Eclectic Instructional Design: What is the new process? How does it relate to ISD Models?

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Darryl L. Sink and Associates, Inc. (DSA) helps organizations design and develop learning and performance solutions that get results. DSA works cooperatively with organizations to:

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A long-time colleague, Dr. Peter Honebein, and I just published an article in the Journal of Performance Improvement titled “The Practice of Eclectic Instructional Design”. I wanted to share this concept with you – and I am offering to send our TIPS readers the full article.

What is Eclectic Instructional Design (EID)?

Eclectic instructional design is when a designer blends ideas from multiple learning theories to construct a learning experience that works better than a course designed from only one theoretical influence. Eclectic instructional designers are those who don’t get hung up on any one theory for their designs. Instead, they will likely have a primary theoretical influence that aligns with the common conditions and outcomes in which they typically work. They will also consider learning theories and their associated methods more as a toolbox rather than a dogma. With this perspective, they will design instruction that is much more effective, efficient, and appealing.

How does EID relate to ISD Models?

We (Darryl and Peter) have collaborated many times over the years designing learning experiences for a variety of clients and situations. Most of our designs have taken advantage of this philosophy. Below, we have shown how the process graphically relates to Instructional Systems Design (ISD) models. In this case the ADDIE Model is used to illustrate the process:

The parts of the Eclectic-ID model shouldn’t be anything new to a trained instructional designer. In fact, one should recognize all the parts as “good practice” for instructional design. What’s new is the model’s implied permission for designers to pick and choose, mix and match, and emphasize and de-emphasize the variety of influences and resources learning theory and instructional theory offer.

Want to see the whole article? Send me an email ( titled “Eclectic ID” and I will promptly send you a PDF copy.

See you next time,