copyright 1996- 2007



As a Professor I Never Believed Anyone Had To Agree With Me,
I Was and Am Open to Changing My Views

Photo of David Morris Ph.D.

What is Instructional Design (ID)?
A process that is applied to transfer knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSA).
Transfer can occur from one to one to an unlimited number of learners.
General transfer has been directed at training that requires rote memory of content.
Individual success is compared on the exact same material and answers that all participants are to follow.
Instructional Design was developed in the US Military because of the demands for large numbers of people to receive training.

What is the difference between ID content that has been designed by the US military and that designed for business and mass education?
All are interested in the efficiencies of training large numbers of people.
The US Military is much more serious about mass training and performance.
The US Military actually improves on their mass training of their particular content.
The US Military continues to expend their resources to encompass all of their mass training outcomes.

Why is rote memory the overwhelming preferred application of instructional design?
Much of what is available to know is not in the best interest of the power elite for us to know.
There can be a great deal of disagreement on what is important to know about almost any subject.
Individuals will immediately begin to modify and change knowledge to fit into their world view.
In a mass production society it is imperative that things are done the same way at the same time.
In a society that has many competing religious, secular, and ideologies if one of these appears to have an advantage over the others their will be conflict.
Supposedly all people have an equal chance to memorize and therefore perform.

How does instructional design mass education force content specialist to buy in to rote memory and limiting content?
In the military it is easy they just command.
Business also can command but their training is less valued.
K-12 has no interest in instructional design. They do not have the courses or the will to even begin to do the job.
It is also dangerous for any individual school system to change and redesign anything.
School systems now rely almost 100% on for profit textbooks. These textbook companies also select and make up the rote memory testing to fit their textbook content.
Textbooks are supposedly written by teachers and professors. My own research has found this to be a joke at best. Put these professors under oath and ask them about their contributions to their textbooks. Particular the mass market textbooks with the highest sales volumes.
Any teacher or professor that does not follow the exact textbook content will have unprepared students for the state and national tests.

Why do you have a website for instructional design when you identify all these real problems?
It is not the concept or what can be done with instructional design that is the issue.
Textbook monopolies have created a national curriculum from Kindergarten - Masters Degree that is taught by millions of human teachers.
Instructional design will be used to replace these teachers save money and assure that nothing enters their content areas that is not sanctioned and sanitized.
It is just a simple matter of continuing to put textbook content, their videos, overheads, teacher guides, objectives, and testing into digital form.
Administration under the guise of poor student performance and teachers unions are ready to replace them all.
The promise of saving one half or more on education (training) will be difficult to counter.

What about the research carried on in instructional design in university Masters and Ph.D. programs?
Instructional design university programs are attempting to move ID education beyond training in the face of massive resource allocations devoted to training applications.
Ph.D. graduates in ID are on a creative path and learn over their career of all the overlap in learning and content but we still are structurally forced to organize everything in the end as if it were linear training.

Why has the structure of ID failed to move beyond training?
To gain access to content K - Doctoral we had to become part of a course design teams. The US military does not have this barrier.
University course teams consist of all kinds of specialists that work together to create each course. Syracuse University has been doing this for decades.
To sell efficiency and the costs, the courses that are selected are the huge introduction courses that have the greatest numbers of students.
ID specialist are then responsible for the structure and process that is followed in these courses.
Course content is transferred to them and they then attempt to organize it for optimal return.

Linear instructional design.
I actually prefer the word monolinear instructional design. Monolinear instructional design is derived from a military training model. This model has only one purpose and that is to teach a soldier how to do a job. The military began this form of training thousands of years ago in the Roman Empire. Each person is conceived of as carrying out a specialized function. This model is hierarchical and the thinking is done only by the generals. The generals plan and the rest follow that plan without question. This monolinear concept advocates that if the  soldiers do not brake and run victory follows. Breaking and running is stopped through strict discipline, fear, and the repetition of training. This training approach has no interest in what transfers within and among functions. The more the soldier knows that less their chance of performance under extreme duress.

Nonlinear instructional design.
Nonlinear learning and instructional design is the reserved for the social elite, the elite military, and top business and government positions. This nonlinear education has been the domain of the ivy league and top military institutions. Those that are nonlinear by birth are generally pushed aside or move into the arts.

The monolinear has become so dominant that it has pushed the nonlinear almost entirely out of the society.
There is now no societal equilibrium where the nonlinear thinkers have been able to drive our society into positive futures. This has put us in the hands of psychopaths that promises the world and deliver pain. A prime example is our new reliance on monolinear game theory.

How does a society enhance and develop the nonlinear?
Through a storytelling approach to learning and thinking.

What do you propose to do with instructional design?
Support teachers and students to do their own instructional design and share with others on the internet.
Send content specialist to learn and create ID materials them self.

Why individualize ID when rote memory is conducive to large numbers of learners?
DIGITAL INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN (DID) can bring enough varied resources that students can learn different content and expose their fellow students to a much broader and deeper education.

Can you give me an example?
This website and my other two are filled with them.
When I began to teach marketing at the executive MBA level at the University of New Haven I wanted to implement my DID form of instruction.
I convinced the director to purchase along with the marketing textbook forty or fifty different books related to marketing, strategy, particular industries, and concepts.
Each student was to select one or more books of their interest. If they had another book they wanted to read it was fine. They then were to teach and discuss the book with the class taking as much time as the class wanted on the subject. My role was to add different and competing perspectives and to create a cognitive method and overview to build and apply all content. A close idea to my DID is called the scientific method and cognitive scaffolding.
It worked.
A new director came in threw the books away and ejected me from the executive MBA because I refused to just use the marketing textbook.
The secretary asked me if I wanted the books and I gave them to the UNH library.

Is this what you mean by DIGITAL INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN?
The reason why I founded the concept of DIGITAL INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN is I was a marketing content specialist with a Ph.D. in Instructional Design.
I just did not know any better.
If and when ever I attempted to share DID with colleagues it was just too much trouble.
I focused on my students and collecting my materials and their results for the day when the institution would be required as a marketing nitch to competitively begin to implement DID.

A new President arrived at UNH Steven Kaplan with a commitment to learning?
I thought our time had come and I could help UNH be a world leader in DIGITAL INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN in marketing and business education.
When the President first arrived I suggested to the president at a faculty get together that I had been working on DID and marketing for 20 years. He then walked away.
We invited him to my class and when asked about learning he said he did not care much about it.
Later he gave a new hire at the University this title.

Now what happened?
A campaign was started against me for not teaching marketing.
The president would get up in meetings and expound on the idea that some professors were not teaching their textbook content. To him this was an example of how bad things had become at UNH.
He was going to make the required improvements and save the institution from evil doers that did not adhere to their textbooks. The good people would be rewarded and the bad ones punished.
I did not take this personally because I believed I knew what was happening.
From my observation our future was already decided and DIGITAL INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN DID was not on our objective consultant's list. I also had forgotten that before real story change occurs the story in power has a last ditch efforts to wipe out opposition.

Will we also have trouble when you try to improve instruction?
Most likely.
Take small steps.
If you have a union get their support and backing. It is really the only way to exert enough power to counter the textbook conglomerates and political ideologues. These fears are absolutely real.
The collusion of top University administration allowing and encouraging sales of textbooks to students at perhaps 10 times their value may break their monopoly. I have several examples of the harm it is doing on my www.marketingandstorytelling.com web site.
College professors if you are incapable of organizing, teaching. and evaluating your students course content without a textbook what were you doing all those years in school? It is not laziness that stops our professors but fear of textbook conglomerates, university administration and departmental support. The least you can do is allow your students to purchase an earlier version of the textbook for pennies that has almost no changes in content. If you are actually unaware of this practice then what are you doing to your students and with your life as a scholar?

Why should I attempt to incorporate a DID storytelling approach into my classroom?
If you do not gain control of DIGITAL INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN as a teacher and professor you will be replaced by distance learning education created by four world-wide for-profit textbook conglomerates.
All that has to happen is for 6+ or -3 top Universities to sell out and allow their names to be put on textbook conglomerate distance education learning materials. For example in the future we may use the Harvard Business School marketing distance learning programs here at UNH. Presto a Harvard education at UNH. WOW. Harvard has already done this in my view with their so called case studies. WOW WOW
Liberal teachers and professors are raising hell about the Christian right and their interest in improving textbook content.
The Christian right has asked for very few changes, modifications, and expansions in textbooks.
Your destruction may be coming from textbook conglomerate propaganda and their sanitizing.
We all love an enemy but it is easy to have the wrong one created for us.

Will every teacher be left behind?

Dangerous Crowed

The mob comes for me;
led by a few;
promising gold and silver.

Many protections in place;
can I wait them out again?
until their blood lust subside.

Yet happy to be first this time;
escape routes not yet blocked;
a chance to survive, for another day.

Special thanks to President Steven Kaplan
David Morris

Written June 17, 2007 My Birthday

What about content specialist?
Because of my nonlinear learning style and my acquired Instructional Design skills in my Ph.D. I knew anyone could learn anything with great ease. When I discussed this with others they could agree that this was possible for other specializations but not their own. The more skills that I learned the more I knew this combining to be true. Nonlinear instructional designers have had no real influence on content. It was left to the content specialists to work with the designers. I realized early that the all the course content specialist combined to create courses that makes learning anything much more difficult. I thought that if this structural flaws were once identified that everyone would happily change to a more nonlinear approach.

I believed if I could move into and work as a content specialist as an insider I could redesign both the content, process, and materials in marketing. Once this was identified by fellow professors other marketing content specialists would work together to improve education.

My students and perhaps the students of others would not have to suffer like I had.

Why a marketing university education?
I found Marketing education to be so unfair to all my students I could just not give anyone a bad grade. I ended up giving an A to all students for the last two years at my University. The courses that we are expected to teach from the textbooks had nothing to do with marketing thinking in practice. University students are blinded from the manipulations of people (them) applying marketing. The textbook testing was incomprehensible to me. I actually failed the marketing textbook test after twenty years as a marketing professor. This content and their test questions and answers was leading my students to no where.

From the beginning as a professor I vowed that I would not willfully cause pain to my students. In 20 plus years I failed no student and I would try to stick with those that had all kinds of difficulties with learning. I took responsibility for every misunderstanding and asked the student how to fix it for both them and the next person. I would use my pain and my education as a gift to help others.

What can doctoral students do?
I am reaching out to doctoral students from all fields. I ask that you consider as an individual and group moving our fields into the future. Please consider beginning this transformation considering my work as a simple example of taking your own path. We can work together and help each other to individually evolve. We can shift our fields from judging each other to a philosophy of assisting others on their own paths. Education is a disaster because we have given our minds over to textbook conglomerates with their distance learning courses. If you follow the current path outlined and driven by a world view that the middle class does not deserve an education you and your children may face the sequences.

Your current professor colleagues will sell you down the road for their own perceived benefits. They think that the tsunami will pass by their door.

When we entered the academic life we began an ancient struggle to make a difference in the lives of our students. Academics after World War II were forced into a form of education to demonstrate the superiority of our business economic system. The academic world shifted from a battle between the Protestants and the Roman Catholics to one of secular and against religion. After World War II  the secular forces excluded religion and the emphasis became a battle between political systems. Capitalism verses communism.

The pursuit of wisdom derived from a religious and secular philosophy was replaced with training for a mechanized industrial work force and the military.

What is the influence of World War II on training: The Big One?
As a child born during World War II of a working class Irish Catholic and English Protestant family I never had one second of unkindness from either group. I grew up with the stories of how the entire family had suffered. My family was told that my new  education would move our society and the world into a prosperous and peaceful future.

My post WW II educational philosophy that I received my education was reinforced, directed, and supported by national resources until the early 1990s. The entire post War efforts were to protect our nation from the Soviet Union and communism. We were singularly dedicated to stopping the encroachment of communist power around the world.

Because of the real threat from communism anything would be acceptable to assure our national survival. This threat was absolutely real. The Russians had overwhelming beaten the Germans in a life and death struggle. They were an unstoppable force willing to kill countless of millions of their people to win. Any action determined to be necessary by the military for the survival of the USA was implemented every where without resistance. This included the creation of a trained workforce.

Why were the Protestants willing to crush the Catholics after the war?
The Catholic and Protestant religious groups have both been manipulated by economic power to justify the change in education. The transformation that is actually taking place has nothing to do with their beliefs and desires for our children and society. If it did I would be a supporter and not a detractor.

The decline in Roman Catholic education has not been without the force of power. This was done by withholding resources to supposedly keep the church and state separate. A so-called new secular, scientific, and reasoned approach sounded good even to me.

What happened to both the Protestant and Catholic males?
Male Protestant and Catholic teachers and professors were both taken down as hard as possible because of their threat to the new philosophical foundation of American education. Religious groups labeled the Christian right have currently moved into this void attempting to re-link Christianity as the moral authority of our culture.

I agree that education has become absolutely dominated by the liberal philosophy with a distain for the middle class and the Christian religions especially the Roman Catholics.

The current reaction of the liberal elite within universities is much more in the open. The dominant liberal professorate is going after non liberal professors to retire, fire, or keep them from tenure. All groups when they come under siege first must destroy philosophical dissenters from within. Top administration has created this environment by identifying and creating an internal crisis. Consulting firms are there to give these new administrative leaders the justifications to rid their universities of unbelievers. The middle class is no longer worthy of an education just training.

The only ones that will remain are those that can and will follow the textbook conglomerates distance learning courses because of their distain for middle class students in the United States.

Will change occur?
I have experienced that almost all people resist any attempt to identify, improve, or change their individual and collective approach to learning. Even me.

I never had a clue why until I heard a discussion of a study done by Robert Sapolsky of Stanford "Does Age Quash Our Spirit of Adventure" on Public Radio. I do not think this is the only reason but it is very interesting thinking.

NPR : Does Age Quash Our Spirit of Adventure?

What Dr. Sapolsky found is that both people and animals have a period of time where they are open to different aspects of life. There seems to be a strong stage of adventure and novelty stage of acceptance followed by the extinction of new interests. For example Sapolsky states that we are open to the adventure and novelty of music from ages 14 to 21 and by 35 we do not change or music interest. We continue to listen and re-listen to the music we enjoyed in high school and college throughout our lives.

The is again from the military and asymmetric warfare. The idea is that there does not have to be a balance of force. A smaller force can easily defeat a larger force by not playing war in the same way. I will have to think how they are going to equate this to instruction. My guess is that it will be uses to justify the education of a small number of the social elite. Goodbye middle class.

Will anybody prosper?
Academic life is now totally controlled by a few textbook conglomerates and their unbridled greed. These conglomerates are predominantly not American. In my view they have taken complete control of university top administrators and academic groups by applying the same business strategy as they have attained in the US legal drug industry.

The textbook robber barons are at the point where they no longer need professors to even remain in their economic loop. Administrators now cut costs and increase profits by applying textbook derived distance education courses. Each distance learning course reduces the cost of their academic labor. The US government and media are being heavily lobbied to destroy teachers unions and tenure to eliminate the professor from education.

Are their any counter balances?
In my view when the Protestants and Roman Catholics end their centuries of strife. I believe that Pope John Paul II was working on this goal.

Until then I believe it will have to be strong teachers unions to simply save our jobs. Let's work together and alone.

If you would like to comment and put forth another view on anything on this site e-mail to me and I will add to site and perhaps respond. On my two other web sites you may ask for clarification and also comment. I will also add and post both our inputs to help others.

As my friend and former co-host of a radio show Professor of Philosophy Joel Marks at UNH taught me through thousands of hours of dialogue that it is impossible to have a debate unless both parties are willing to change their position. If not it is just a screaming match or a contest.
DM 8/17/07

E-mail to Discuss Washington DC School System Proposed Changes
December 27, 2007 (No Response)

Dear Kathryn A. Pearson-West:

I am a retired Professor of Marketing at the University of New Haven. I am writing to you to ask if you would like my help? We faced the exact same strategy at the University of New Haven that you are facing in the Washington D.C. Schools. It is a national effort to change current faculty power and school curriculum to a corporate education training model. This training model does not require currently educated teachers. One teacher can oversee perhaps thousands of students with the help of aids. New Orleans appears to be the first real prototype. I believe all the teachers were fired and student education was turned over to corporations.

I must tell you that corporate education has a very good chance of succeeding in Washington D.C. They have a great deal of experience and will and a well thought out strategy. This includes moving very fast. What they do not have is an interest in spending the resources required to start and continue to be successful. They have a different value system. The amount of money that is up for grabs is beyond enormous.

From the time our new president arrived at our university I researched and identified patterns that appear to be the exact same as yours. The language and strategy of Michael Rhee are the same almost word for word. My guess is that she is highly driven to succeed. I am sure that she is a fine person but she may not have possessed or be interested in the knowledge or skills to come to broader conclusions. I can share real issues, research, and experience that I have done and may be found on the web. Research that may bring parents to different conclusions.

The challenge will be for union members and parents to participate in the process of determining their future. It is not in our nature to believe that something is orchestrated so efficiently against us. All sides have their story. Educators are often under the delusion that somehow the process is and will be fair for us. I will also be happy to talk with you on the telephone and perhaps come to speak.

It is not that our students are not capable of learning. It is that teachers are forced to use textbooks and tests that are created for the exact opposite purpose. To be more specific those that are not successful in public school are made up of many nonlinear groups of people that have learned throughout history from a storytelling approach. The current curriculum and their textbooks emphasizing the exact opposite. How do I know you may ask? I am Irish heritage and come from that same storytelling learning foundation. My Ph.D. is in Instructional Design from Syracuse University. I have rethought and developed methods to teacher both nonlinear and linear students. You may wish to look at my websites.

I sent an earlier version of this e-mail on November 20, 2007 to a teacher that is a member of the Washington D.C. Teachers Union. I heard nothing back.
All the best,

My www.skype.com address is dmorris693

"Linear singular American marketing is founded on the possibility of the mind searching for one correct answer. In my view it is an insane attempt to play God." DM