, Volume 62, Issue 1, pp 77–94 | Cite as

Software Engineering Design Principles Applied to Instructional Design: What can we Learn from our Sister Discipline?

  • Nor Hafizah Adnan
  • Albert D. Ritzhaupt
Original Paper


The failure of many instructional design initiatives is often attributed to poor instructional design. Current instructional design models do not provide much insight into design processes for creating e-learning instructional solutions. Given the similarities between the fields of instructional design and software engineering, instructional designers could employ the ideas and techniques employed in software engineering to improve their design solutions. Software engineering development and project management methodologies can be employed to develop effective e-learning solutions. Furthermore, software engineering design principles used to develop high-quality software can be applied to planning and enhancing instruction. Fundamental software design concepts, such as abstraction, modularity, reusability, compatibility, extensibility, scalability, and maintainability are all important factors that can potentially lead to the development of high quality instructional solutions. This paper explores the possibility to integrate software engineering design principles into instructional design for e-learning solutions, which not only augment the generic instructional design approach with the best practices from the field of software engineering, but also make the development process more productive and efficient. Finally, this paper illustrates how all of the software engineering design principles are interrelated and can be realized in practice to enhance the quality of instruction.


Software engineering Instructional design Engineering design Instructional design models 


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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications & Technology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Teaching and Learning, College of EducationUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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