How relevant is the Dick and Carey model of instructional design?

Mar 31, 2014

Hi everyone! I'm looking for some feedback from experienced instructional designers.   I'm wondering if the Dick and Carey method of instructional design is still relevant in our field and if so, what percent of the time do you use it when designing your projects?  I'm just curious as to how often it comes into play and how it helps you in the development of your courses or learning modules. 


6 Replies
Ashley Chiasson

I love aspects of the Dick and Carey model, and even used a variation of it in my graduate studies. However, I think it is most useful when applied to the Analysis and Design phases - To me, it's more of a higher-level model and I would use it most when conducting an instructional analysis or creating design documentation.

Cynthia Abbott

Hi Ashley!

Thanks for the quick reply! So let me ask you another question that you can answer at your convenience.  When designing, am I correct to assume that there isn't a hard and fast set of rules that lay out, for example, where to place activities within the training, or if there is a content to activity ratio that can be used to ensure the project you are designing is balanced. Or no rules the format of the course that will render the best results for participants?  Hope this doesn't seem like a silly question but I guess what I'm trying to get down to is whether or not the design of a course or module is completely up to the discretion of the designer or if there are rules that guide design and flow.  Make sense?

Ashley Chiasson

No silly questions - within most models there really is no hard and fast set of rules for components within the design; just that certain elements are present (e.g. formative evaluation, etc.). The way I see it, the dictated elements within the Dick and Carey model are placed in the most logical order - You would set your performance objectives and develop your instructional strategy before developing the instructional materials; however, people have been known to use these models as a guide, and follow the model, but perhaps not in the prescribed order. For example, I have known people who have developed their instructional materials first and then reverse engineered their performance objectives - although this is usually considered an uncommon approach.

Ruth McElhone

Hi Cynthia,

Like Michael, I'm also interested in SAM (Successive Approximation Model) by Michael Allen.

I also found the book quite useful..

SAM follows an iterative cycle (similarities with Dick and Carey) which works better when designing eLearning. For me the problem with using models like ADDIE is that the review  comes too late...e.g. at the end of the project. I find that reviews at different stages give a better final product.

Talat Siddiqui

Hello Ashley,  I am an Early Years teacher. I have been reading a lot about Dick and Carey Instructional Model. However, I am not being able to develop a lesson plan on this model. Please if you can help me to develop a plan e.g. if I am introducing a new story where students will learn about different times of the day would my plan look like based on Dick and Carey model?  I hope I am clear in explaining my self.    Will wait anxiously for your answer .                                   Best Regards,                                     Talat.

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