A comprehensive list of eLearning development models is crucial to facilitate good design and planning, for every type of training program, even more so for e-learning projects. A needs analysis before developing an e-learning course, should be conducted to examine training requirements to fill gaps in professional knowledge and to ascertain whether e-learning is the way forward.
If you are a beginner, it pays to understand and follow instructional design best practices followed in the eLearning space. The basic, most widely used among the list of eLearning development models that eLearning developers swear by, are the ADDIE Model, Gagne’s Nine Events of Instructions, Bloom’s Taxonomy and Merrill’s Principles of Instruction, to name a few among the plethora of models.
Instructional Design Development Models
In ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate), each phase proposes an opportunity for iterations before proceeding to the next one. Since ADDIE was one of the ground-breaking design models, it attracts much debate and discourse on its effectiveness and relevance in terms of meeting the current learner’s needs. Bent on ingraining maximum knowledge from each course, David Merril in 2002 proposed Merrill’s Principles of Instruction (MPI) as the first principles of instruction which holistically integrates five principles of learning – task-centered, activation, demonstration, application and integration principles; one should be able to relate to problems and tasks they can handle where a course must activate existing knowledge base of the learner;
Additionally, a course must demonstrate the knowledge so that it leverages different regions of the brain, hence retaining it longer. It must allow them to apply new information on their own and see how the new material works in concrete situations. The course must encapsulate dimensions for integrating the knowledge into the learner’s world via discussions, self-reflection, and/or presentation of new found knowledge.
Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction propounded by Robert Gagne comprised of a series of events based on the behaviorist approach to learning. These events follow a structured instructional design process, creating a model flexible enough for events to adapt and cater to diverse learning situations. In 1956, Benjamin Bloom created a classification system of measurable verbs, known as Bloom’s Taxonomy, to describe and organize the different levels of cognitive learning – evaluation, synthesis, analysis, application, comprehension and knowledge. In 2001, the six dimensions were revised by Anderson and Krathwohl to be known as the “Revised Taxonomy.” – creating, evaluating, analyzing, applying, understanding and remembering. The taxonomy transcends beyond basic knowledge into profound understanding, reflection and application of knowledge towards a learner’s individual process of solving problems.
Apart from the above list of eLearning development models are the Gagne’s 9 step model – suitable for PROCESS training; Kirkpatrick’s model is used for evaluation of learning outcomes. It makes sense to be familiar with Bloom’s Taxonomy, the work of Malcolm Knowles, and other Adult Learning theories and strategies key to high levels of comprehension, retention, and successful outcomes.
The eLearning niche is a mammoth discipline, and you will find a list of eLearning development models and theories that have suited different experts. The choice of which to use will depend on which model works best for you, your company, and your learners. Whether it goes by “eLearning” or “online learning” or for that matter “digital performance enablement”, it is imperative to realize that what is essentially needed is a shift in mindset to update the learning design. Let’s embrace cloud-based authoring of modern, collaborative, tech-enabled learning and look beyond the nomenclatures.