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Instructional Design Models, Theories & Methodology:

The Dick and Carey Systems Approcah Model

by Dan Le

The Dick and Carey Systems Approach Model was developed by Walter Dick and Lou Carey. This model utilizes a systems approach in which each part in the instructional design process is viewed as interconnected as a unit instead of being viewed as individual components (Dick and Carey's). Swapnil (2008) noted that in their book, The Systematic Design of Instruction, Dick and Carey wrote that "Components such as the instructor, learners, materials, instructional activities, delivery system, and learning and performance environments interact with each other and work together to bring about the desired student learning outcomes."

There are ten parts to the Dick and Carey Systems Approach Model (Instructional Design, 2010).

1. Identify Instructional Goals
Determine what learners are expected to be able to perform at the end of instruction.
2. Conduct Instructional Analysis
Determine what skills will be involved in order to achieve the goal.
3. Identify Entry Behaviors
Identify what skills and attitudes the learners will enter the learning task with.
4. Write Performance Objectives
Transform the needs and goals of the task into clear-cut objectives.
5. Develop Criterion-Referenced Tests
Identify ways to assess progress during the learning process. Assessments should reflect the performance objectives.
6. Develop Instructional Strategy
Develop activities to help achieve the objectives. These activities include how the information will be presented, how the learners will practice what is being learned, and how learners will be tested.
7. Develop and Select Instructional Materials
Determine what instructional materials will be used.
8. Develop and Conduct Formative Evaluation
Collect data that will be used to improve instructional materials and to expand the effectiveness of the instruction for a larger number of learners.
9. Revise Instruction
Use the data from the formative evaluation to make improvements and revisions to the parts of the model.
10. Develop and Conduct Summative Evaluation
Analyze the quality of the system as a whole. (Lee, H. S. & Lee, S. Y.)


How This Model Can Be Used and Who Would Use It

This model could be used in a classroom or in the business world. Any subject in which the students are expected to be able to perform a task by the end of instruction could follow the Dick and Carey Systems Approach Model. In the business world, companies could design their training or mentoring programs using this model. Both schools and corporations would benefit from this model when there is a goal that is to be achieved.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Because this model can be used in various subject areas in schools as well as in the business world, a strength of this model is its flexibility. Another strength is that this model is very goal-oriented and works as a system. By starting with a goal in mind, the other components of the model interconnect with each other and develop from that initial starting point. Finally, this model takes the learners and their prior knowledge and preconceived notions into consideration. Because of the interconnectedness of the model, the learners' entry behaviors affect the decision making in the design process. In turn, many of the learners' needs can be addressed and expectations can be met.

A weakness of this model is that it could be time-consuming. A lot of thought and work must go into this design process, so this model would not be beneficial if a teacher or business does not have much time for instructional design. Another weakness of this model is that it does not account for variables. For example, a teacher could use this model to design an instructional unit, implement it, evaluate it, and revise it for the next school year. However, the teacher will have a new group of students next year who bring in different preconceived notions and prior knowledge. Thus, what may have worked before may not work this time around or vice versa.

Comparisons to Other Models

The Dick and Carey Systems Approach Model is very similar to the ADDIE Model. The Dick and Carey Model includes every component of the ADDIE Model, but it breaks the 5 phases of the ADDIE Model into 10 smaller components. Analysis of goals, instruction, and entry behaviors takes place at the beginning of the Dick and Carey Model. Then, there is the design and development of criterion-referenced tests, instructional strategies, and materials. Once implementation is complete, there is a formative and summative evaluation at the end of the model (Kemp and Dick, 2010).

Comparison to the Kemp Model (Kemp and Dick, 2010)


Dick and Carey's ISD Model. Retrieved July 25, 2011, from Penn State University personal page: http://www.personal.psu.edu/wxh139/Dick_Carey.htm

Instructional Design. (2010, July 7). Image. Retrieved July 26, 2011, from Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instructional_design

Kemp and Dick & Carey Instructional Design Overview (2010, December 8). Retrieved July 26, 2011, from YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riygY3L7KYo

Lee H., & Lee S. Dick and Carey Model. Retrieved July 25, 2011, from University of Michigan site: http://www.umich.edu/~ed626/Dick_Carey/dc.html

Swapnil. (2008, October 13). The Dick and Carey Systems Approach Model of Instructional Design. (2008, October 13). Retrieved July 23, 2011, from Wordpress blog: