Instructional Design: International Perspectives - Vol. 1

By Robert D. Tennyson; Franz Schott et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 19
Instructional Transaction Theory: An Instructional Design Model Based on Knowledge Objects

M. David Merrill Utah State University

Instructional systems development (ISD) is a set of procedures for systematically designing and developing instructional materials. It has been described in a number of sources (e.g., Dick & Carey, 1990; Gagné, Briggs, & Wager, 1988). ISD is a set of procedural steps. The emphasis is primarily on what to do, rather than on how to do it, or why it works. ISD has many varieties but all involve five basic phases: analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation. ISD is not instructional design theory.

Instructional design (ID) theory is a set of prescriptions for determining appropriate instructional strategies to enable learners to acquire instructional goals. ID theory is prescription based and is founded in learning theory and related disciplines. The emphasis is on what works rather than on the steps to carry out the design and development process. ID theory is sometimes nested within ISD.

The type of ID theory addressed in this chapter is based on the Gagné ( 1965, 1985) assumption that there are different kinds of instructional goals and that different instructional strategies are required in order for the learner to most effectively and efficiently acquire a given kind of instructional goal. All ID theory based on this assumption consists of three components: a descriptive theory of the knowledge and skill1 to be learned, a descriptive theory of instructional strategies required to promote this learning, and a prescriptive theory that relates knowledge and strategies.

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1
Some authors make a distinction between knowledge (what is it?) and skill (how to do it?). In this chapter we use the single term knowledge to refer to both of these kinds of learning.

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