Book Reviews

Book by: Gary R. Morrison, Steven M. Ross, Jerrold E. Kemp
Review by: Anita L. Carter
University Advising Center
Wayne State University


The authors of this comprehensive text address all aspects of instructional design. They provide a good overview and definition of the process as they model proper design principles in their use of checklists, illustrations, pacing, and examples. The text is well-organized and clearly illustrates concepts through both text and graphical formats. Appendices contain sample instructional design documentation and a sample instructional unit. A CD with a trial copy of MS Project is included so the reader can practice the concepts presented.

A major strength of this text is its outline of key design elements as a circular process rather than a linear progression thus highlighting the interdependence of the design phases. This allows a novice designer to begin wherever indicated by the project and move back and forth between phases.  Other strengths include the “Expert’s Edge”, real-life contributions by practicing instructional designers; end of chapter questions that indicate important elements or help direct thinking to decisions that need to be made; the summary and application section of each chapter that assists novices in the application of chapter content.

The sections on evaluation are especially good. Detailed examples of formative, summative and confirmative evaluation are provided along with sound rationale for including evaluation in instructional design. An entire chapter is devoted to using evaluation to enhance programs; this will be especially useful to advisors whose primary responsibilities do not include formal course construction.

The principles illustrated in this text can be adapted by advisors and faculty interested in creating instructional modules for targeted populations or in program enhancement. This step-by-step guide easily can be used by advising staff and faculty to design high quality instructional materials and courses. The comprehensive chapters on evaluation could be used for instructional materials, courses, workshops, or exams. The chapter on planning and project management is a good primer on the subject and can be adapted to projects unrelated to instruction.

I recommend this book to anyone involved in creating instructional materials or evaluating a program, instructional product, or workshop.  As someone experienced in instructional design and evaluation, I find this book one of the best I have encountered.



Designing Effective Instruction (4th Edition). (2003). Book by Gary R. Morrison, Steven M. Ross, Jerrold E. Kemp. Reivew by Anita L. Carter. Jossey-Bass. 464 pp., $88.95, (paperback). ISBN 0-471-21651-8

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