Pebble-in-the-Pond Instructional Design Model
The tasks in this course follow a modified version of the Pebble-in-the-Pond model for instructional development. This model consists of the following steps:
1. Specify a real-world problem or task.
2. Identify a progression of problems or tasks.
3. Analyze each problem for component skills.
4. Design a task-centered instructional strategy.
5. Design an instructional interface and navigation.
6. Develop a functional prototype of the course.
7. Evaluate the course
The tasks in this course follow this model with the following modifications.
Task 1 includes both specifying a real-world problem and identifying a progression of such problems (Pebble steps 1 & 2). It then includes the design of an appropriate instructional strategy and developing a functional prototype for teaching this progression of problems (Pebble steps 4, 5, & 6).
Task 2 identifies the component skills for each problem in the progression (Pebble step 3) and the design of an appropriate instructional strategy and developing a functional prototype for each of these skills (Pebble steps 4, 5, & 6).
Task 3 designs and develops the functional prototype for the overall strategy for the whole course including the interface, navigation, ancillary tools, and other features of the course (Pebble steps 4, 5, & 6).
Task 4 is the final production of a functional prototype of the course including the required media objects and other information included in the course (6).
Task 5 is the formative evaluation of the prototype with a small sample of students (7)
The Pebble-in-the-Pond model was introduced in the following article:
Merrill, M. D. (2002). A pebble-in-the-pond model for instructional design. Performance Improvement, 41(7), 39-44. [Click here for this paper.]
The Pebble-in-the-Pond model is elaborated in the following paper:
Merrill, M. D. (In Press). Designing e3 (effective, efficient, engaging) Instruction. [Click here for this paper.]