Issues in Instructional Design

by megantaylor05

Educational technologies, online Learning Management Systems, and communication technologies have impacted the field of instructional design and have opened up new possibilities for instruction and learning. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), a hot topic in education, have made it possible for many people to access instruction who did not previously have the opportunity. I have not taken a MOOC yet, but I have reviewed several courses and I’m excited about the possibility of participating in one in the future.


In his article, “The Future of Instructional Design- or My Heart Belongs to ADDIE”, instructional designer and blogger Tony Bates discusses four queries and trends that will impact instructional design and designers in the years to come which were under debate at an Educational Technology conference in British Columbia. The first area of discussion was the future for instructional designers as professionals. Will there be less demand and work for instructional designers? There has been a move to constructivist theories of learning in public and university education, placing the teacher as more of a facilitator. If teachers are properly prepared to be facilitators instead of instructors of content, it may “undermine the… value instructional designers being to the task.” While I understand this point, I also think that the continuous developments in instructional technologies will keep instructional designers relevant and necessary for teachers and students.


The next topic for debate dealt with questions of the ADDIE model, with questions similar to those discussed earlier in the semester. Is ADDIE effective in developing instruction? Or as some have said, is it a “fake” concept that “no one uses” and is “based on false or no science.” At the conference, designers discussed if ADDIE works with constructivist learning theory and learner-centric instruction. From my personal experience as a novice designer, I have found the ADDIE model to be essential in developing instruction, and I do not see that it has caused issues in developing constructivist-based instruction. The designers determined that ADDIE was beneficial because it required the designer to look at design from a “systems perspective”, even if the design was not strictly followed.

Another issue in instructional design is developing engaging and authentic activities to support those constructivist aims. Their concern was that with the recent surge in online learning might make it difficult to engage and keep some student’s interest. Social learning could help in this area, but other students might not respond well to social learning. From what I seen, though, students who may not enjoy regular social learning activities may thrive in online social environments.


Bates, T. (2010). The future of instructional design- or my heart belongs to addie. Retrieved from