instructional design

Design Process Models and the Development of a Graphic Organizer


This week, I had the opportunity to read about various design process models and how to use them.  I was already familiar with the instructional design process called ADDIE (analysis, design, development, implement, and evaluate), but the design process I learned about this week went a step farther.  Essentially, I learned that within the ADDIE process, there are additional design processes to consider.  When developing graphics for instruction, the instructional designer must also follow ACE (analyze, create, evaluate) during the design and development portions of the ADDIE model.  While following ACE, the instructional designer must also consider PAT (principles, actions, and tools) to enhance the design of the graphic (Lohr, 2008, p. 91-94).

I practiced my newfound knowledge by creating a graphic organizer that segments the entire unit into “chunks”.  I had to use ACE while considering PAT.  Here is an overview of my process: 1. Analyze: I thought about the goals for my graphic.  Essentially, I wanted the learner to be able to see each of the three presences within the Community of Inquiry Framework, and the individual subsections and descriptions.  I determined the purpose was organization.  2. Create: I considered principles, and I knew with the large amount of text that I did not want any decorative graphics to detract from the information.  The actions of CARP (contrast, alignment, repetition, and proximity) were considered as I thought about the design.  Finally, I thought about what typeface I wanted, if I wanted to use color, and what shape the bubbles should be.  3.  Evaluate:  After I created the graphic using LucidChart, I reviewed my design.  I then conducted a user-test, which you can read the results of below.

Justification of Graphic Organizer Design

  1. Describe your users (people that will see the typography in the unit).

The users of my unit will be educators, either undergraduate or graduate level, that are learning the Community of Inquiry (COI) Framework in relation to online course design.  It is assumed that they are adults with at least one student experience in online education.  The users would be capable of reading college-level material.

      2. Why does your design solution work?

This graphic organizer takes the entire COI Framework and divides it into sections.  The colors help to divide the organizer into three evident sections according to “presence”.  The lines help the user navigate through the subsections, with each bubble becoming more specific in relation to the parent section.

3.  What did you learn from the “user-test”?

My user-test was performed on the same individual from last week’s assignment.  He stated that it was evident that there were three distinct categories, but also a variety of subcategories.  He stated that the organization chart was easy to follow.

4.  What changes did you make to the design after the user-test?

I did not make any changes to the graphic after the user-test.  When I initially evaluated the graphic myself, I did not have three colors to help divide the graphic.  I knew color would help create distinction, so I added color prior to the user-test.

In summary, the ACE with PAT process incorporated into the ADDIE process definitely works.  It is easy to get overwhelmed with the big picture, and ACE helped to isolate a portion of the curriculum development that is a necessary “part of the whole”.


American Public University System (2016). The Community of Inquiry. Retrieved                                    from

Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle                    River, NJ: Pearson Education