Applying Merrill's First Principles of Instruction: Practical Methods Based on a Review of the Literature


Gardner, J. (2010). Applying Merrill's first principles of instruction: Practical methods based on a review of the literature. Educational Technology Magazine, 50(2), pp. 20-25.


Research has shown that when Merrill’s First Principles of Instruction are used as part of an instructional strategy, student learning increases. Several articles describe these principles of Instruction, including specific methods for implementing this theory. However, because teachers and designers often have little time to design instruction, it can be difficult to implement a comprehensive theory like First Principles of Instruction. Therefore, this article provides basic methods for applying First Principles, including several examples from the literature. It also provides a basic template for organizing a module or lesson plan using First Principles of Instruction.

About the Author

Joel Gardner, Ph.D.

Dr. Gardner is currently an instructional designer and department chair for the International Institute for Innovative Instruction at Franklin University.