Presenter Names: Laura Barreiro and Anneliese McArthur

Seels and Glasgow Model
(Adapted from Seels and Glasgow, 1990)


The Seels and Glasgow Model is a product-oriented model. It is often used when the goal involves creating the learning materials themselves as part of the overall learning package. (Herridge). The Seels Glasgow model may seem similar to the ADDIE and other models, but what differentiates it is that it is meant to be used in a project managment environment. As the Herrige article mentions "This model recognizes that instructional designers are often asked to manage a project or work within as established project management framework." (Gustafson, Branch pgs. 41 - 44) A project management environment for a learning materials project could consist of a team of individuals including the instructional designer, SME(s), software developers, sound and video experts, storyboard specialists, etc. This model takes into account that a team is likely to be involved.
The 3 key phases of this model: Needs Analysis, Instructional Design, and Implementation & Evaluation are management phases and are conducive to setting project milestones and timelines.

The key end-goal of this model is the dissemination of instructional materials. The instructional design and implementation/evaluation iterate until the product is ready to be launched and distributed to learners.

This iterative part of the model, as well as the fact that steps within each phase can take place simultaneously (notice there aren't any arrows in the above diagram between steps) allows this model to be classified as non-linear. For example different people on a development team could be working on Task and Instructional Analysis, Instructional Strategies, Objectives and Tests, and Media Development at the same time. (Gustafson, Branch pgs. 41 - 44)


Following a Constructivist Theory

The Seels and Glasgow model is based on the constructivist approach to learning. This model places more emphasis on the design of the learning environment rather than on the sequence of the learning. Most views on constructivism share the following beliefs:
  • Learning is an active process of constructing rather than acquiring knowledge and
  • Instruction is a process of supporting that construction rather than communicating knowledge
(Duffy and Cuningham, 1996. p 171).

There is a consensus in the research on the Seels and Glasgow Model that it is based on the characteristics of the constructivist theory. As you see in the diagram above there is no reference to learner analysis types of activities and instead the model concentrates on the deliverables of the educational environment. In using this model it is possible to create teaching and learning activities relevant to authentic physical, social, and problem contexts. The student will then be able to study through learning environments or problem scenarios. The student’s learning experiences will be “authentic representations of real practices in applied settings.” (Dick, Carey, and Carey 6th Edition)

Adapt for e-Instruction?

This focus on the end-product and the release and dissemination of learning materials seems particularly important in an online environment. For our final project in this class, while we are starting with the instructional goals, target audience, etc., we also seem to have one eye to how we would implement activities in an online environment. Discussion boards, Wimba sessions, virtual white boards, video, wikispaces, SecondLife worlds, audio recordings, etc. are approaches we may be considering as possible ways of creating online collaboration – and we are thinking about it early in the process. The Seels and Glasgow model has steps that coincide to this process: Media Development, Materials Development, and Implementation and Maintenance. The Seels and Glasgow model allows media development to be taking place right after the problem analysis, while the instructional analysis and strategies may be taking form. The technology necessary for an online class usually means that different area specialists, for example IT support, media designers, etc. will be involved. Again, the Seels and Glasgow model considers this.

As mentioned above, this model is based on the constructivist theory. “Collaborating Online: Learning Together in Community” by Palloff and Pratt emphasizes that constructivist theory and online collaboration walk hand in hand. They talk about how people, shared sense of purpose, guidelines, technology, collaborative learning, and reflective practices (Palloff and Pratt, pg. 8) are some considerations for building an online community. The Seels and Glasgow model is rooted in this type of approach of forming the learning environment through the learning materials or end-product.

Important points to keep in mind when selecting the Seels and Glasgow Model for development:

• Requires commitment from project sponsors
• Significant project management activities
• Low to medium amount of front end analysis and/or needs assessment
• Teams require good communication and collaboration
• Emphasis is on learning materials without bypassing good design

Resources we found: - great description of the phases and steps within each phase - where the author calls the model constructivist - good blog on the topic - talking about constructivist models and mentioning Seels and Glasgow