Guidelines for creating effective learning

Merrill's First Principles of Instruction is an instructional design framework developed by David Merrill. It provides a set of guidelines and principles for creating effective and learner-centered instructional experiences. The framework is based on research in cognitive psychology and instructional design, and it aims to promote meaningful and engaging learning.

MPI (Merrill's Principles of Instruction) is recognized as one of the earliest teaching principles, focusing on maximizing knowledge from learning experience. The principle was proposed by David Merrill in 2002 and integrates five learning principles including Task-centered, Activation, Demonstration, Application, and Integration. These five key principles form the foundation of Merrill's instructional design approach and are designed to create meaningful, engaging, and transferable learning experiences for learners.

Merrill's five principles

  1. Task-centered approach: The problem-centered approach emphasizes designing instruction around authentic, real-world problems that learners are likely to encounter. This principle encourages learners to actively engage in problem-solving activities, fostering their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

  2. Activation: The activation principle focuses on engaging learners' prior knowledge and experiences to create a foundation for new learning. It involves stimulating learners' curiosity, presenting real-world examples, and connecting new information to their existing knowledge.

  3. Demonstration: The demonstration principle emphasizes providing clear models or examples that illustrate the desired learning outcomes. Demonstrations can be in the form of expert performances, simulations, or case studies. Learners observe these demonstrations to develop an understanding of how to perform the desired tasks.

  4. Application: The application principle emphasizes providing opportunities for learners to practice and apply their knowledge and skills in authentic contexts. It involves designing activities that require learners to actively apply what they have learned, solve problems, make decisions, and engage in realistic tasks.

  5. Integration: The integration principle focuses on promoting the transfer of knowledge and skills to new situations. It involves providing opportunities for learners to connect their learning to real-world contexts and apply it in meaningful ways. Integration can be achieved by presenting complex and authentic problems or scenarios that require learners to apply their learning in novel ways.

These principles are designed to be applied in a cyclical and iterative manner, where learners engage in multiple cycles of activation, demonstration, application, integration, and evaluation. The framework promotes learner engagement, active participation, and the development of meaningful and transferable knowledge and skills.

By following Merrill's First Principles of Instruction, educators can design instruction that is learner-centered, promotes active learning, and enhances the transfer of knowledge to real-world contexts. The principles provide a solid foundation for creating effective instructional materials, activities, and assessments that support deep and meaningful learning experiences.