight and allows learners to learn from one another.     

What elements of the design model most resonate with me?  

I have been reflecting on a few themes presented throughout the course material.  The importance of context and the knowledge that no one design model, provides the perfect course design.  

The three questions presented by Mager (1984) absolutely resonated with me.  

  1. Where are we going? 
  2. How are we going to get there?
  3. How will we know we’re there?  

I think these are questions we need to be asking ourselves each time we interact with students.  For my current teaching context, synchronous, focusing on social-emotional learning, I found myself looking for something a little more holistic than the models presented. 

I did come across a design model by Kemp that I felt showed a lot of promise for planning online alternative programming.  The description by Kurt, S (2016), describes it quite well:

The circular approach adopted by the Kemp model guides designers to take the learner’s perspective, so that the learner’s overall goals, needs, priorities, and constraints are taken into consideration when deciding on instructional solutions. The nine key components of the Kemp Instructional Design, which are intended to focus on the whole learner throughout the design process, are much more detailed and nuanced than those included in previous models. However, because the stress in the Kemp model is on the interrelatedness of these nine elements, the design process itself can be a more dynamic and fluid process than other models would allow.

Kurt, S. (2016) Kemp Design Model.  Educational Technology. Retrieved from

Kent’s model very much speaks to a continuous implementation/evaluation cycle. This appeals to me as my focus is on very specific, and short lessons.  Planning begins with the identified needs and characteristics of individual students as opposed to learning outcomes.   

Although I am not currently teaching high school math, I have throughout the majority of my teaching career.  From this perspective, I am really excited about Fink’s (2003) Integrated Course Design model. Knowing your key outcomes, and ensuring that all decisions made with regards to learning activities, etc., work to support and reinforce those key outcomes would help focus both teaching and learning. I can see great potential in investing time in making connections between the skills being taught in each math theme as opposed to looking at them in isolation from one another.  I also appreciate the focus on both assessing for student learning, and assessing course delivery.  This cycle would result in continuous improvement of course design.

I am very excited to see that in the next few weeks will be delving deeper into integrated course design. 

Looking forward to continuing this journey with you! 


Bates, A.W. (2015). The ADDIE model. In Teaching in a digital age: Guidelines for designing teaching and learning . Vancouver BC: Tony Bates Associates Ltd. Retrieved from

Carleton University. (2017). Instructional design models [Video file]. Retrieved from

Dee Fink, L. (2003). A self-directed guide to designing courses for significant learning (pp. 2-4). Retrieved from

Siemens, G. (2002). Instructional design in elearning . Retrieved from