Design Models / by Tyler Wood

There are three main instructional design methods I have explored - ADDIE, Backward design, and the TIP models. All three instructional design models have their benefits and challenges; however, I would choose the backward design approach. I think backward design is similar to the ADDIE model, in that both agree that courses should be "logically inferred from the results sought, not derived from the methods, books, and activities with which we are most comfortable" (Wiggins & McTighe, 2013). According to the ADDIE model's analysis phase designers should "identif[y] the learning problem, goals and objectives" (ADDIE model, n.d.). I prefer the backward design because it is more stream-lined. 

Click below for more information on backward design.

This approach is beneficial because if I know the objectives and desired results, I can design the material before the class begins more effectively. Though that should be done anyway, but usually "teachers begin with and remain focused on textbooks, favored lessons, and time-honored activities—the inputs—rather than deriving those means from what is implied in the desired results" (Wiggins & McTighe, 2013). Especially when designing for an online course, where reactions to the content and activities will be harder to foresee and react to by the nature of the technology, it is essential that we are not being distracted by a new website or game software we want to use, but instead design with the desired outcomes in mind and only use that software if it is actually useful for the learning desired. 

Another reason I would choose the backward design, and I feel it is more stream-lined, is that feedback is a main focus of the method Wiggins and McTighe elaborate on in their book Understanding by Design. In the ADDIE model, it is the final phase, though it is pointed out it should be utilized throughout the process, it is last. The emphasis on feedback is not strong enough in the ADDIE model and should be more important since "researchers argue that feedback on successful actions encourages individuals to invest more resources in pursuit of other, similar actions" (Fishback & Finkelstein, n.d.). In other words, more feedback means more motivation from the students, which is important when there are no teachers present. This is something to consider before planning the course, how will the feedback be implemented. 

These reasons, and the organization around an essential question in the backward design model, will help me frame and create the plans I need for designing the course. Organizing around the main principle that I need to first consider the objectives and what evidence I will need from the students to show mastery of those objectives will help me design a course that will always be keeping the students on-track for reaching those goals.

The challenges I foresee in this model are in the relating the learning to another instructor. This is where the ADDIE model would be beneficial. The details in which the ADDIE model considers each and every step in the designing process would help make sure no stone was left un-turned. Backward design is more open-ended and free for choosing other methodology in planning individual lessons, so it is not beneficial for the lesson-to-lesson planning, where ADDIE would be (ADDIE model, n.d.). 

Ideally, the combination of the two would be the most beneficial. Backward design would be the framework for the course and ADDIE would cover the details more thoroughly. 

Click below for an instructional design flowchart for help designing an e-learning course.



ADDIE Model. (n.d.). Knowledge base. Retrieved from

Fishbach, A. & Finkelstein, S. (n.d.). How Feedback Influences Persistence, Disengagement, and Change in Goal Pursuit. Goal-directed behavior. Psychology Press. Retrieved from

Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2013, February). Backward design: Why “backward” is best. Retrieved from

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