Isman Instructional Design Model

We were instructed to find an instructional design model which we weren’t familiar with and answer some basic questions about it.  I found a kind of obscure one, referred to as the Isman model of instructional design, which I will discuss here.

The Isman model’s goal is very similar to any instructional design model’s goal: “to point up how to plan, develop, implement, evaluate, and organize full learning activities effectively so that it will ensure competent performance by students.” (Isman 2011)  Here is a basic visualization of how the model works (Isman 2011):


It is based on behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism – some of my favorite learning theories! – but with an overarching goal of reinforcing long-term learning.  It has five basic steps in the design process:  Input, Process, Output, Feedback, and Learning.  Within each step are stages.  Most of these stages seem familiar to me from the ADDIE model, though named differently.

Step 1, Input, is similar to both the Analyze and Design phases in the ADDIE model.  One of the main differences between the two in this part of the design model is that the Isman model emphasizes “modern instructional media” (such as multimedia, internet, projection, film, etc.) as well as “classical instructional media” (such as books, journals, pictures, etc.), and it also emphasizes active learning (whereas I don’t remember there being an emphasis on any of these things in the ADDIE model).

Step 2, Process, is similar to the next two phases in the ADDIE model: Development and Implementation.  The ADDIE model seems to go into more detail in this part of the instructional design process.  Between both the Development and Implementation phases, there are seven different steps for the instructional designer to complete.  In the Process stage of the Isman model, he only lists three steps:  Test prototypes (similar to the ADDIE step for validating instruction), Redesigning (also part of the validating instruction step in the ADDIE model), and Teaching Activities (which is the last step – conducting instruction – in the Implementation phase of the ADDIE model).

Step 3 and 4, Output and Feedback, go along with the final phase of the ADDIE model – Evaluation.  Basically, this step is the assessment and analysis of results, followed by a redesign of instruction if necessary (based on said results).  Step 5, Learning, basically has the Instructional Designer look over the results and determine whether long term learning is occurring, and if not, reteach is necessary (and redesign for future instruction would also be necessary).  I guess that kind of goes along with the Evaluation phase of the ADDIE model, too.

So, would I use this model to develop instructional design?  It has all the basic steps I would want in an instructional design model… but the thing is, it seems really similar to the more common models out there.  The big difference, I suppose, is the detail given to the end product (assessment/redesign/analysis of data) seems more in-depth in this model than in the ADDIE model, whereas the detail given to the actual initial design and process of teaching seems more in-depth in the ADDIE model.  I think both design and analysis of results are probably equally important, so perhaps it would be best to do some conglomeration of the two.  The way my current project is set up, I think there is more focus on the design, which I suppose falls more under the umbrella of the ADDIE model.

It’s important to note that learning theories (like behaviorism / cognitivism / constructivism) is different from an instructional design model.  I see learning theories as guides to how you should design your instruction.  If you are of the belief, for example, that learners learn most effectively through social constructivist means, then your ID model should emphasize a design structure that supports that learning theory.  So, in effect, one drives the other.  It’s important to do it in that order, too — if you develop an instructional design first, then consider your learning theories later, you will likely have to start from scratch as your instruction might not fit under the learning theory you subscribe to.  And this is especially important if you are developing instructional design for a client.  Make sure to ask their opinion on learning theory before diving into your ID!  Otherwise your time and energy may be wasted.

Isman, A. (2011) Instructional Design in Education: New Model.  The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 10(1).  Accessed from


The Loci Method of Memorization

The Loci Method of “placing” objects in a familiar place in your mind so as to help you remember them only seems to work for me for relatively concrete concepts.  Like, if I want to remember that my friend’s birthday is June 15th, I can think of my friend in a party hat, with a big JUNE 15TH around her neck or something.  That might work.  But when they are ideas that don’t have concrete pictures that can be associated with them, I find that these types of devices don’t work as well with me, because I lack the patience to try to come up with some creative mishmash of pictures to represent it.  It’s more effective for me to outright try and memorize it.  I definitely think this would work as a way to remember concrete type ideas for students… like vocabulary terms, famous people, more of the rote memory stuff.  I already do a little bit of this in real life in my classroom… like I draw all over our classroom maps (they’re laminated so they’re dry erase marker friendly :)) and leave it up there for sometimes as much as weeks to help kids remember certain concepts (like the equator, prime meridian, trade routes, circle Britain the Colonizer, etc.).  We also have a word wall that we refer to.  Not exactly the same, but when you refer to different areas of your room to emphasize certain points, even if you erase your markings on the map or cover up your word wall, you can still see kids look to the side of the room during assessments as if the material is still there for their reference.

I know the mental version of this works well for many people (I remember reading about people who memorize decks of cards like this), but I’m just not one of ’em.

PS — I love David Sedaris, and his book The Santaland Diaries is definitely in my top 3 favorite Sedaris books. 🙂  Not sure if I’m supposed to relate the Santaland Diaries to this blog post… but I thought I’d mention it.