Timeless Teachings: Instructional Design Theories that Have Stood the Test of Time

Jamie Smith
L&D Specialist
Timeless Teachings: Instructional Design Theories that Have Stood the Test of Time

Imagine a world where the same instructional design theories introduced decades ago continue to drive the development of today’s most effective learning programs. Well, you don’t have to imagine, because it’s a reality. Some timeless instructional design theories have aged incredibly well, proving that great ideas can stand the test of time. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at these age-old theories and how they can elevate your Learning & Development (L&D) strategies.

Keep reading to uncover the power of implementing these tried and true instructional design theories into your L&D initiatives.

1. Bloom’s Taxonomy

First introduced in 1956 by Benjamin Bloom, Bloom’s Taxonomy remains a staple in the L&D world. This theory breaks down learning objectives into six levels: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation. By structuring learning content around these levels, instructional designers can ensure a well-rounded learning experience that caters to various learning styles.

“In my experience, Bloom’s Taxonomy has been invaluable in developing effective learning modules. It provides a clear roadmap for creating diverse and comprehensive content that engages and truly educates our learners.” – L&D Professional

2. Gagné’s Nine Events of Instruction

Another enduring theory is Gagné’s Nine Events of Instruction, developed by Robert Gagné in the 1960s. This theory outlines nine specific steps that provide a framework for creating effective learning experiences: Gain attention, Inform learners of objectives, Stimulate recall of prior learning, Present the content, Provide learning guidance, Elicit performance, Provide feedback, Assess performance, and Enhance retention and transfer.

By following these steps, instructional designers can create successful learning experiences that ensure knowledge retention and skill development. In fact, a Fortune 500 L&D professional attests, “Gagné’s Nine Events have been instrumental in optimizing our learning programs. The structure keeps learners engaged and fosters a deeper understanding of the material.”

3. Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory

Dating back to the 1970s, David Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory emphasizes the importance of hands-on, real-world experiences in the learning process. This theory consists of four stages: Concrete Experience, Reflective Observation, Abstract Conceptualization, and Active Experimentation.

By incorporating these stages into learning programs, instructional designers can ensure that learners develop a more profound understanding of the concepts and are better equipped to apply their newfound knowledge in real-life scenarios. “Kolb’s Theory has transformed our training approach, making our programs more interactive and impactful,” shared an L&D professional from a leading tech company.

Bringing It All Together with Learnexus

While these instructional design theories have aged well, implementing them effectively requires skilled Learning & Development professionals. That’s where Learnexus comes in. As a freelancer marketplace for L&D, Learnexus enables managers at companies to quickly and easily find and hire freelance instructional designers with the specific skills and experience needed to bring these timeless theories to life in your organization.

With Learnexus, you’ll save 47% on costs and eliminate procurement issues, thanks to a single master services agreement. Let Learnexus help you find the perfect L&D professional to make these tried and true instructional design theories work for your organization!