Instructional Design Frameworks

by MU Instructional Designers
September 10, 2021
30 min read

General Frameworks



The ADDIE model is widely used in many types of instructional design, especially course design. It consists of the five steps outlined in the video below.

These five steps provide the framework for developing and improving a course over time. Each step provides critical information for the next step.

  • Analyze – Determine the goals and learning objectives. Consider the needs of your learners.
  • Design – Incorporate Universal Design for Learning concepts as you are designing the activities for the course. That way you can ensure that diverse learners who acquire information in various ways will have access to the content for your course
  • Develop – Continue to consider UDL guidelines as you develop content and assessments
  • Implement – make adjustments as necessary to meet the needs of your learners
  • Evaluate – review feedback and take time to reflect on how the course went. Were there areas where students struggled? Do you need more scaffolding in some areas? Did your assessments accurately measure your objectives? What changes do you need to make before the course runs again?

This instructional design model aligns well with the principles of UDL. At each stage of ADDIE, you need to keep in mind the diversity of your learners’ affective, recognition, and strategic brain networks. Jodie Black and Eric J. Moore (2019) have developed specific questions for each stage to help you consider that diversity while planning : ADDIE Model Module Plan Worksheet.

Backward Design

Backward Design

Backward design involves beginning the process with the end in mind. This is often how to begin writing objectives. What do you want students to know by the end of the lesson? Once you’ve established that, you can move to making decisions about how you will support their learning. In the video below, “Napoleon Schmoleon – What is the GOAL!?” from the YouTube series, Five Moore Minutes, Shelley Moore walks us through an example of how to use backward design when planning instruction. Her environment is K12, but the principle applies to all levels of education.


The learning goals breakdown that we use as the first stage of our own course planning is a great example of a backward design model.

Integrated Course Design

Integrated Course Design

The Integrated Course Design model discussed in the video below is another approach to course design. While the ADDIE model outlines specific separate steps this model considers the impact design components have on each other. Watch the video below for a brief overview of this course design model.

This concept has three phases that allow you to build a foundation for your course that closely aligns the objectives, assessments and learning activities, ensuring the inter-relatedness of each component. Key points to remember are listed below.

Initial Design Phase

  • Situational factors
  • Learning goals
  • Teaching and learning activities

Intermediate Design Phase

  • Thematic structure (4-7 major concepts you will cover)
  • Instructional strategy – sequencing activities so they increase in complexity
  • Combine into an overall scheme

Wrap-Up Phase

  • Grading system – determine relative weight of each activity
  • Troubleshoot – what could go wrong?
  • Write the syllabus
  • Plan teaching and course evaluations

This model of course design emphasizes the integrated nature of the three elements that make up course design.  Rather than a linear approach this model focuses on the impact each of the elements has on the other (Fink, 2003).

Black and Moore (2019) have expanded Fink’s initial list of prompts to factor in the principles of UDL into this instructional design model. Please review the Integrated Course Design Module Plan Worksheet, which is also an excerpt from UDL Navigators in Higher Education: A Field Guide. Would developing a course this way work for your discipline?

For more information on general instructional design frameworks, check out our annotated bibliography.

Technology Integration Frameworks



The SAMR Model was introduced by Ruben R. Puentedura in 2006. According to Common Sense Education, the stages are

  • Enhancement
    • Substitution: Tech acts as a direct tool substitute, with no functional change
    • Augmentation: Tech acts as a direct tool substitute, with functional improvement
  • Transformation
    • Modification: Tech allows for significant task redesign
    • Redefinition: Tech allows for the creation of new tasks previously inconceivable.

The video below takes this introduction a step further as Ruben Puentedura explains the levels with a higher ed perspective and some more specific examples. The audio can be a bit difficult to hear at times; if you are having trouble hearing you can try turning on the captions or accessing this version that does not have the background music.



The TPACK Model is a framework introduced by Punya Mishra and Matthew J. Koehler in 2006. To start our study of TPACK, watch the 5 minute video below.

If you prefer text to video, a brief explanation is also available in “TPACK Explained from


Benton-Borghi (2013) articulated the importance of using a UDL-infused TPACK model in her article, “A Universally Designed for Learning (UDL) Infused Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) Practitioners’ Model Essential for Teacher Preparation in the 21st Century.” We’ve reviewed the highlights of Benton-Borghi’s work in the short video below:



Like many other models, the Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) was designed for the K12 environment between 2003 and 2006. Despite it’s K12 origin, this framework has relevance in any instructional setting, including higher education. To start our study of this model, watch the first six minutes in the video below from a 2013 ISTE presentation. The presenter’s context is K12, but he explains the basics quite well and highlights the role that this matrix plays in creating more student-centered classrooms and promoting critical thinking.

Next, take a few minutes to explore The Technology Integration Matrix yourself, including looking at examples for specific levels.

For more information on Technology Integration Frameworks, check out our annotated bibliography.


Benton-Borghi, B. H. (2013). A universally designed for learning (UDL) infused technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) practictioners’ model essential for teacher preparation in the 21st century. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 48(2), p. 245-265. doi:

Black, J. & Moore, E. J. (2019). UDL Navigators in Higher Education: A Field Guide. CAST Publishing.

Fink, L. D. (2003). A self-directed guide to designing courses for significant learning [pdf]. Retrieved from