moment of the good idea

The moment that I thought it would be a good idea to write a book
http://ESM 2009    There was also a fleeting unarchived use of the phrase by Thecla Schiphorst, circa 2007. Abrahamson recycled the phrase “embodied design” into the learning sciences to describe an approach to the construction of pedagogical materials and activities that enables learners to objectify their tacit knowledge in cultural forms relevant to disciplinary content (Abrahamson, ESM 2009). (An earlier paper appeared in the proceedings of PME-NA 2007.) Later Abrahamson elaborated thus: “Embodied design is a pedagogical framework that seeks to promote grounded learning by creating situations in which students can be guided to negotiate tacit and cultural perspectives on phenomena under inquiry; tacit and cultural ways of perceiving and acting” (IDC 2013IJCCI 2014Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences, 2014).about course and curriculum development boss a short discussion I had educational managers with three colleague educational experts after the seminar about study success. We all agree that what we have heart during the seminar we already have heart 35 years ago. And our question was why are these evidences from educational research not yet translated into the existing higher education. Of course, we knew from our projects that educational changes are difficult to design, develop and implement. My question was our we giving the right support to the teacher and the educational managers

This approach is not working. this situation was the reason to start with the idea of the website study success. Because I believe that a lot of information is well known but not available for the teachers. And also, I believe, that the teachers are not aware of the power of these educational ideas

Creativity and Instructional Design

Creativity and Instructional Design by Connie Malamed

an instructional analysis and ideating a creative treatment.

Creativity is Under Discussed in our Industry
Creativity is often thought of as a mysterious phenomenon, arising out of those ‘struck by lightning’ moments. Although it is an important aspect of the instructional design process, it seems to be missing from the standard systems-based instructional design models. In addition, creative thinking is rarely discussed in industry conversations.

With all the complaints about unimaginative instruction, the time is ripe to investigate, examine and analyze creative thinking. In fact, the more we decompose and try to understand creativity, the greater are the chances for nurturing it.

Creativity Defined
It’s important to understand what theorists and researchers mean by creativity. A commonly agreed upon definition goes like this: ‘Creativity is the generation of novel and useful ideas.’ This implies several things:

  1. A solution or idea can rest on the shoulders of other ideas. It can be a unique mash-up of existing approaches and doesn’t need to be entirely original.
  2. Creativity is dependent on the culture one inhabits. Not only do new ideas emerge from the cultural stream, but they must be useful to that culture.

Are Instructional Design Models Creative?
 Dick and Carey model, It seemed too systematic and overly prescribed. But it didn’t take long to discover that in practice, I could layer creative solutions onto any project or assignment that used this model.

Conceptualizing Creativity in the Instructional Design Process

To this effect, I found an inspiring approach in a journal article titled Design/Creativity Loops (DCL) model by Clinton and Hokanson (2011). The authors present a convincing argument for integrating creative thinking into conceptual models of instructional design.

They predict that this will enhance the practitioner’s “anticipation of creative possibilities” and in turn, foster innovative thinking. It is also essential for preparing new instructional designers to become competent and creative practitioners. Furthermore, Clinton and Hokanson note that creativity becomes devalued by not including it in the models. When creative thinking is not valued or developed, results are usually generic and unimaginative, they say.

The authors present a descriptive model for thinking about creativity in instructional design. It is based on an accepted theory that creative thinking occurs in stages of a cycle. In their model, these stages are revisited in an ongoing and iterative process they refer to as loops. Innovative ideas may emerge during any phase of the cycle.

In practice, the boundaries of each phase of the process may not be clearly delineated. The purpose of the model is not prescriptive, but more an effort to influence the instructional design paradigm. See the figure below.

Design/Creativity Loop, Clinton and Hokanson (2011)

The brackets indicate that the cycle does not lead to illumination in every case.

A Creative-friendly Instructional Design Model
In their paper, Clinton and Hokanson overlap a creativity envelope over the ADDIE model, stressing that the specific model does not matter. Below I have used their suggestions and expanded this approach, integrating creative tasks within every step of an updated model.

What is most important is approaching every phase of any model with an openness to novel idea generation. The point is that every task can be regarded as an opportunity for creative expression.

Research and Analysis
During research and analysis we gather data, organize information, and look for patterns in order to define the problem. During this process, we become aware of the scope and constraints of a project. Overlaying a creative model, we can:

  • Know that constraints and limitations have been found to inspire creative thinking. In a universe of unlimited options, there is nothing to push against.
  • Make the effort to frame the problem space in a new way. By looking at it from another perspective, you may generate new ideas.
  • Think of analysis as research. Find new ways to connect with them and discover the world from their perspective.
  • Use techniques from User Experience Design, such as lengthy interviews, focus groups, card sorting and user storytelling. For more techniques, see Crash Course in UX Design Research.

Design and Prototyping
During design and prototyping, we generate ideas for creative solutions and approaches. We select the best ideas and implement them in prototypes in a cycle of feedback and validation. With creative thinking integrated into this phase we can:

  • Look at a problem and consider potential solutions that do not involve training.
  • Generate ideas for unique and long-term solutions that are context driven.
  • Explore diverse strategies that will continue to fulfill each stage of the learning process over time.
  • Learn to incorporate Design Thinking techniques to produce novel products.(see post)
  • Apply interface design patterns used in mobile and web design.
  • Design the evaluation strategy early on.
  • Reiterate prototypes as needed.

In this model, development involves presenting the design of instructional materials and performance support in the most appropriate way possible. It could include: storyboards, scripts, screen design, key interaction sketches, wireframes, flowcharts, etc. Using a creative thinking overlay we can:

  • Generate ideas through rough sketches (even if you can’t draw).
  • Bring eLearning content to life through scenarios, games, and meaningful interactions.
  • Incorporate an original storyline (see How to Write Compelling Stories). see below
  • Pursue an imaginative approach to visuals.
  • See where social interaction can support instruction.
  • Continue with Design Thinking protocols to involve the audience. Reiterate as needed.

During production we select and produce all the multimedia assets, create running lessons, implement a web portal, produce a job aid or mobile app, etc. We must solve problems that arise from bumping into production constraints. There are still opportunities for creative expression during this phase. We can:

  • Remain open to better ideas as opportunities present themselves during production.
  • Experiment with new tools that might better serve your purpose.
  • Find innovative solutions to problems that arise from real world constraints.
  • Continue to think in terms of a long-term vision.
  • Continue with Design Thinking protocols to involve and test with the audience. Reiterate as needed.

Evaluation involves collecting feedback data on our product(s) and planning how to better meet the needs of the audience. Overlaying a creative model, we can:

  • Creatively assess the impact of the solution in terms of retention and performance improvement.
  • Consider course evaluations as an opportunity to creatively pivot.
  • Find new ways to do evaluations that provide accurate data (see How to Do Course Evaluations the Right Way).
  • Evaluate in a continuous cycle to see the long-term effectiveness of our products.


  1. Chen, C., Kasof, J., Himsel, A., Dmitrieva, J., Dong, Q., & Xue, G. Effects of explicit instruction to ‘‘be creative’’ across domains and cultures. Journal of Creative Behavior, 39(2), 89–110, 2005.
  2. Clinton, G. & Hokanson, B. Creativity in the training and practice of instructional designers: the Design/Creativity Loops model. Educational Technology Research and Development, 60:111–130, 2011.

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Lisa Cron, author of Wired For Story, is passionate about the power and value of stories. In this conversation, Lisa will convince you that it is through stories that humans survive and it is through stories that people learn. If you are looking for ways to write irresistible stories and scenarios, listen in for advice from a pro who understands how stories bring meaning to our world.

Chapter 1

In some articles about higher education the writer will stress the importance of instructional design. They explain that the procedures which are used to develop courses and curricula are primarily focused on the systematic approach. However, the task to develop all redesign existing courses or curricula is rather complex. You cannot finish this task with standard procedures. It’s a complex problem solving process in which design has a crucial role.

If you analyse the existing models or procedures it appears that design activities are not stimulated in these models or procedures. Of course, in educational development project there are many moments in which the participants will design interesting and sometimes very useful solutions. This raised the question is it possible to introduce in the systematic procedures typical design activities. The sources which can be used to do this, are the practical experiences in the many educational development projects. Crucial theoretical sources are the technical design theory, the theories about creativity and solving complex problems and the literature about instructional design (Reigeluth, Earl, van den Akker, Kessels, Malamed, ……
Technical design is a standard course in the technical University programs. Students learn how you can design your product or service they learn to use the technical knowledge and principles a used these in a creative way. The study of the technical design theory should offer all kinds of suggestions for design activities in the field of instructional design. (See chapter …). From this analysis, it appears that there are many ideas about design which are not yet translated in the procedures for course and curriculum development. In this book the insights from technical design theory, instructional design theories and the practical results in course and curriculum development projects are integrated into a practical approach. Suggestions are given how you can (re) design a course or curriculum.

A second element in this book is to focus on evidence-based education. From learning theories and instructional design theories many ‘suggestions’ are given about proper education. I prefer to call these suggestions design principles. Characteristics for design principles is that they give indications which you could do in your education. However, there is no guarantee that it will work. In technical design theory simply said that you have to follow an eclectic approach: you have select the best solution would help of the available evidences and experiences and explain why this is so. If you are convinced, then you will execute it and evaluate the result. Sometimes it works sometimes is not working. If it’s not working you have to design the new solution.

In the many didactical models or visions for curricula in higher education you can find these design principles. The next step to translate these principles in the courses of the curriculum is often too difficult. The principles are often too general, the consequence is that teachers are not able make this translation. Therefore, we will give a more detailed explanation about relevant design principles for higher education. A crucial quality criterion for the description is that the description give the teachers some points of impact how they could design learning activities and materials to apply it in their own course,  and to enable to get around constraints and  the teachers to get insight in the (I’m)possibilities of a good practice.

It is book a number of practical situations are discussed. The reason is that depending on the situation the teacher solve an easy, an difficult or a very difficult problem. This has consequences for the procedure of course curriculum development. For an easy problem, it is often not necessary to make again deep analysis of the learning objectives or about relevant learning theories. In a very difficult problem these activities are necessary. In the first cases you can say you have a simple design problem, in other situations where have a high level design problem. How you can fulfil these tasks is explained in this book. Also some specific procedures are explained in how to ….. descriptions,

idem for curriculum development course and curriculum development are often not distinguished. The activities are however very different. But on the curriculum level you have to consider the activities in the course development. And also in curriculum design activity and systematic approach are characteristics.


Is Design Thinking Missing From ADDIE? by Connie Malamed

But we also need an approach to help us synthesize, innovate and create. The practice of design thinking seems to be sorely missing from instructional design university programs, professional training and workplace practices.

A Design Thinking Process
As you would expect, there are many variations to the design thinking model. Generally, there are between three and six steps.

RESEARCH Research helps you define the problem and get to know the target population. Research creates a more open mindset than Analysis, where the focus is on breaking things down and finding answers. In design thinking, research is practiced through empathizing with the target population.
Some ways to research a problem include:

  • Field Research:
  • Interviews:
  • Attitude Research: run focus groups to find out what motivates the audience and what demotivates them.
  • Feedback:
  • What’s Out There: research existing solutions to similar problems
  • Mind Maps: Mind maps, which are radiant drawings showing connected ideas, are good for exploring many aspects to a problem.

Without correctly defining a problem, it’s nearly impossible to generate a corresponding solution.

IDEATE The practice of conceiving ideas, or ideation, is a critical step of design thinkingSome ways to generate possible solutions include:

  • Brainstorming:
  • Sketching: For many people, sketching short-circuits the judgement side of the brain and helps them tap into a flow of ideas. Sketching is visual brainstorming. Using stick figures and geometric shapes is completely acceptable and gets the job done. Sketching is exploration.
  • Manipulative Verbs: From the creator of brainstorming, Alex Osborn, comes an exercise using a list of action verbs that are applied to various ideas or problems.

PROTOTYPE A prototype is a preliminary model of an approach. Prototyping involves hands-on exploration. It provides a way to rapidly try out ideas without a large investment of time and money. In learning experience design, a prototype could involve storyboarding an interaction. Some ways to prototype or to create form include:

  • Sketching: Using pencil and paper or a digital drawing tool, prototype sketches are more involved than in the previous phase. They might include storyboarding a scenario or visualizing all possible responses to an interaction.
  • Mock-ups: A mock-up is a simulated version of an idea, that replicates how it will look and behave. These can range from a Styrofoam model to a working user interface.
  • Small Implementation:

 TEST Testing is all about seeing what works in the real world, getting feedback and refining (or ditching) prototypes. You can see how design thinking is an iterative process that involves lots of testing and modification.

Closing Words
Design thinking isn’t a silver bullet, but it’s one model for dealing with the “be creative on demand” requirements in our line of work. And it might provide important solutions for the learning problems of the 21st Century.


  1. introduction
  2. the teacher and educational development: how complex is the educational design task?

    The design task of the teacher can be focused on the introduction of some new elements in the existing course. The main problem is how can I design and introduce the new elements in my course in order to increase the quality of the course.
    Other options are that there is the important part of the course which has to be redesigned or maybe the didactical approach had to be changed. And the last option option that a teacher has to make a complete new course.
    The instructional design activities are increasingly more complex in this list of possible contexts.

  3. the final result of the instructional design process
    This is simple a well-functioning course for the students and the teachers. The question is however, what elements of the course is to be designed in order to achieve this result. From the learning theories some indications can be found what elements have to be designed carefully.
    1. why is an instructional design approach necessary? This is a crucial question. The answer can be found in the  in the technical design theories.

    Even in this exact science there are no clear answers. You’ve the analyse for yourself what are possible solution could be and select the best one. And evaluate the final results

    1. How to formulate the educational vision in the educational research and learning theories that are many evidences how you can organise your education. The main idea is that using all these possible evidences you select these evidence which fits your purpose the best. An overview can be given of eight design principles for modern higher education and possible celebrations of these design principles (components). Often this can be found in the didactical concept for the curriculum. The teacher should translate this didactical concept into a didactical concept for his course. This is a typical necessity in educational design and development: the design principles and components for four different courses will be different. The teacher has to make his own translation.
    2. meaningful learning and teaching activities from the instructional design theory some people has prepared some list of possible instructions, learning functions et cetera. There are also descriptions of possibilities to apply the possibilities of ICT in higher education. In the design process the teacher will select very carefully what they want is to use.
    3. learning theories and educational design in most cases in the description of instructional design theories for learning theories are mentioned and analysed.
    4. technical design theories| a clear description is prepared of the tactical design theories in such a way that is possible to find necessary design steps for instructional design and development.
    5. instructional design process in 10 steps a systematic description is given of the more analytical and more design focused activity in the instructional design the development process.

    Part two how to prepare the various elements of the design.

    1. How to find learning objectives and competences
    2. How to describe the design properly and clearly?


Why is and instructional design approach necessary?

The main reason is that there are no standard solutions in the field of education. The development of new education can be seen as an eclectic approach. This means the teacher or the designer has to formulate possible solutions and select the best.

In various instructional design models there is focus on design activities. However, it’s not quite clear how these activities can be executed. The models are straightforward procedures there is almost no place for design. This is strange because most people agree that many steps in the development of education has elements like design.

In the field of technology there’s much more clear reference to design activities. Therefore a very careful description is made of the available technical design theories and activities in such a way that the comparable activities and products in educational development can be identified. For example, also in some instructional design models there is the step in which the prototype of the new education is prepared. The question is how does this prototype look like.