Recommended Reading

A Collection of Seminal Works about Instructional Design and Engaging Students

Bloom's Taxonomy

Bloom's Taxonomy was developed by Benjamin Bloom in 1956 and conveys a lower to higher order continuum of learning. It is useful when designing instruction because it provides verbs and actions that correspond to the desired depth of learning.

Bloom, B.S. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives. New York: David McKay, 356, 1998-1999.


Chickering & Gamson's Seven Principles of Effective Instruction

In 1987, Albert Chickering and Zelda Gamson published a succinct list of best practices in undergraduate education and their work has stood the test of time. We summarize these seven common sense best practices here and suggest teaching strategies for each.

Chickering, A.W., & Gamson, Z.F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education.AAHE bulletin, 3,7.

Community of Inquiry

The work of Garrison, Anderson, and Archer provides a framework for collaborative learning as the interplay between cognitive presence, social presence, and teaching presence.

Garrison, D. R. , Anderson, T. & Archer, W. (2001). Critical thinking, cognitive presence, and computer conferencing in distance education. American Journal of Distance Education, 15:1, 7-23.

Keller's ARCS Model of Motivational Design

“Motivational design is concerned with connecting instruction to the goals of learners, providing stimulation and appropriate levels of challenge, and influencing how the learners will feel following successful goal accomplishment, or even following failure." Motivational design follows the ARCS cycle: Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction.

Keller, John M. (2006, June). What is the ARCS Model?

Merrill's First Principles of Instruction

M. David Merrill, Professor Emeritus at Utah State University, consolidated multiple instructional design models into a set of principles on which he felt all instruction rests, and must be anchored on a real-world problem to be effective: Activation, Demonstration, Application, and Integration.

Merrill, M. (2002). First principles of instruction. Educational Technology Research and Development, 50(3), 43-59.

Fink’s Creating Significant Learning Experiences

This classic work guides instructors to creating classroom activities that will climb higher on Bloom’s Taxonomy and beyond. Fink’s Taxonomy of Significant Learning includes learning how to learn, caring, and knowing oneself.

Fink, L. D. (2013). Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses. Washington, DC: Jossey-Bass.