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Joanie Malone & Kelly Wilk
elect instructional methods, media, and materials
tilize media and materials
equire learner participation
valuate and revise
The ASSURE model is a guide to the major steps in instructional planning. It takes into consideration the audience (your students), the objectives (content), the methods, media, equipment, and the learning environment—all parts of any instructional system.”
The ASSURE model prescribes a format for making decisions during the design process.
Heinich, Molenda, Russell, & Smaldino, this linear model is flexible enough to work equally well for K-12 teachers who have pre-determined objectives and limited resources or
elearning professionals with multi-media resources and asynchronous learning environments.
Its simplicity affords flexibility while its logical steps make it useful and relevant.
Objective of Acronym
Questions to Ask/
Items to consider
Impact on Outcomes
Entry Level Behaviors/Knowledge
Attitude towards content
A clearer understanding of the learners involved in the education.
Knowing entry level behaviors, backgrounds, knowledge would give you a solid start to creating effective instruction.
Deomgraphic information may be unavailable for some online learners.
Knowing the limitations of the group, are you obligated to teach to the learning styles of each member of the group, to the majority of the group, to the lowest level of the learner, etc.?
State the desired outcomes in specific measurable terms.
Utilize ABCD format:
Learners are aware of expectations at the end of the course.
Instructors are aware of expectations at the completion of the course
Objectives must accurately reflect workplace performance expectations.
Designers are often not SMEs, so requires good communication with SME.
Selection of Media
size, quality, proportion, placement, color
Makes learning more interesting .
Media may show examples unavailable in person (i.e. video diagram of polorizing electrons)
Accomodates different learning styles.
Resources may be limited.
Development of desired (ideal?) resources may be beyond the skills of the designers.
Utilize Media and Materials
Preview Media prior to using it in a classroom
Have a thorough understanding of how the chosen delivery method works.
i.e. how to run a slide show.
Have a plan B in the event the primary delivery method fails.
Is the classroom conducive to learning?
Practice with multi-media may enhance instructor skills.
If the designer is not also the instructor, the designer would need to know the technical ability and comfort level of the instructor in order to provide appropriate directions.
Require Learner Participation
relevant to the objective
Repetition may increase retention.
Many factors influence participation that are outside of the control of the designer.
Evaluate and Revise
Were stated learning objectives met?
What did not?
Evaluation determines if objectives were met.
Requires feedback from instructor and learners.
Causality may be difficult to determine.
May require additional time not included in original learning plan.
ASSURE and Learning Theories
The ASSURE model is flexible enough to accommodate practitioners of several learning theories.
The model simply prescribes when to make decisions, but does not inherently influence those decisions in favor of a particular learning theory.
The following are choices that may be made (or not!) while using the theory:
A behaviorist may integrate Bloom’s Taxonomy into the objectives, instructional methods, and learner participation.
A designer who prescribes to cognitive theory may break the objectives and participation into smaller chucks.
Using the constructivist theory, a designer may incorporate activities to prompt recall of previous learning and exploration-type activities for new materials.
Adaptability to Accommodate eLearning
The ASSURE model can be used to develop both classroom and online learning modules.
Although it may be inherently more difficult to analyze learners before an online course, most ID models include some form of learner analysis.
A designer would need to be creative to achieve this regardless of the model used.
Conversely, the “select method, media, and materials” is inherently well-suited for online learning because it encourages the developer to consider a variety of media.
Disadvantages of using ASSURE
Gustafson's classification, t
he ASSURE model is a “Classroom Orientation” model.
Unlike other models that start with a problem for which training may or may not be the best answer, the ASSURE model assumes training needs to be developed.
Therefore, those who rely solely on this model may create training to solve problems for which other solutions may be more appropriate.
This model does not differentiate between types of learning such as knowledge, skill, behavior, etc.
However, the designer may need this distinction in order to make informed decisions when selecting instructional methods, media, and materials. If needed, the designer could add appropriate task or skill analysis to the "state objectives" step.
The "evaluation" step implies summative evaluation when learning/teaching opportunities have already passed. Designers may want to incorporate opportunities for formative evaluations in the Learner Participation step.
Instructional Design and Learning Theory.
Instructional Design Models: What a Revolution! ERIC Digest.
Instructional Systems: Chapter Summary. Prentice Hall.
Survey of Instructional Development Models. ERIC Digest.
The ASSURE Model. University of North Carolina, Ashville.
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