The world has changed tremendously in just 2 decades. These changes have impacted everything, be it human or business, and in today’s competitive world, we are always stuck on a common question: How can we make learning truly effective? 

Here’s where instrumental design models come into play. These models have transformed modern learning experiences to be more engaging and effective. 

Numerous learning models and strategies are available online for instrumental design models, but choosing the right one can be a real hassle. As we step into 2024, it becomes crucial to explore the top 8 instructional design models that are revolutionizing the way we approach education and training.

In this blog, we will go through each of the 8 instrumental design models in detail to let you choose the right one for you.

Table of Contents:

Understanding Instructional Design

Instructional Design is the systematic process of developing educational materials and experiences to facilitate effective learning outcomes. It involves strategically planning and implementing learning strategies to meet specific goals.

1. Purpose

The primary purpose of instructional design is to enhance learning experiences by creating structured and engaging content that caters to learners’ diverse needs.

2. Evolution of Instructional Design

Over the years, instructional design has evolved from traditional teaching methods to incorporate technology-driven approaches that cater to the digital age, including modern learning models.

3. Significance in Curriculum Development

Instructional design plays a crucial role in curriculum development. It ensures that learning objectives are met through well-designed instructional strategies that engage learners effectively, utilizing various curriculum design methods.

Also Read: Tech-Forward Training: Integrating Digital Tools in Workforce Learning

Deep Dive into the Top 8 Instructional Design Models

Instructional design models play a crucial role in shaping effective learning experiences. These models provide structured approaches to designing, developing, and delivering training material, ensuring that learning experiences are engaging, efficient, and outcome-driven.

Let’s explore the key features of each of these top 8 models in 2024:

1. Merrill’s First Principles of Instruction

David Merrill developed Merrill’s First Principles of Instruction, a model that strongly emphasizes problem-solving and real-world application in learning. This approach aims to engage learners in practical skill development by integrating new knowledge with existing experiences.

This model encourages active participation and critical thinking among learners by focusing on relevant and applicable tasks to real-life situations.


  1. Task-centered approach
  2. Activation of prior experience
  3. Demonstration of skills
  4. Application of skills
  5. Integration of learning components


  1. Suitable for vocational training programs
  2. Effective in professional development courses
  3. Enhances critical thinking skills in learners
  4. Encourages active engagement and participation

2. Gagne’s 9 Events

Gagne’s 9 Events model, rooted in cognitive psychology principles, outlines a structured approach to instructional design that enhances learning and retention.

This model aims to guide educators in creating engaging and effective learning experiences that promote understanding and long-term memory retention by breaking down the learning process into nine key events.


  1. Gain attention
  2. Inform learners of objectives
  3. Stimulate recall of prior learning
  4. Present content effectively
  5. Provide learning guidance
  6. Elicit performance
  7. Offer feedback
  8. Assess performance
  9. Enhance retention and transfer of knowledge


  1. Ideal for technical skill training
  2. Useful in compliance training programs
  3. Online learning frameworks are effectively supported by this model, enhancing knowledge retention in e-learning modules
  4. Facilitates mastery of complex subjects through structured learning experiences


ADDIE, a systematic instructional design model comprising five phases—Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation—provides a structured framework for creating effective learning experiences.

By following a systematic approach from initial analysis to final evaluation, ADDIE ensures that instructional materials are developed with clear objectives and outcomes in mind.


  1. Structured approach to instructional design
  2. Systematic development and evaluation of learning materials


  1. Ensures consistency in course development
  2. Facilitates collaboration among instructional designers
  3. Enables iterative improvement of learning materials
  4. Supports the creation of customized learning experiences

4. Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a hierarchical model that categorizes educational objectives into cognitive domains. It provides educators with a framework for developing learning objectives aligned with different levels of cognitive complexity.

By categorizing learning goals into distinct levels, Bloom’s Taxonomy helps educators design assessments and activities that target specific cognitive skills.


  1. Knowledge acquisition
  2. Comprehension of concepts
  3. Application of knowledge
  4. Analysis of information
  5. Synthesis of ideas
  6. Evaluation of outcomes


  1. Helps in designing assessments for higher-order thinking skills
  2. Supports differentiated instruction strategies
  3. Facilitates alignment of learning objectives with assessment methods

5. Dick and Carey

Dick and Carey’s instructional design approach is a comprehensive and systematic model that places a strong emphasis on personalized learning approaches by analyzing learner characteristics and task requirements to develop customized and effective learning experiences.

This model ensures a structured and learner-centered approach to instructional design by identifying instructional goals, conducting thorough analysis, and focusing on performance objectives.


  1. Identify instructional goals
  2. Conduct instructional analysis
  3. Analyze learner and context
  4. Write performance objectives
  5. Develop assessment instruments
  6. Develop instructional strategy
  7. Develop and select instructional materials
  8. Design and conduct formative evaluation


  1. Customizing instruction to specific learner needs
  2. Ensuring comprehensive instructional design
  3. Promoting structured learning experiences
  4. Enhancing learning outcomes through detailed analysis and evaluation

6. Kemp Design Model

The Kemp Design Model is a dynamic and flexible instructional design approach that emphasizes adaptability throughout the design process.

This model, by incorporating analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation in a cyclical manner, allows for iterative improvements and adjustments based on feedback and evaluation results.


  1. Analysis
  2. Design
  3. Development
  4. Implementation
  5. Evaluation


  1. Iterative design processes in dynamic environments
  2. Continuous improvement based on evaluation feedback
  3. Flexibility in adapting to changing learning needs
  4. Enhancing learning experiences through iterative cycles of design and evaluation

7. SAM (Successive Approximation Model)

SAM (Successive Approximation Model) is an agile instructional design model that prioritizes rapid prototyping and iterative development to create efficient and effective learning solutions.

This model focuses on preparation, iterative design, development, and evaluation, enabling quick turnaround projects and continuous improvement through feedback loops.


  1. Preparation
  2. Iterative Design
  3. Iterative Development
  4. Iterative Evaluation


  1. Quick turnaround projects with continuous feedback loops
  2. Dynamic and responsive approach to instructional design
  3. Efficient development through rapid prototyping
  4. Iterative improvement based on evaluation results

8. Action Mapping

Action Mapping is a visual instructional design approach that aligns learning objectives with business goals to create impactful and goal-oriented learning experiences.

This model ensures that training programs are directly linked to desired outcomes by identifying business goals, defining performance objectives, and designing learning experiences aligned with organizational objectives.


  1. Identify business goals
  2. Define performance objectives
  3. Create action mapping storyboard
  4. Design learning experiences
  5. Evaluate impact


  1. Aligning learning outcomes with organizational objectives in corporate training settings
  2. Promoting practical and goal-oriented learning experiences
  3. Enhancing training effectiveness through clear alignment with business goals
  4. Creating impactful learning solutions through focused action mapping and evaluation.

Also Read: Best Practices for Translating and Localizing Workforce Learning Content


The instructional design model landscape is rich with diverse approaches that cater to the evolving needs of learners in 2024. By incorporating these modern learning models, instructional designers can create engaging and effective learning experiences that drive success in the digital age. 

These learning models are highly effective, but following them can be a hassle. Hurix Digital can assist you in creating effective instructional design models by offering customized digital learning and publishing solutions across various sectors like education, workforce learning, and publishing.

Contact us to know more!