Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dick and Carey Model

Walter Dick and Lou Carey created a systematic process for designing instruction. This theory borrowed from behaviorist, cognitivist, and constructivist schools. Dick and Carey were influenced by Robert Gagne’s conditions of learning. The basic assumptions based on which this theory was proposed are:
  • The relationship between instruction material-learning is similar to that of stimulus-response.
  • The sub-skills that have to be mastered should be identified.
  • Acquiring these sub-skills result in the intended behavior.
Let us look at the methodology in detail. The methodology suggests:
  • Design instructions based on the reductionist model (breaking down into smaller components).
  • Use appropriate conditions of learning.
  • Use an Instructional System Design, a systems approach for designing instruction.
  • Apply across a wide range: K12 – business – government and novice - expert
Dick and Carey outline a methodical design and development process. A system, according to Dick and Carey, is technically a set of interrelated parts, all of which work together toward a defined goal. This model is called systems approach because it contains components that are related to each other. Each component has an input and an output. Dick and Carey listed the following reasons for advocating a systems approach:
  • The focus is on what the learner is required to know/do by the end of the course.
  • Each component in the system is linked carefully to the other.
  • This process is empirical and replicable.

The steps proposed in the ISD refer to a set of procedures and techniques that an instructional designer should employ to design, develop, evaluate, and revise instruction. The steps proposed by Dick and Carey in ISD are given below.

Identify the Instructional Goals. Instructional designers should identify what the learner should be able to do at the end of the course. The instructional goal is set based on needs assessment and learner requirements.

Conduct Instructional Analysis
. Instructional designers should identify the instructional steps and sub-steps that will help the learner attain his/her goal. Instructional analysis also involves analyzing the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that the learners are required to possess to begin instruction. These are known as entry behaviors.

Analyze Learners and Contexts
. Learners and contexts in which they will learn are analyzed in parallel while the instructional analysis is in progress. Learners’ prior skills, preferences, and attitudes are determined. The instructional setting in which the new skills will be used is also analyzed. Information gained at this stage is crucial as it decides the instructional strategy.

Write Performance Objectives
. Based in the instructional analysis, findings of entry behaviors, and prior skills, the learning objectives are listed. Skills to be acquired, learning conditions, and criteria for successful performance will be considered while framing the objectives.

Develop Assessment Instruments
. Based on the performance objectives, the instructional designers should develop the assessments. These assessments will measure the learners’ progress through the course. The assessments are framed to bring out the behavior defined in the objectives.

Develop Instructional Strategy
. Based on the information gained from the previous steps, instructional designers are required to identify the instructional strategy. This strategy will cover the following areas:
  1. pre-instructional activities
  2. presentation of information
  3. practice and feedback
  4. testing and follow-through activities
The strategy will be based on the current learning theories and research, content to be taught, learners’ characteristics, and medium through which instruction will be delivered.

Develop and Select Instructional Materials. Instructional strategy is used to produce instruction. This done using learner manuals, tests, and instructional materials such as instructor’s guides, student modules, videotapes, computer-based multimedia formats, and web pages for distance learning. Original materials will be created based on the content being taught, availability of existing relevant materials, and other resources available. Based on a set of criteria, existing materials are selected.

Design and Conduct Formative Evaluation of Instruction. Several evaluations are conducted to improve instruction. Three types of evaluation are one-to-one evaluation, small-group evaluation, and field evaluation. These provide insights into how the instruction can be improved.

Revise Instruction. The findings from formative evaluation are used to revise the instruction. The obstacles in learning are related to the specific deficiencies/drawbacks in the instruction. Instructional analysis, assumptions about entry behaviors and learner profile is validated again. The learning objective, assessments, and instructional strategy are modified as per these findings.

Design and Conduct Summative Evaluation. After revision of instruction, evaluation of the absolute worth of the instruction takes place.

This model was mainly designed for a classroom setting in educational institutions. Is Dick and Carey model used today? Yes, it is in the form of ADDIE. Many believe that ADDIE evolved from Dick and Carey model. Will blog on ADDIE soon...

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