FIER (part 1): Enhanced Instructional Design—A Move to Quality Education.

Marie Ernestine Fajatin, Ph.D.)

of instruction suffers, according to Smith and Ragan (1999), when
instruction is not “carefully planned.” High quality education
can be assured when poor quality of instruction is minimized if not,
eradicated. Instructional designs (I.D.’s) offer a solution to this. According to Pritchard (2005), “instructional design  offers a process of systematic planning
towards an effective instructional delivery.”

report prepared for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 2009 World Conference on Higher
Education (Altback, Reisberg,Rumbley, 2009) says,

 Quality assurance
in higher education has risen to the top of the policy agenda in many
nations. Postsecondary education has to prepare graduates with new
skills, a broad knowledge base and range of competencies to enter a
more complex and interdependent world” ( p.X).

As a move towards quality education, an enhanced instructional design can be an essential step. Hence, FIER(Fig. 1).

Models and Theories

( pronounced as “fire”) stands for formulation, implementation,
evaluation, and review (or revision ). FIER is an enhanced I.D. It  is student-centered, outcomes-based and its components are
inter-related, integrated, and cyclical.  FIER is also flexible and can be
adjusted to suit educational aims and outcomes.

to other I.D.’s, FIER
is a systematic and reflective process in translating models and
theories behind students learning, teachers’ strategies,
educational aims and objectives, and assessments (Smith and Ragan
cited in A. Brown and T. Green, 2006, p. 7).   

student-centered, FIER adapted the learning style and teaching style
model of FelderSilverman (1988) in consideration with the
theories of assessments being in line with educational aims and objectives.
According to Felder (1988) “student’s learning is governed by the
compatibility of his or her learning style and the instructor’s
teaching style.” With this, FIER uses the 5-Step, 5-Cycle Teaching model
that I developed (see my previous articles on this model published
in Science 2.0). 

target instructional domains (the educational aims and
objectives), assessment is of important consideration  in FIER for assessment can show students’ status with
respect to the target instructional domains and students’
need (Popham, 1999 p. 238; Leahy, et al, 2005 p.23). Thus, in FIER assessment “progress(es) from being an assessment of learning to assessment for learning” (Tomlison,
2008 pp.8-13). The importance of setting educational aims is also important for according to Komisar and McClellan (1961), “aims
provide shape and direction to a more specific actions in order to
achieve some future product or behavior.”.

the inter-relatedness and integration of learning goals, teaching and
learning activities, feedback and assessment, the model of Dee
Fink’s in his Integrated
Course Design
p.2) was taken into account.

the cyclical continuous process of the different phases in
instruction, the ADDIE model was a major consideration for a more
comprehensive whole.

making the general outcomes (G.O) as the center of focus in the
educational system, FIER considered Spady’s outcome-based

FIER focuses on what the students can do in consideration with their
learning styles, integrating and relating them with the other
components. The processes involved in FIER are cyclical and
continuous to show unity and coherence of educational theories and

Procedural Flow

I.D. follows procedural flow.  There are four (4) phases in FIER. Each phase is divided into
three stages namely: preparatory stage, where needed materials are identified; progressive stage, where actions are taken; and concluding stage, where outputs are finalized ( Fig. 2).

Fig. 2. Procedural flow of the stages in each phase of FIER

the procedural flow of stages is linear, the procedural flow of
phases is cyclical (See Fig. 2). The flow revolves around the
5-Step, 5-Cycle Teaching Model. Implementation of this teaching
model follows the formulated course syllabus and the teaching plan.
In the process, cyclical twists may happen, ie. formulation,
(re)implementation, evaluation and revision can be done throughout
the process making each phase a continuous process. During the
implementation of the teaching model, continuous evaluation can be
done to reveal weaknesses 
will trigger revision, formulation and re-implementation. Examples are
outcomes need to be added, instructional materials need to be
updated, objectives need to be reformulated to suit the needs, and
teaching styles and strategies need to be adjusted. Identifying
weaknesses requires evaluation, making corrections requires revision
and reformulation, testing if the correction works requires
implementation, and goes the cycles.

The four(4) phases of  FIER instructional design are as
  Phase I- formulation of the
teaching plan and syllabus of the course the students learning styles; Phase 2-
implementation of the formulated teaching plan and syllabus;
  Phase 3- evaluation of the formulated
teaching plan and syllabus through summative and formative assessment, item
analysis, learning style profile, and classroom observations; and Phase 4-revision/review
of the formulated teaching plan and syllabus using the results in Phase 3.
Review is required to monitor and complete the cycle; revision is done only
when needed. Details
 are as follows:

            PHASE 1 
Formulation of Teaching PlanSyllabus
.      This
integrates the parts of ADDIE’s analysis, design and development stages. It
includes educational aims and objectives in the analysis stage, similar to
the  design stage, and formulation of
objectives similar to development stage.

Secure the following from:

A. Local and international Educational
(for example, in the Philippine government: Commission
on Higher Education, Department of Education )

1.       Government laws, memoranda, and educational
policies (e.g. CMO in the Philippines)

       –  For course specification of the curricular

2.   Educational standard and course
specification (e.g. General Education Curriculum, if the     course concern is one
listed under GEC).

School College/Department

1.  Approved standards and grading system.

 Approved templates for syllabus and
teaching plan.

Recommendations from the school department to be incorporated in the syllabus
of interest: objectives, topics, and assessment methods. 

      C.  Library and Web

      1. List of methods, strategies and
techniques in delivering the topics

Assessment methods and techniques.

List of references of relevant articles for the topics covered in the course.

      4. Theories and educational principles
relevant to the course specifications.

      5. Taxonomies of learning (e.g.
significant learning by Fink, behavioral objectives by Bloom,     revised Bloom’s
taxonomy by Anderson, expanded Bloom’s framework by  Marzano,     Structure of Observed Learning
Outcomes, SOLO by Biggs and Collis, etc.)

 Act in accordance with the local and international aims,
standards and course specifications:

      A.  Formulate the Topic outline:

the coverage of the course,

and sequence of topics for the course.

B. Decide what taxonomy to use
for writing learning outcomes or objectives (LSBO).

C. Write the LSBO’s for the course
and propose students’ activities.

Finalize the following outputs:

A. Syllabus
using the approved school template

B. Teaching  Plan (using the
5-Step-4-Cycle Teaching Model)

C. Rubrics
for students’ activities

      PHASE 2 
Implementation of the Syllabus and teaching Plan.

This phase 
is the application of the teaching plan that was formulated in Phase 1, its syllabus, rubrics of students’ activities and the Five-Step Four-Cycle teaching model . Similar to that of  ADDIE, it    includes the profile of the learners in its analysis stage,
outcomes and assessments in its
design stage, logistics in its development stage, and trying out in its implementation

            Preparation Stage:


            A. a schedule with dates on

to take up each topic in the syllabus,

quizzes and major examinations happen,

of projects and assignments.

B. Materials

Lecture and Demonstration: Power point slides, acetate transparencies,
Pictures, apparatuses, chemicals, reading materials, textbook, etc.

students’ activities: articles, flashcards, articles, etc.

diagnostic test

assessments: Rubrics, Scoring Sheets, Activity Sheets, etc.

C. Checklist
for  teaching styles

D. Learning styles inventory (e.g.
Felder- Soloman’s Index of Learning Style,ILS) questionnaire and scoring sheet

E. Faculty Profile

Class list of students officially enrolled,program enrolled.

            Progressive Stage: Do the following;

A.    Decide who will teach.

B.     Do microteaching
in the presence of other faculty members who will teach the course

the ILS

D.    Actual classroom teaching
– take note of what works and does not work in the use of the syllabus and
teaching plan.

meeting of class:

Administer diagnostic test

Administer the Felder Soloman’s Index of
Learning Style (ILS) and let the students score their own ILS answers.

Distribute copies of the article, Learning Styles and Strategies by Felder
Soloman and for students  to discuss
 their respective learning styles.

Confirm the actual attendance with the
official class list.

For group activities, determine the
number of groups and seating arrangement

            Concluding Stage: Finalize the following:

Overall learning style profile of the students

of the comments and recommendation from fellow faculty members

3  Evaluation
.  This focuses  on the students, teachers and the instructional design primarily, in order to see  whether or not the goals and objectives are  being met; the teaching and learning styles
match;  and  to know which parts of the design need to be revised. 

    Assessing the level of performance/achievement of the students in the summative examination is done in order to know  whether  or not the target objectives/outcomes in the syllabus are met.   The summative examination has to be  subjected to
item analysis in order to identify difficult topics, which later become the priority for classroom observation. The teachers’ actual teaching style profile is matched with the students’ learning styles profile.  “Actual teaching styles” refers to the teachers’ teaching style applied in their actual teaching. The learning styles profile may be determined by using the Felder-Soloman’s Index of Learning Styles (ILS) while the actual teaching style can be profiled through classroom observations with  the use of  observation sheets, checklist, audio and video recorders.  Finally, initial decisions are
made as to  which parts of the I.D.
need revision.

            Preparation Stage: Review the following

Previous departmental examination test results.

Copies of departmental examination test (items) papers

Learning style profile of the students

            Progressive Stage:

            Do the following:

Match learning style profile  of the
students with the identified actual teaching styles observed .

Determine the level of achievements of students in the departmental examination per section.

Item analyze  the  departmental examination test papers.

            Concluding Stage:

            Finalize the following outputs:

Overall learning style profile of the 

Overall levels of achievement of the students in the D.E.;

List of select topic for classroom observations (from the difficult topics
identified by item analysis);

Overall teaching style profile  (from
classroom observations);

Final grades of the students;

Identified parts of the teaching plan and syllabus that need revision

Using the results/information from Phase 3,  update
the      teaching plan and syllabus.

FIER instructional design is a move to address the policy on quality assurance
in higher education, in order to prepare graduates  to a “more complex and interdependent world,”
equipped with new skills, broad knowledge and competence.


Altbach,P., Reisberg, L,
Rumbley, L (2009).
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Higher Education Tracking an     

          Academic Revolution: A
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Brown, A. and Green, T. (
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Felder, R.M. *
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Teaching Styles in Engineering Education

          Engr. Education Journal 78(7),
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2012 from


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