5E – An Instructional Design Model Inspired by Constructivist Theory

Instructional Design is frequently equated to ADDIE (Analyze – Design – Develop – Implement – Evaluate). There’s no doubt it’s a great, time-tested model. However, it’s very generic and there may be times when you want a model that fits your learning principles better.

The 5E Instructional Model is a flexible model based on constructivist theory appropriate for all age groups. Its goals are embedded in five phases of learning, each represented by a word beginning with an E:


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Constructivism in a Nutshell

In essence, constructivism refers to the idea that learners construct knowledge for themselves – individually and socially – as they learn. Therefore:

1. We must focus on learners – not the subject or lesson to be taught – when designing the learning

2. Knowledge is dependent on the meaning constructed by the learner or community of learners.


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5C Model:

Bybee, R. W., Taylor, J. A., Gardner, A., Van Scotter, P., Powell, J. C., Westbrook, A., & Landes, N. (2006). The BSCS 5E instructional model: Origins and effectiveness. Colorado Springs, CO: BSCS.

Constructivist theories of learning:

Fosnot, C. T. (2013). Constructivism: Theory, perspectives, and practice. Teachers College Press.

Duffy, T. M., Lowyck, J., & Jonassen, D. H. (2012). Designing environments for constructive learning. Springer Publishing Company, Incorporated.


About the Author:


Cognitive Performance Group, LLC is a woman-owned small business with offices in Orlando, Florida, and Cleveland, Ohio. It was founded by Dr. Karol G. Ross, Jennifer K. Phillips, and William A. Ross. The three CPG Principals developed the concept for a company to support cognitive performance improvement in industry and government. (more...)

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