The Extension of Instructional Design

In preparing for my upcoming keynote for a conference with the theme “Instruction, research and the extension of e-learning”, I have been contemplating what exactly is it to extend e-learning in every way and my keynote will address much of what I have researched and experienced, however, I have also been contemplating and pondering what it is to extend on the years of tried and tested instructional design models that have been used prolifically as well.

Research into instructional design shows that it both informs the decisions about what tools to use but also how they are used, forming the solid foundation on which e-learning experiences can be built.  “The different phases of the ADDIE process—analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation—provide a roadmap for the entire instructional design process.  It starts with what one has to learn and ends when we find out if they learned what was needed”  (Martin, 2011, p. 956).  The ADDIE model in the video below provides an instructional umbrella, representing the scope of instructional phases that form an e-learning experience.  Research has been conducted into how other instructional design models compliment and fit within the phases of the ADDIE model to further scaffold e-learning activities (Kruse, 2009; Gustafon and Branch, 2002; The Herringe Group, 2004).


Other models that have emerged from the ADDIE model include Dick and Carey’s model (1996), Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction (1985) and the ASSURE model developed by Heinich, et. al. (2002).  These models are extensions on the 5 phases of the ADDIE model, fundamentally founded on a similar cycle that involves analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation.  However, do these instructional design models cater for the 21st century learning contexts, which include a plethora of web tools that were not yet in existence when these models were designed?  Research into instructional design in the 21st century has led to the development of such models and frameworks as Bonk and Khoo’s TEC-VARIETY in figure 2 (2012) and Bonk’s R2D2 in figure 3.  Both the TEC-VARIETY framework and the R2D2 model when integrated within the structure of an instructional design model provide extended e-learning experiences.

“There seems to be an endless number of learning portals and resources relevant to one’s courses, a growing number of tools that one can utilise within a course, and thousands of resources that might find their way into online course activities” (Bonk & Zhang, 2006, p. 2).  This issue grows as rapidly as the tools on the web grow, the implications being that educators have access to so many tools that can extend the design of e-learning experiences, however, how does an educator make the decision about the right tool to use and when?  The need for a model and framework for making the decisions about what tools to use can largely be informed by research and instructional design models, which then provide the scaffold for integrating further tools to extend the e-learning experience.  The TEC-VARIETY framework and R2D2 model help in the selection of resources as well as structure and scaffold of learning experiences.

The TEC-VARIETY framework and R2D2 model

The TEC-VARIETY framework is not designed as an instructional design model to guide the design and development of an online course, it is a framework to enhance student learning experiences through increased motivation, a framework that considers the “technology tools and resources, the pedagogical practices or activities, and the various other contextual variables” (Bonk & Khoo, 2012, p. 7).  It is a framework that when coupled with the sound structure of an instructional design model assists an instructor or learning designer to develop relevant 21st century elearning experiences.  The TEC-VARIETY framework extends the practical application of many instructional design models beyond the simple scaffolding of learning into considering the technology that could be used to deliver quality 21st century learning experiences online.

TEC-VARIETY and R2D2 are both frameworks that practically explore ways of extending the instruction provided by elearning experiences.  Figure 2 shows the TEC-VARIETY framework and the many ways that an elearning instructor could integrate motivational elements into instruction so as to extend the elearning experience.


Figure 2: Bonk & Khoo (2012). The TEC-VARIETY framework.

Whilst figure 3 shows the R2D2 model, which stands for Read, Reflect, Display and Do (Bonk & Zhang, 2006) and addresses the needs of a diversity of learners.


Figure 3: R2D2 Model, (Bonk & Zhang, 2006 in Bonk & Khoo, 2012, p. 4)

My keynote paper and presentation will get added to my blog at a later date so stay tuned 🙂


Bonk, C. J. & Zhang, K.  (2006) in Bonk, C. J. & Khoo, E. (in progress).  Adding Some TEC‐VARIETY: 100+ Activities for Motivating and Retaining Learners Online.  

Bonk, C. J., & Zhang, K. (2006). Introducing the R2D2 model: Online learning for the diverse learners of this world. Distance Education, 27(2), 249-264.

Gustafson, K., & Branch, B. (2002). Survey of instructional models (4th ed.). Retrieved from

Kruse, K. (2009). Introduction to instructional design and the ADDIE model. Retrieved from

Martin, F. (2011). Instructional Design and the Importance of Instructional Alignment, Community College. Journal of Research and Practice, 35:12, 955-972.  Retrieved from

The Herridge Group, (2004). The use of traditional instructional systems design models for eLearning. Retrieved from The Herridge Group:

One thought on “The Extension of Instructional Design

  1. Pingback: The Extension of Instructional Design | Designi...

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s