Quick Guide to Activity:
  1. Summarize the main components of the model (your choice of media)
  2. Describe which of the learning theories provides the basis for the model
  3. Evaluate the model's usefulness or adaptability in designing e-instruction
  4. Post your results on this page
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Presenter Names: Pam and Jason
GERLACH AND ELY MODEL external image image.tiff

The Gerlach & Ely model, developed in 1980, was created for K-12 and higher education. The model was designed for instructional designers with little or no design experience. The model is set up in a linear format.

According to the double-headed arrow, the first step of the model should occur simultaneously. The combined steps recognize that teachers know the content or think of content first, then define the objectives for that content. The objectives do need to be defined, however, for use in the next steps of the model.

The second step is to specify the entry point of learners, which for K-12 teachers may simply mean reviewing existing records. The third step is to perform five activities simultaneously: (1) determine strategy, (2) organize groups, (3) allocate time, (4) allocate space, and (5) select resources. The key is to determine which combinations will best allow the students to meet their objectives. The Gerlach and Ely model emphasizes using existing instructional materials rather than develop new materials.

After these simultaneous decisions are made, the next step is evaluation of performance. The teacher should determine what observable or measurable changes occurred in the students and if the observations can be attributed to the instruction. The model concludes with a feedback loop to determine the effectiveness of the instructions so changes can be made as necessary.

Fauser, Marlene, Kirk, Henry, and David Kent Norman. (2006). Comparison of Alternative Instructional Design Models. Retrieved September 24, 2009. Website: http://deekayen.net/comparison-alternative-instructional-design-models

Relationship to Learning Theories:

The Gerlach-Ely (G-E) model specifically calls for the designer to determine the strategy used to accomplish the desired objectives. [Gustafson, 21 This suggests that behaviorism, cognitivism, or constructivism all could be employed within the model. The determination of strategy by the designer will dictate the appropriate "selection of resources".

Relationship to e-Learning:

As a classroom focused model, the (G-E) model focuses on the selection rather than creation of resources. (Gustafson, 21) This creates a significant challenge for e-Learning, as much of the content is not yet developed or approved for online education. As open source materials become increasingly available and detailed, it may be possible to adapt the G-E model for e-Learning.


Gustafson, K L. , & Branch, R M. (2002). Suvery of instructional development modules. Washington, DC: ERIC Clearinghouse.