How Teachers Use Instructional Design in Real Classrooms

How Teachers Use Instructional Design in Real Classrooms

Patricia L. Rogers
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch279
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“I’ve learned how to use the [insert new instructional technology here], so now how do I use it in class?” From filmstrips and mimeographs, to computer-based simulations and virtual reality, technology seems to dominate teachers’ lives as they master the new instructional media for use in their classrooms. Good teaching and learning practices tend to take a back seat while the focus on mastery of the technology reduces teaching into basic presentations and lectures, a format most easily controlled by the instructor. While most pre-K-12 and post-secondary instructors do develop effective courses in which students learn, many would be hard pressed to describe how they arrive at certain goals and teaching strategies.
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The field of instructional design provides sound practices and models that, once modified for use by working teachers, can be used to design effective instruction in any content area (Rogers, 2002). The more difficult issue is helping teachers move beyond the tendency to focus on technology rather than instructional goals. Such focus occurs at lower levels of what can be described as a technology adoption hierarchy (summarized in Table 1): familiarization, utilization, integration, reorganization, and evolution (Hooper & Rieber, 1999).

Table 1.
A summary of the technology adoption hierarchy
    EVOLUTION    Highest level: is most able to cope with change and has skills to adapt newer technologies as needed or desired in teaching and learning environment.
    REORGANIZATION    Re-designs teaching strategies with focus on learning and goals of instruction. Students become more involved in the learning environment.
    INTEGRATION    Beginning to accept the technology. Focus soon shifts from learning the technology (and fearing its breakdown) to effective use of the technology in teaching.
    UTILIZATION    Basic trial of the new technology. Focus is on finding a use for the technology that may or may not continue, particularly if the technology breaks down.
    FAMILIARIZATION    Lowest level of exposure to a technology.

Somewhere at the integration stage, a “magic line” is crossed and the focus is no longer on the technology but on the teaching and learning. A supporting practical design model can help teacher-designers cross this magic line more efficiently and with a high degree of success.


A Modified Instructional Design Model

Prescriptive behavioral models in learning would seem, at first encounter, to be inappropriate in light of the more constructivist practices of current educators. However, most constructivists would concur that one must have solid building blocks or elements before construction of new knowledge can be achieved. Dick and Carey’s (1990) original systems design model and subsequent modifications by Gagné, Briggs and Wager (1992) and others offer examples of all of the elements necessary for designing and evaluating effective instruction. What the models lacked, however, was a connection to real classroom teachers: those of us who are really teacher-designers and who must create and develop our courses without benefit of design teams and lengthy pilot tests with target audiences.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Instructional Design: The field of instructional design includes a range of professions from programmers and graphic artists, to the instructional designer. Designers are able to analyze instruction, learners, environments, strategies, and media to develop effective instruction of training. Designers may or may not be subject matter experts.

E-Learning: A term used to describe learning that takes place usually online, but includes all forms of electronically-enhanced and mediated learning. Computer-aided instruction, just-in-time learning, and intelligent systems can be included in the term “e-learning”.

Teacher-Designer: “…if you have any experience with instructional design you know that the field and the various models of design associated with it seem most appropriate for teams of people working on the course materials together. Once in a while, some of us are fortunate enough to have instructional designers, subject matter experts, graphic artists, programmers and so on available on our campus or in our school district to assist us with our technology-enhanced course. But most often, it the teacher alone who must rethink and redesign his or her course for technology-enhanced learning. And very often it is the teacher who must also prepare the materials for the Internet, interactive television, or some other delivery medium. They often do not have any background in instructional design theory or practices and have only just mastered the skills for using the delivery medium. These are the people I call ‘teacher-designers’” (Rogers, 2002, p. 2).

This work was previously published in Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology: edited by M. Khosrow-Pour, pp. 1344-1348, copyright 2005 by Information Science Reference, formerly known as Idea Group Reference (an imprint of IGI Global).

Technology Adoption Hierarchy: “The model…has five steps or phases: familiarization, utilization, integration, reorientation, and evolution. The full potential of any educational technology can only be realized when educators progress through all five phases; otherwise, the technology will likely be misused or discarded…The traditional role of technology in education is necessarily limited to the first three phases, whereas contemporary views hold the promise to reach the evolution phase” (Hooper & Rieber, 1999, p. 253).

Instructional Design Models: Traditional design models are prescriptive step-by-step processes, usually associated with behaviorist instructional strategies. Phenomenological models incorporate constructivist philosophies and practices. In either aspect, design models guide the user in designing effective instruction that takes all aspects of design (see ADDIE) and reminds the user of critical elements and decisions in designing effective instruction.

Instructional (Educational) Technology: Instructional technology is the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management and evaluation of processes and resources for learning (Seels & Richey, 1994).

ADDIE: The five phases of most instructional design models: analyze, design, develop, implement, and evaluate. Some models follow the phases in a linear fashion, while others may approach the phases in a holistic or phenomenologic manner.

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