Kemp Design Model

This article describes the Kemp Instructional Design Model (also referred to as the “Morrison, Ross, and Kemp Model”), and also seeks to offer insight into some of the potential advantages of utilizing this framework. Incorporating a variety of approaches from a multiplicity of disciplines (Morrison et al., 2010), this model represents an innovative approach to instructional design by virtue of its non-linear structure, and the interrelated nature of its components.

Kemp Model

See also: Instructional Design Models and Theories

In contrast to other models, such as the Dick and Carey Model, the Kemp Design Model adopts a circular structure, rather than one that is linear (Akbulut, 2007). This circularity is achieved by viewing the nine core elements of the model as interdependent rather than singular and independent. This allows instructional designers a significant degree of flexibility, because they are able to begin the design process with any of the nine components or stages, rather than being constrained to work in a linear fashion. In other words, designers are not required to consider the components in any proscribed “orderly way to realize the instructional learning systems design“(Akbulut, 2007). Depending on the process, a number of stages can be addressed simultaneously, and some design stages may not even be required. Due to the interrelation between components, the design process becomes cyclical, open to ongoing revisions and adjustments amongst the elements, in order to achieve the design best suited to the desired learning outcomes of a course.

In general, to achieve these results an instructional designer will need to take into account not only the learning objectives, but also a number of other factors, including the needs and characteristics of the learner, the instructional content and activities (including tasks and procedures), instructional resources and support services, and learner assessment and evaluation tools and methods.

These tasks coincide with the four essential elements defined as the basic framework for instructional planning (learner; objectives; methods; evaluation), as defined by Morrison et al. (2010). These four components are the basis on a functional design plan (Morrison et al (2010), which, when enriched with the additional components outlined in the Kemp Design Model, form a complete instructional design model (Morrison et al., 2010).

The circular approach adopted by the Kemp model guides designers to take the perspective of the learner, so that the learner’s overall goals, needs, priorities, and constraints are taken into consideration when deciding on instructional solutions. The nine key components of the Kemp Instructional Design, which are intended to focus on the whole learner throughout the design process, are much more detailed and nuanced than those included in previous models. However, because the stress in the Kemp model is on the interrelatedness of these nine elements, the design process itself can be a more dynamic and fluid process than other models would allow.

The Kemp Instructional Design Model: Nine Core Elements

  • Determine the specific goals, and also identify potential instructional issues
  • Identify characteristics of learners that should be taken into account during the planning process
  • Clarify course content, and analyze the proposed task components in relation to the stated goals and purposes of the course
  • Define instructional objectives and desired learning outcomes
  • Ensure that content for each instructional unit is structure sequentially and logically to facilitate learning
  • Design instructional strategies to enable individual learners to master the content, and achieve desired learning outcomes
  • Plan the instructional message and the appropriate mode of delivery
  • Develop evaluation instruments suitable for measuring and assessing learners’ progress towards achieving course objectives
  • Choose the appropriate resources that will support both teaching and learning activities

For the first element, the focus is on defining the learning outcomes for the course. This includes what the student needs to learn or the skills they need to acquire. For instance, what broad concepts, new knowledge, or course-specific content should the learner be have a fluent understanding about at course completion? What tasks should the learner be able to perform, or what skills should the learner be able to demonstrate? What ILOs are desired?

The focus of the second element is phase is on the learning styles and needs of students, as well as the germane cognitive load related to topics, tasks, and procedures.

The third element is similar to the third stage of the model proposed by Dick and Carey, as well as the analysis stage in the ADDIE model. It is a very important element, because it helps the designer to begin thinking about the overall content of the course in relation to the characteristics of the learner.

The fourth element, content and task analysis, is the phase that most specifically focuses on the whole learner, and determines the depth of understanding of new material that the learner should be able to demonstrate. Bloom’s taxonomy is a good resource for helping ascertain the level that a learner can be expected to process new information.

Element five (determining objectives for learners) is similar to the first stage in the Dick and Carey model, which deals with examining the course ILOs. In this phase, the designer analyzes the broad learning objectives of the course, and translates them into more specific and defined goals.

The sixth element is the design of activities that will assist in course facilitation.

In the seventh phase, the designer decides what instructional resources are necessary to allow teachers to effectively teach, and students to effectively learn.

The eighth component is one which is unique in the Kemp model, because it takes into account support services that are available, or that may be required, to facilitate both teaching and learning activities. For instance, the instructional design may specify a requirement for technological support personnel, or special education assistants.

The final component, which deals with formative and summative evaluations and assessment modes, is similar to at least two other models (Spector, Merrill, Van Morrienboer & Driscoll, 2008).

See also: ASSURE Model


Akbulut, Y. (2007). Implications of two well-known models for instructional designers in distance education: Dick-Carey versus Morrison-Ross-Kemp. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 8(2).

Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. M., Kemp, J. E., & Kalman, H. (2010). Designing effective instruction. John Wiley & Sons.

Spector, J. M., Merrill, M. D., Van Morrienboer, J., & Driscoll, M. (2008). Perspective principals for instructional design. In Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (3rd ed., pp. 173-183). New York, New York: Routledge.