Multimodality (Kress)

Summary: Multimodality is a theory which looks at how people communicate and interact with each other, not just through writing (which is one mode) but also through speaking, gesture, gaze, and visual forms (which are many modes). Originators & Proponents: Gunther Kress[1] Keywords: communication, design literacy, expression, gesture, linguistics, medium, mode, multimedia, semiotic resources, sign, […]

SWOT Analysis Tool

Summary: SWOT is an acronym that stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. A SWOT analysis is a tool or technique that can be used in business, design or personal settings to evaluate a project or company and to create constructive goals and strategies. Originators: George Albert Smith Jr., Kenneth Andrews, Albert S. Humphrey (1927-2005) […]

Backward Design

Summary: Backward Design is a model for designing instructional materials where the instructor or designer begins the design process with a focus on the desired results (i.e., the outcome) of instruction. Originator / Contributors: Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Keywords:  Outcomes, Evidence, Experiences, Instruction, Backward Design, Wiggins, McTighe Backward Design can be summarized as a process or model […]

Gamification in Education

Summary: Gamification describes the process of applying game-related principles — particularly those relating to user experience and engagement — to non-game contexts such as education. Originators and Key Contributors: In 1980, Thomas Malone published the study “What Makes Things to Learn: A Study of Intrinsically Motivating Computer Games.”[1] Later, in 2002, the Woodrow Wilson International Center […]

Learner-centered design

Summary: Learner centered design focuses on creating software for heterogeneous groups of learners who need scaffolding as they learn while completing constructivist activities.

Originators and Key Contributors: Elliot Soloway, Mark Guzdian, Kenneth E. Hay

Keywords: constructivism, learner-centered design, learners, scaffolding, software

Learner-centered Design

Learner-centered design (LCD) theory emphasizes the importance of supporting the learners’ growth and motivational needs in designing software. In addition, since learners have different learning needs and learn in different ways, the software must be designed for the specific learner-audience.

The concept of scaffolds is central to learner-centered design. In order to support learners optimally, software should be designed with scaffolds that will support the learners as they need it. Examples of scaffolds in software are hints, explanation and encouragement to help learners understand a process, and questions to help learners reflect on what they are learning.

Software scaffolds that support learners best are adaptive, meaning that they change according to what the learner needs in any learning moment. When a learner needs more support, the software provides an increase in feedback to help the learner grow, stay engaged, and progress in mastering a skill. When the learner is reaching mastery, the software will provide reduced scaffolds in response to the learner’s increased skill level.

In focusing on learner-centered design, four elements must be addressed in designing the software. They are:

Elaboration Theory (Reigeluth)

Summary: Elaboration theory is an instructional design theory that argues that content to be learned should be organized from simple to complex order, while providing a meaningful context in which subsequent ideas can be integrated.

Originators: Charles Reigeluth (Indiana University) and his colleagues in the late 1970s.

Key Terms: conceptual elaboration sequence, theoretical elaboration sequence, simplifying conditions sequence

Elaboration Theory (Reigeluth)

The paradigm shift from teacher-centric instruction to learner-centered instruction has caused “new needs for ways to sequence instruction” (Reigeluth, 1999). Charles Reigeluth of Indiana University posited Elaboration Theory, an instructional design model that aims to help select and sequence content in a way that will optimize attainment of learning goals. Proponents feel the use of motivators, analogies, summaries and syntheses leads to effective learning. While the theory does not address primarily affective content, it is intended for medium to complex kinds of cognitive and psychomotor learning.

According to Reigeluth (1999), Elaboration Theory has the following values…


The ADDIE model is a systematic instructional design model consisting of five phases: (1) Analysis, (2) Design, (3) Development, (4) Implementation, and (5) Evaluation. There are several versions of the ADDIE model. Contents Contributors Key Concepts Resources and References Contributors Unknown. Refined by Dick and Carey[1] and others[2] Key Concepts The generic term for the […]