Instructional design in e-learning

As one of the fastest growing discipline, e-learning was widely used in training and education. Without doubt, developments in Internet and multimedia technologies are the basic enabler of e-learning. However, technology is not everything for e-learning. The need for instructional design is being noticed in e-learning. An Increasing number of corporate training departments and educational institutes begin to recognize that instructional design play a vital role in e-learning. Many people regard e-learning as the marriage of technology and education. Instructional design must serve as the bridge between the two worlds.

Instructional design

What is Instructional design? Many definitions exist for instructional design. According to Moore, Bates and Grundling, instructional systems design is a combination of science and an art. A science because it is rooted in learning theories and an art because the designing instructional materials is a highly creative process.(2002).While other scholars consider Instructional design to be a discipline that concerned with research and theory about instructional strategies and the process for developing and implementing those strategies. Generally, instructional design was accept as the “process by which instruction is improved through the analysis of learning needs and systematic development of learning materials. Instructional designers often use technology and multimedia as tools to enhance instruction.”

Instructional design models

An instructional design model is a representation of a view on how people learn. It is also the guideline by which an instructional designer creates instruction. (Gustafson & Branch, 2002). Of cause, there is more than one excellent model that can be used to guide the design of instruction. Each of them has different orientations, which is manageable for the particular situation or task. For example, one model may be more effective for designing an academic course, and other models are more effective for designing soft skill course. (Like managing people and communication, etc). Here is three major models for instructional design for e-learning.

  • ADDIE Model (process-oriented)-This is the best-known design model, which can be represented as five phases: analyze, design, develop, implement and evaluate. (Hannum, 2005). This model put a high level of emphasis on the process of learning. It provides effective and efficient education and training through step-by -step implement. ADDIE Model is frequently used in academic circles.
  • Dick and Carey Model (Systems-oriented)-The Systems Approach model is based on an instructional theory that says, “There is a predictable and reliable link between a stimulus (instructional materials) and the response that it produces in a learner (learning of the materials).” (McGriff, 2001). This model emphasis that every component (i.e. teacher, students, materials, and learning environment) is crucial to successful learning.
  • Kemp, Morrison, and Ross Model (Classroom-oriented)-It is also known as nine-step instructional design model. The nine elements are: identify instructional problems and specify goals; example learner characteristics; identify subject content and analyze task components; specify the instructional objectives; sequence content within each instructional unit; design instructional strategies; plan the instructional message and develop the instruction; develop evaluation instruments; and, select resources to support instruction and learning activities. (Morrison, Ross & Kemp, 2001). This flexible model is designed to focus on content and appeal to teachers. The model emphasizes management of the instructional design process.

The growth and success of e-learning is greatly depend on the quality instructional design. Thus, we need to carry out an in-depth analysis of different instructional design models. Making the best use of advantages and bypass the disadvantages of each model. Sometimes, we can also combine different models in accordance with situation. In short, better understanding of instructional design will make a difference in e-learning.


Hannum, W. (2005). Instructional systems development: a 30 year retrospective. Educational Technology, July-August, 5-21.

Moore, Dermot, Bates, Annemarie, & Grundling, Jean. (2002). Instructional design. Skills development through distance education, p.71.

Gustafson, L.& Branch, M. (2002). Survey of instructional development models, p.1, Syracuse University.

McGriff, S. (2001). Instructional systems design models.

Morrison, G., Ross, S., & Kemp, J. (2001). Designing effective instruction (3rd ed.). p .6,New York

By nancyzhangedpc5003

Social networking sites for learning

The concept of social computing coupled with web 2.0 technologies have caught a wide audience since 2004 and have revitalized an interest in peer-learning and collaboration, notions that have a longer history within the area of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning  (CSCL). (Thomas & Ellen, 2008). In the past several years, we have seen the dramatically growth of using social media. Social networking sits such as Face book, Twitter, MySpace, blogs, wikis are popular and frequent used by online population. Without a doubt, the popularity of social networking has made a great impact on academia and learning environment. According to Vie (2008), almost all Generation M students (eighteen to twenty-four years old and first-time college students) used on line social networking sites regularly. And these social networking sites can serve as mediators for communication, collaboration and interaction between students, teachers and faculty. (Shazarin, Azween & Alan, 2011).

There are some certain benefits to use social networking sites for education. The primary benefit of social networking sites is that they contribute to student’s active participation in learning. Students are developing a positive attitude towards using technology systems, editing and customizing content, and thinking about online design and layout. Instead of being told or taught by teachers in the class using drill and practice techniques have opportunities to participate in the class to communicate, interact, discuss and collaborate with their classmates, teachers and other knowledgeable peer. (Shazarin, Azween & Alan, 2011). Besides, students can practice their technological influences by using social networking sites. Using social networking sites can foster the creativities of students. They receive elementary instruction from school and practice themselves after class. With deep interest at technology, they can go even further.

From the perspectives of teachers and schools, social networking websites enable them to increase their access to resources. These social networking sites provide them opportunities to collaborate with other teachers and faculty. They can exchange their lesson plans as well as information. They can also assist teaches in their daily teaching .For example, teachers can give out assignment by posting in blogs or other forms of writing. Furthermore, this method can reduce expenditures by sharing some available resource. And most important, parents can also participate to these social networking sites, coupling with teachers to instruct students.

However, several issues have presented using social networking sites. The first problem lies on whether students can correctly identify the outside world. If students use social networking sites beyond control, it could lead to serious blunders. Thus, teachers should educate students on ethics in social networking sits. Inculcating upon students the duties to respect the other people and a right direction to express themselves may be one effective means of prevention. Besides, teachers and parents should help students manage their time well. Otherwise, students will indulge in network and lost themselves.

To conclude, as one of the promising field, social networking sites offer tremendous potential for education and academic sectors. However, social networking technology is still relative new in learning environment. (Mark, 2008). We are facing numerous challenges. Teachers’ monitoring learning activities is essential to achieve learning tasks and objectives.



Vie, S. (2008). Digital divide 2.0: “Generation M” and online social networking sites in the composition classroom. Computers and Composition. 25, 9–23.

Thomas, R. & Ellen, C.(2008). Community and social network sites as technology Enhanced Learning Environments. Technology, Pedagogy and Education. 17(3), 207–219. Aalborg University.

Shazarin, Z., Azween, A., & Alan, D. (2011). Social networking sites for learning: a review from vygotskian perspective. 2011 International conference on telecommunication technology and applications. 2011(5),IACSIT Press, Singapore.

Mark, S. ( 2008).Learning opportunities embedded in social networking: the future of learning. CLO magazine, (2008), IntroNetworks.

By nancyzhangedpc5003