What I learned watching the Gagne/Merrill video and the More Design in ID video

It was very interesting watching the Gagne and Merrill interviews. These two gentlemen had such a profound influence on the way people looked at instruction and learning during their lifetimes, and yet, their theories were only the beginning of a complete revolutionary change related to the way we approach instruction and learning. Gagne’s theories which led to his nine events of instruction, though student-focused, were still firmly rooted in behaviorism and direct instruction. Yet out of his theories we begin to trace the origins of cognitism. Listening to Merrill speaking about his Component Display Theory, I heard him mention the value of gathering information from others and thought to myself – there are the first stirrings of social constructivism.

They talked about meeting during AECT. This interview took place five years before AECT drafted their first definition of instructional design. It would have been incredible to have been around during the establishment of a new career, or to be known, as Gagne was, as the father of instructional design.

The other video by Allen Interactions discussed the need for more design in instructional design. In this video, Richard Sites and Angel Green discussed an instructional design model with which I was not familiar which they referred to as SAM. I looked up their blog to find a definition of this SAM. It stands for Successive Approximation Model, and it uses an iterative approach combined with collaboration between the designers, SMEs, and learners, to shape the design of the project and make adjustments designed to move the product closer to its final state. The image below shows how SAM works.


The two designers discuss the differences between instructional design and developing instructional materials. Unfortunately, too often the latter is the role faculty put me in, expecting me to transform materials that may not even be appropriate for their online course rather than allowing me to assist them in a course redesign based on online best practices and pedagogy.

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