Center for Technology Enhanced Learning

Instructional Design (ID) Roundtable: First Principles of Instruction

December 12, 2013
12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
211 Wishcamper, USM Portland Campus

Instructional Design (ID) Roundtable: First Principles of Instruction

Is it possible to identify a basic set of principles to guide us in promoting learning to the greatest extent possible, regardless of the delivery media used? 

Dr. David Merrill, Professor emeritus at Utah State University, examined a variety of instructional design theories in order to identify common principles. In a classic article, Merrill identified five First Principles of Instruction and provided practical recommendations for implementing each principle in any instructional setting.  This roundtable discussion focused on the major attributes of these principles and their application in courses.

Before the Workshop: Participants read pages 43-51 of the article focusing on the Principles corresponding to the first letter of their last name, as indicated below. 

  • A-M        Principle 1, 2 
  • N-Z         Principle 3,4

During the Workshop: Glen presented a synopsis of the five principles and a video of Dr. Merrill discussing the principles. Participants discussed the principle and its corollaries, and their reaction to the principle. They also shared examples of how individual faculty are applying/might apply the principle in their own course(s).

Download article: First Principles of Instruction


Instructional Design Round Table

Thursday, December 12th

noon to 1:30pm 

211 Wishcamper, USM Portland Campus 

 View Workshop Resources



ID Roundtable Facilitators:

Glenn LeBlanc is an instructional designer at University College, where for over 22 years he has worked with faculty teaching at a distance using multiple technologies. His interest in providing educational opportunities for rural and under-served students began as a Peace Corps biology teacher in a village secondary school in Cameroon in the early 1980’s. Glenn’s graduate work is in anthropology and instructional design at Syracuse University.

Dr. Khusro Kidwai is the Director of Online Teaching and Learning and the Director of the Center of Technology Enhanced Learning (CTEL) at USM. Khusro received his Ph.D. degree from the Instructional Systems program at The Pennsylvania State University in 2009. His doctoral work focused on the design and development of a web-based reading environment. Learn more.


Workshop Resources:

 Dr. David Merrill's talks about the First Principles of Instruction

First Principles of Instruction: Presentation Slides

This workshop was not recorded.



Keep the Conversation Going

Interested in learning more about this topic?

Reach out to Glenn or Khusro


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