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  • Writer's pictureRETSA Group

Is Your Training Not Hitting the Mark? Elevate It with These Proven Instructional Design Models

In today's rapidly evolving educational landscape, the need for innovative and effective training methods has never been greater. Though familiar and comfortable, traditional approaches often fall short of engaging and challenging learners.


To address this, instructional design models provide a structured, evidence-based framework for creating impactful learning experiences. By integrating Mayer's 12 Principles of Multimedia Learning, Gagné's 9 Events of Instruction, and Will Thalheimer's LTEM model, organisations can significantly enhance the quality and effectiveness of their training programs.

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Mayer's 12 Principles of Multimedia Learning

Richard Mayer, a prominent educational psychologist, developed 12 principles of multimedia learning based on extensive research. These principles are designed to optimise the way information is presented to learners using multimedia:


1. Coherence Principle: Eliminate extraneous content that does not support learning.


2. Signaling Principle: Use cues to highlight essential information and guide learners' attention.


3. Redundancy Principle: Avoid presenting identical information simultaneously through different channels (e.g., text and narration).


4. Spatial Contiguity Principle: Place related text and visuals close together to enhance understanding.


5. Temporal Contiguity Principle: Present corresponding words and pictures simultaneously rather than successively.


6. Segmenting Principle: Break down complex information into manageable segments.


7. Pre-training Principle: Provide foundational knowledge before introducing more complex content.


8. Modality Principle: Use audio narration instead of onscreen text when explaining visuals.


9. Multimedia Principle: Combine words and pictures rather than words alone to improve learning.


10. Personalisation Principle: Use conversational language and a more personal tone to increase engagement.


11. Voice Principle: Use a human voice for narration rather than a machine-generated voice.


12. Image Principle: Including the speaker's image can be effective, but only if it does not distract from the learning content.


Gagné's 9 Events of Instruction

Robert Gagné, an influential educational psychologist, proposed nine instructional events that correspond to the mental conditions necessary for effective learning. These events provide a systematic approach to designing instructional activities:


1. Gain Attention: Capture learners' interest with an engaging stimulus.


2. Inform Learners of Objectives: Clearly outline the goals and expectations of the lesson.


3. Stimulate Recall of Prior Learning: Connect new information to existing knowledge.


4. Present the Content: Deliver the instructional material in a clear and organised manner.


5. Provide Learning Guidance: Offer strategies and cues to help learners understand and remember the content.


6. Elicit Performance (Practice): Allow learners to apply their knowledge through practice activities.


7. Provide Feedback: Offer immediate and constructive feedback to reinforce learning.


8. Assess Performance: Evaluate learners' understanding and mastery of the content.


9. Enhance Retention and Transfer: Use strategies to help learners retain information and apply it in different contexts.


Will Thalheimer's LTEM Model

Will Thalheimer, a renowned learning expert, developed the Learning-Transfer Evaluation Model (LTEM) to address the gap between training evaluation and actual learning outcomes. The LTEM model emphasises the importance of measuring not just the immediate learning effects but also the long-term transfer of knowledge and skills to the workplace:


Tier 1: Attendance and Participation: Track who attends and participates in training.


Tier 2: Activity Completion: Monitor the completion of training activities.


Tier 3: Learner Perception: Assess learners' subjective reactions and perceptions of the training.


Tier 4: Knowledge: Measure the acquisition of factual knowledge through assessments.


Tier 5: Decision-Making Competence: Evaluate learners' ability to make informed decisions based on the training.


Tier 6: Task Competence: Assess learners' capability to perform tasks in a training environment.


Tier 7: Transfer: Measure the application of knowledge and skills in the workplace.


Tier 8: Results: Evaluate the impact of training on organisational outcomes, such as productivity and performance.


By implementing these models, organisations can move beyond traditional training methods and create a more engaging, effective, and impactful learning experience. Each model offers unique insights and strategies that, when combined, provide a comprehensive approach to instructional design.

We'd love to hear from you! Which instructional design models do you use in your training programs? If you haven't yet explored these models, what challenges or barriers are stopping you? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

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