Instructional System Design - Neurovations

CME Planning

Instructional System Design (ISD)

The ACCME Accreditation Criteria dictate what has to be accomplished by a CME activity or program; your Instructional System Design (ISD) details how you will achieve these results.

ISD is the method that your organization uses to create content.

Definitions Related to ISD


  • Activity: An educational event/intervention for physicians, which is based upon identified needs, has a purpose or objectives, and is evaluated to assure the needs are met.
  • ADDIE / ADDIE Model: The foundation of instructional system design. ADDIE stands for Analysis, Design, Development, Implement, Evaluate
  • Assessment: A comparative evaluation of gaps, needs, barriers and resources.
  • Educational Mission: A document required for each Accredited and Joint Provider, detailing the educational goals of their organization.
  • Gap analysis (GA): The methods used to collect a Gap and an interpretation of the information. See the Page: Gap Analysis (GA).
  • Instructional Design (ID): The practice of maximizing the effectiveness, efficiency and appeal of a learning opportunity. – Typically occurs at the course level.
  • Instructional System Design (ISD) The planning and steps to design and implement an activity.
  • Learning Objectives: Measurable outcomes that the audience/learner will be able to demonstrate as a result of the education.
  • Needs: 1) contributing factors to the formation of a Gap. 2) The knowledge or skills that must be remedied to help close a practice gap.
  • Target Audience: The intended recipients of an educational activity.

ISD Tips and Resources


  • For more information on CME planning, see the Resources for: Gap Analysis, Needs Assessment, Learning Objectives and Evaluation. Each component is and important aspect of your activity ISD.
  • Ensure that your activity aligns with, and supports, your Educational Mission
  • Devote planning time to brainstorming: 
    • What does your organization want to accomplish? 
    • How does this activity align with your values? 
    • How can you make a difference?
  • Review everything. Have the planning group review the structure of the meeting; have a committee to review the content of the activity; review materials for compliance with CME regulations.
  • Before assessing or evaluating the audience, ask yourself "how will we use the data that we receive?". If you don't know, then change the question or remove it from the assessment.