ASSURE: Instructional Design Model for us by Librarians

Lauren Hays

Lauren Hays

November 16, 2021

In a previous post, I described the ADDIE instructional design model. It is the one I use the most, but there are many other useful instructional design models that are relevant in a special library setting.

Recently I have been exploring others to see if one can be applied to a particular project I have been working on. During this search, I discovered the ASSURE model of instructional design.

ASSURE stands for:

A — Analyze learners

S — State standards & objectives

S — Select strategies, technology, media & materials

U — Utilize technology, media & materials

R — Require learner participation

E — Evaluate & revise

I like that this model is straightforward. It is easy to identify what needs to be done in each step. For a librarian wanting to use ASSURE to plan training or a workshop ASSURE consider the following at each step:

Analyze learners: Ask who the learners are and identify specific attributes of the learners (i.e. age, interests, work experience, etc.). Reflect on their background and current needs. Consider how the attributes you have identified impact what you want to create for training.

State standards and objectives: Specifically list the goals for your instruction.

Select strategies, technology, media & materials: Choose what resources and technology you want to use (e.g. PowerPoint presentation, handouts, projector) . Also, identify the pedagogical methods you will use during the instruction session (e.g. lecture, group discussion, etc.).

Utilize technology, media & materials: This is where you plan how you will use the resources, technology, and pedagogical methods. To do this you can use these steps*:

  • Preview the Technology, Media, and Materials: practice using the tools before the instruction session.
  • Prepare the Technology, Media, and Materials: finalize all the resources you will use. 
  • Prepare the Environment: set-up the instruction space (meeting room, classroom, or Zoom meeting) with the necessary features (plenty of chairs, participants muted on entry, etc.)
  • Prepare the Learners: tell the learners what they can expect during the instruction session. 
  • Provide the Learning Experience: present the lesson

Require learner participation: As you present the lesson, make sure to engage individual learners in the process. You should plan for how you will do this in the stage above.

Evaluate & revise: Lastly, evaluate if the learners met your stated goals. You should also evaluate the lesson in its entirety and determine if the resources and technology were the best or if you should select different tools in the future. Finally, revise the lesson for future sessions based on your evaluation.

While this model has many similarities to other instructional design models, I believe it is a useful tool for designing instruction. It can help keep instructors organized and help bring clarity to multiple instructors teaching the same lesson.

Recommended Resources:

ASSURE. (2021).

Kurt, S. (2016). ASSURE: Instructional design model. Educational Technology.

*The 5 Ps were found on the following site:

Lauren Hays

Lauren Hays

Lauren Hays, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology at the University of Central Missouri, and a frequent speaker on topics related to libraries and librarianship. Her professional interests include information literacy, educational technology, library and information science education, teacher identity, and academic development. Please read Lauren’s other posts about skills for special librarians. And take a look at Lucidea’s powerful integrated library systems, SydneyEnterprise, and GeniePlus, used daily by innovative special librarians in libraries of all types, sizes and budgets. 

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