The Kemp Model of Instructional Design

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This page was originally authored by Jenny Papadakis (2014).

“Planning for student learning should be a challenging, exciting, and gratifying activity” – Jerrold Kemp


The Kemp Instructional Design model is an instructional design method that draws from a number of disciplines and approaches to instructional design (Morrison et al., 2010). Also known as the Morrison, Ross, and Kemp Model, this instructional design framework outlines nine circular, non-linear stages that allow the instructional designer to:

  • determine the needs of the learner
  • define the topics for instruction
  • outline the content, tasks, and procedures
  • analyze the characteristics of the learner
  • define the learning objectives
  • design the instructional activities and instructional resources
  • identify available support services
  • and design the assessment and evaluation tools (Kramer, 2013)

This wiki article will offer an overview of the Kemp Instructional Design Model and will provide some insight into the uses of this method.

Theoretical Background

The Kemp Design Model draws from a number of different disciplines and approaches to instructional design (Morrison, Ross, and Kemp). Morrison et al., (2010) believe that there is “never one perfect approach to solving an instructional design problem.” The Kemp Model thus incorporates both behavioral and cognitive approaches (Morrison et al., 2010).

The Kemp Design Model takes into consideration the uniqueness of each individual designer, and is flexible - understanding that each project may start and finish with a different stage in the design process (Morrison et al., 2010). This instructional design approach can be used in a range of settings, industries, and contexts including business, higher education, k-12, medical, military, and government (Morrison et al., 2010).

Kemp Design Model

The Kemp Design Model (Morrison et al., 2010)

Unlike other instructional design models like the Dick and Carey Model, The Kemp Design Model is circular, rather than linear (Akbulut, 2007). That is, the nine elements of this model are interdependent and are not “required to be considered in an orderly way to realize the instructional learning systems design” (Akbulut, 2007). The instructional designer can start the design process at any point, and the various stages can also be performed simultaneously ( Some stages may not even be required at all depending on the process and design. In the Kemp Design Model, the instructional design process is a continuous cycle with revision as an ongoing activity associated with all of the elements in the framework.

The Kemp model approaches instruction and design from the perspective of the learner. The overall needs, goals, priorities, and constraints of the learner are considered to determine the instructional solutions (Giles, 2013).

Morrison et al. (2010) highlight four essential elements that form the framework of instructional planning:

  • Learners
  • Objectives
  • Methods
  • Evaluation

These components are interrelated and have the potential to make up an entire instructional design plan (Morrison et al., 2010). When integrated with the additional five components as outlined by the Kemp Design Model, a complete instructional design model is formed (Morrison et al., 2010).

9 Elements of the Kemp Model

The following nine elements are the basic components that make up the Kemp Design process. They are interdependent and are presented in an oval shape to reflect the flexibility of the process – and that there is no specific order in completing the process (Morrison et al., 2010).

9 Elements of the Kemp Model
Element Description
Instructional Problems Identify the instructional problems and determine the goals for the program you will be designing (Giles, 2013).
Learners Characteristics Explore the characteristics and needs of learners. Identify the characteristics that will influence and guide the planning process (Giles, 2013).
Task Analysis One of the most important stages of the design process. Use this stage to understand what knowledge and procedures you need to include in the instruction to help the learner master the learning objectives (Morrison et al., 2010).
Instructional Objectives Identify the instructional and learning objectives. Specify exactly what the learner must learn and master. The objectives offer a sort of map for designing the instruction (Morrison et al., 2010).
Content Sequencing Arrange content in a logical order for effective learning. The order in which the information is presented plays an important role in helping the learner understand and learn the information (Morrison et al., 2010).
Instructional Strategies This is considered the creative step. This stage involves designing creative and innovative strategies to present the information, and help learners reach the stated learning objectives (Morrison et al., 2010).
Designing the Message Plan and design the instructional message and decide how it is to be conveyed (Giles, 2013). The message is the pattern of words and pictures used to communicate with learners, and the process is the act of arranging the words and pictures (Morrison, et al., 2010).
Instructional Delivery Design and/or select resources and materials to support instructional activities (Giles, 2013).
Evaluation Instruments Develop evaluation instruments that will be used to assess and evaluate learner’s mastery of the learning objectives (both summative and formative) (Morrison, et al., 2010).

Uses of the Kemp Design Model

The comprehensive nature of the Kemp Design Model make it an appropriate tool for “designing large online instructional modules”, but too "unwieldy for developing short, single-purpose lessons” (Kranch, 2008). “This model also assumes a constant level of development effort throughout the instructional cycle” (Kranch, 2008).

The Kemp model is ideal for large instructional design projects where there will be a number of team members contributing to the process (Giles, 2013). In this sense, team members can contribute to the various stages and elements simultaneously (Giles, 2013).

See Also

  • Click here to understand how the Kemp Model compares to the Dick and Carey Model.
  • Here you will find an overview of the various Instructional Design Models including the Kemp Model.
  • Here you will find a comparison of the Kemp and ADDIE models.
  • Here you will find more by Jerrold Kemp.


Akbulut, Y. (2007). Implications of Two Well-Known Models for Instructional Designers in Distance Education: Dick-Carey versus Morrison-Ross-Kemp.Online Submission.

Giles, Michelle. (2013). The Kemp ID Model. [Slideshare]. Retrieved from

Gustafson, K. L., & Branch, R. M. (2002). What is instructional design. Trends and issues in instructional design and technology, 16-25.

Instructional Design Models. (n.d.). Retrieved from:

Kemp’s Model. (n.d.). Retrieved from:

Kramer, E. (2013, March). Instructional Design Models and Their Effectiveness For Asynchronous Online Curriculum Development. In Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (Vol. 2013, No. 1, pp. 645-652).

Kranch, D. A. (2008). GETTING IT RIGHT GRADUALLY: An Iterative Method for Online Instruction Development. Quarterly Review of Distance Education,9(1).

Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. M., Kemp, J. E., & Kalman, H. (2010). Designing effective instruction. John Wiley & Sons.