SAM Model of Instructional Design: optimize your training

Modelo SAM-diseño-instruccional

The SAM Model is an agile Instructional Design methodology for developing training content, made up of three simple stages for creating and testing provisional teaching materials which are modified until the end goal is reached.

The SAM model has become very popular in recent years for streamlining planning timelines through the promotion of early-stage feedback and increased efficiency. Learn more about this strategy and how to take advantage of the benefits it offers below.

What is the SAM model of instructional design?

This instructional design model was developed by Michael W. Allen as a response to a simplified version of the well-known ADDIE model. SAM, an acronym for Successive Approximation Model, uses an iterative process, meaning that the steps are repeated along the way until a final design is decided upon.

Its central premise is boosting efficiency by developing a provisional training prototype before creating the final content. Through successive cycles of creation, review, and improvement, the model works towards a finished product that meets learning objectives.

The 3 stages of the SAM model

Stage 1: Preparation

In this initial stage, it’s important to establish a clear starting point. Start by gathering the necessary information that provides a real vision of the path, considering aspects such as:

  • Objectives
  • Limitations
  • Design style that works best for our company
  • Context and characteristics of your audience

This process should be quick, as necessary adjustments will be made as you progress through the prototype design.

Stage 2: Iterative design

This phase begins with brainstorming; you can generate concepts and needs yourselves, or alternatively, involve the entire team of stakeholders. Afterwards, you use these to create an initial design prototype based on the previously reviewed analysis, context, and design.

While this won’t be the final project, it serves as a starting point for revisions and improvements based on feedback.

Stage 3: Iterative development

At this stage, you should outline an initial plan for educational content, its implementation, and evaluation. After testing your prototype and receiving the necessary feedback, you should make any necessary modifications.

Next you can move on to the more in-depth instructional design, considering every detail to create efficient and engaging content that meets students’ needs.

Best practices for implementing the SAM model

  • Active collaboration

Promote effective communication and collaboration at all times for optimal SAM model results. Building trust is important, as working closely with your students is essential. If you have an expert team, it’s crucial that everyone understands the expectations to effectively achieve the objectives.

  • Rapid prototyping

Iterative development is based on quickly creating functional prototypes. This enables active course testing, allowing adjustments to be made early on, ultimately saving time and resources.

  • Timely feedback

Being open and flexible to feedback is essential for the success of the SAM model. Set specific times for reviews and comments that aid in improving your instructional design.

  • Focus on learning outcomes

Your primary objective, not only in this phase but throughout, is to develop a successful learning model. This objective should guide you in designing and creating impactful and meaningful content for your students.

Benefits of the SAM Model

The SAM model offers numerous advantages for your educational programs, including the following:

  • Streamlining development timelines
  • Reducing training costs
  • Capturing and maintaining students’ attention
  • Fostering a collaborative process
  • Improving performance outcomes
  • Creating satisfactory educational programs
  • Promoting a continuous improvement work system

Now that you’re familiar with the fundamentals of the SAM model, check out isEazy Author—an easy-to-use authoring tool for creating powerful and impactful e-learning content.

In just minutes, you can create customized courses, engage your students with interactive and multimedia content, and establish your own learning environment. Request your free trial.

Sara De la Torre


Sara De la Torre

Content Marketing Manager at isEazy

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