“Instructional Design,” Molenda, Reigeluth and Nelson

Molenda, Reigeluth and Nelson “address in turn the underlying instructional principles,  the procedural guides by which these principles are put into application, and finally the construction of learning environments as an alternative way of putting the principles into action” (p. 574). The sources they outline for these principles come from behaviorist psychology, cognitive science and cognitive psychology, constructivism (including situated cognition), and “[a] recent synthesis by M. David Merrill (Merrill, 2001),” which  “provides a coherent and comprehensive over- view of instructional design principles from an eclectic perspective, incorporating behaviorist, cognitivist, and constructivist conceptions” (p. 575).

The procedural guides the authors present are instructional systems development (ISD) process models (which has roots in both the systems approach and behaviorist psychology, as implemented by both the U.S. military and academia, interestingly) and instructional theory-based ISD models (e.g. “structural communication” and the “reflective recursive design and development model”) (p. 577).

The learning environments mentioned include “the personalized system of instruction (Semb, 1997), goal-based scenarios (Schank et al., 1999), problem-based learning (Boud and Feletti, 1997), open learning environments (Hannafin et al., 1999), and constructivist learning environments (Jonassen, 1999)” (p. 577).

While I found the conciseness of this article appealing in some ways, it felt a little too condensed at times. I suspect a bit more narrative, context and examples than what they provide here would have helped me grapple with all these concepts that much more.


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