David Merrill synthesized the key principles common among leading instructional design frameworks. Namely, learning is promoted when:

  1. learners solve tasks; problems that integrate multiple pieces of skills and knowledge
  2. existing knowledge is activated as a foundation for new knowledge
  3. new knowledge is demonstrated to the learner,
  4. new knowledge is applied by the learner with feedback, and
  5. new knowledge is integrated into the learner’s world, providing a foundation for the next cycle of learning

Key resource:

Merrill, M.D. (2002). First principles of instruction. Educational Technology Research & Development, 50, 43–59. DOI