Instructional Design
Fitness Education

Instructional Design Models

I often get asked about instructional design models, so I thought I would throw together a post to run through the basics of some of the more common models out there.

There are several instructional design models that are commonly used in education and training. The choice of model depends on various factors such as the nature of the content, the target audience, and the goals of the instructional program.

Here are some of the most popular instructional design models: 

  1. ADDIE Model: ADDIE stands for Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. It is a systematic and iterative process that guides the creation of effective instructional materials. 
  2. Dick and Carey Model: This model emphasizes systematic instructional design through a series of nine elements, including identifying instructional goals, conducting instructional analysis, and developing instructional materials. 
  3. SAM Model (Successive Approximation Model): SAM is an agile instructional design model that involves iterative cycles of design, development, and evaluation. It emphasizes rapid prototyping and stakeholder collaboration. 
  4. Merrill’s Principles of Instruction: This model focuses on five principles: activation, demonstration, application, integration, and testing. It promotes an active and learner-centered approach to instruction. 
  5. Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction: This model provides a series of nine steps that instructional designers can follow to create effective learning experiences. It includes elements such as gaining attention, providing guidance, and assessing performance. 
  6. Bloom’s Taxonomy: Although not a traditional instructional design model, Bloom’s Taxonomy is widely used to classify and organize learning objectives. It categorizes cognitive skills into six levels, ranging from simple recall to complex analysis and evaluation. 
  7. Rapid Prototyping: This approach emphasizes quick design iterations and feedback. It involves creating a basic prototype, testing it with learners, and refining the instructional materials based on feedback. 
  8. Kemp’s Instructional Design Model: This model includes nine components, including learner analysis, task analysis, and assessment instruments. It provides a comprehensive framework for instructional design. 
  9. Action Mapping: This model, developed by Cathy Moore, focuses on aligning instructional design with real-world performance. It involves identifying performance goals, analyzing the learners’ needs, and designing activities that directly support those goals. 

It’s important to note that instructional design models are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and many designers adapt and combine elements from multiple models based on their specific needs and contexts. Over time I am going to look to add more detailed articles for each, so keep a look out for those!


Tom has been involved in the fitness industry for nearly 20 years. He is a specialist in rehabilitation, exercise referral and helping other fitness professionals to improve their business. He is also involved with course development, teaching, assessing and IQA of a range of training courses. He is always willing to meet other professionals so please do contact him via social media with any questions or just to say hello.

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