Instructional Design: Gagne’s Events of Instruction

Vampires — Coming Out of the Coffin: Lessons in Diversity in Public Relations

Topics: Public Relations, Diversity, Communication

Audience: College Students

Goal: To explore diversity issues in public relations through the exploration of examples and case studies and then utilize the knowledge to create appropriate communication campaigns.

Reflection: Incorporating Gange’s nine instructional events into the instructional design optimizes class time and ensures student success. This design helps learners explore issues of diversity in a satirical manner, thus allowing them to synthesize the information enjoyably


This is an excellent design plan, Danielle. The amount of detail was amazing and enabled me to clearly follow the flow of your instructions. Your lesson would seem to prep the students well and keep them interested throughout.

K. Sprague, Instructor

Lesson Overview

Assignment Instructions

For your design and lesson plan:

  • Be sure to include creative technology elements in the lesson. The technology should be included to support the learning throughout the events of instruction – in the introduction, the body, the conclusion, and possibly even the assessment. Think carefully about how technology can be used to do that. Please assume that the learners will have access to various technology required to support their learning.
  • Select a topic and instructional goal that can be achieved in one class lesson or a few shorter lessons over a few days. At this point, the precision of applying the ID process is much more important than the quantity of the actual length (in-class time) of the lesson product. This time parameter is suggested in order to limit the amount of work that will be required to develop, evaluate, and revise the module. Choose a small bit of instruction for this project.

Lesson Objectives

Given that the students have read the assigned chapter about diversity and have participated in the class discussions and activities, the college students should be able to:

  • Define and discuss diversity and culture and recognize non-diverse situations with 85 percent accuracy on a summative assessment at the end of the course.
  • Critique public relations and marketing campaigns directed at a specific audience and be able to reflect that knowledge with 85 percent accuracy on a summative assessment at the end of the course.
  • Recognize the characteristics of various diverse groups and be prepared to develop communications strategies to best meet those needs by helping to create a campaign for a marginalized group.

Evaluation Overview

Assess Learner Performance – Multiple assessments have been included throughout the lesson.  These assessments should provide valid and reliable feedback while the class is still fresh.  Incorporating these into the instruction becomes a practical teaching device and measurement tool.

  • Let’s Review: This section allows students to summarize the lesson into manageable chunks.
  • Think-Pair-Share: As the students discuss strategies to work with the multicultural audience, they will use this group technique for assessment.
  • Peer Instruction: As the groups create their vampire campaigns, they will continue to teach and reinforce the concepts introduced in this and other lessons.


  • All information presented in the lesson aligns with one of the stated learning objectives.
  • All activities can be directly associated with one or more objectives.


  • Students will all be given the same information and access to tools and thus should produce reliably consistent results from group to group.
  • Students will be asked to create a campaign as a group and will later reflect on the process in the final exam.  The reflections should mirror the in-class discussions.
  • Answers expected on the summative assessment can be graded objectively based on the required response.  Each question should produce similar solutions from student to student based on the lesson presented.


  • The lecture response assessment is practical.  As this is primarily a reflection piece, there is flexibility in the submissions.  Reviewing the submissions will not be time-consuming in checking the reflection or relaying feedback.

Lesson Design Highlights

Instructional Need

The global community is in constant, 24/7 flux, and we expect our students to be mindful of and respectful of all cultures and treat them equally without apparent bias. As part of the ongoing introduction to the public relations curriculum, students must explore diversity issues to develop campaigns appropriate for specific audiences and will do so in this lesson. With that knowledge, they must also understand those groups’ characteristics to gain the best insights on delivering a diversity-appropriate message. Without proper preparation and wisdom, the students could make a costly misstep that will injure the reputation of the practitioner and the brand.

Learning Environment

  • Once a week class, 9 to 11:50 am
  • Traditional, ADA-compliant classroom with flexible seating for 24 students.
  • Necessary classroom equipment.  PC with USB, projector, whiteboard, and markers
  • Required student equipment: Pen, paper, textbook, iPad for collaboration, internet connection

Materials, Resources, Equipment Needed

  • PPT slide deck with detailed notes, including suggested talking points and sources.
  • Canva page and rubric for submission of brainstorming ideas, and lecture response
  • Final course summative exam — with questions from the lessons
  • Computer, Internet connection, projector, removable storage with backup files
  • Software: PowerPoint, internet browser, apps as desired by students
    • App — Mind Node for collaborative brainstorming (if selected for campaign completion)
    • Google Docs for collaborative brainstorming (if chosen for campaign completion)
  • Learning Management System: Canvas for assignment submissions and final exam

Task Analysis

Yellow outline denotes activity;
the green dotted outline indicates class discussion.

Type of Learning Outcome

This lesson concentrates on creating various kinds of outcomes, except for motor skills.  Intellectual skills are demonstrated as the students follow the rules and procedures for creating a PR campaign.  As the students examine and rehearse the responses to the exam questions, they demonstrate the verbal information outcome.  Several of the discussion prompts will help learners explore the cognitive outcome.  At the same time, our work on the lesson may challenge attitudes held by some learning community members. 

Prerequisite Analysis

The students should have some knowledge of public relations.  This unit will introduce culture and diversity through the lens of public relations, which may be the first time for many learners.  This unit will require the students to recall skills learned through other lessons presented during the semester.  The students should be able to think strategically and use the RACE process to help develop a PR campaign.

Learner Analysis – Target Group

  • 20 students: ten male, ten female
  • Introduction to Public Relations Community College Course in St. Charles, Missouri
  • Cognitive (General) Characteristics: General aptitudes: Most have sustained attention with sound logic and reasoning skills.
  • Cognitive (General) Characteristics: Developmental level: Class is at the formal operational level, as expected.
  • Cognitive (General) Characteristics: Language development level Most students are native English speakers and converse on an adult level.
  • Cognitive (General) Characteristics: Reading level All students are on are above 5th grade but below 12th grade; only 32% of these freshmen are reading at a 12th-grade level, and this high-performing group has only a 69% chance of passing the reading portion of the GED high school equivalence test (Source:
  • Cognitive (General) Characteristics: Level of visual literacy; ability to gain information from graphics Students learn well from graphics and illustrations.
  • Cognitive (General) Characteristics: Cognitive processing styles: preferred and most effective Most students identify as visual and auditory learners. 
  • Cognitive (General) Characteristics: General world knowledge: Students are well-rounded and savvy in their understanding of the world.
  • Affective Characteristics: Interests Students are interested in sharing their knowledge of their cultures and diversity issues.
  • Affective Characteristics: Motivations to learn: Some students are very motivated to learn and take classes at the community college as part of the A+ program and plan to transfer after earning an associate degree.  Some students are present only because their parents require their attendance.
  • Affective Characteristics: Attitude toward subject matter: Most students primarily study business without plans to focus on public relations.
  • Affective Characteristics: Attitude toward learning: A mix of high achievers and students who are present only because their parents require their attendance.
  • Affective Characteristics: Anxiety level: Three students have disclosed they are dealing with anxiety issues.
  • Affective Characteristics: Attribution of success: (i.e., locus of control) Most have an internal locus of control.
  • Social Characteristics: Relationships to peers: Students work together well in groups.  Not especially competitive.
  • Social Characteristics: Feelings towards authority: The students respond well to redirection and requests from authority.
  • Social Characteristics: Moral development: Most students are at the post-conventional morality stage with a defined sense of universal ethics.
  • Social Characteristics: Socioeconomic background: Students live in suburban areas within 30 minutes of the college.  Nine students work full-time.  Eight students work part-time.  Fifteen students are using financial aid to pay for school.  Two students are married and have children under the age of five at home.
  • Social Characteristics: Racial/ethnic background, affiliations: Eleven students are Caucasian, six students are African American, two students are Hispanic, and one student is Muslim.  Four students are members of the LGBTQ community.
  • Physiological Characteristics: Sensory perception: Five students wear glasses, and one student has hearing difficulties and sits near the front of the classroom
  • Physiological Characteristics: General health: Most students are in good health, but at any point, one or more may be quarantined for COVID.  Thus, flexibility is mandatory.
  • Physiological Characteristics: Age: Students range in age from 17 to 27

Enhance Retention and Transfer

Two sections of the lesson are dedicated to helping the learners recall and synthesize critical parts of the lesson.  The students will enhance their retention by practicing for the exam.  As the students explore the learn more section, they can transfer the learning into further research that satisfies their interests.  By summarizing the lesson again at the end, the instructor should be able to create a sense of closure.  The instructor also charges the student to continue to explore and learn about this and other topics.

Design Evaluation

The overall lesson will be evaluated by fellow students and instructors.  As this is not a long-term lesson or design, there are few opportunities for review throughout the development process.  No oversight or curriculum committee will delve into the individual elements of specific lessons.  Higher education does not align with standards as strictly as the K-12 audience.  Thus, there is little attention paid to this element. If there was to be an evaluation, I would expect the reviewer to address these issues:

  • Are there errors or omissions in the content?
  • Were there errors in the instructional materials?
  • Were critical steps omitted?
  • Is learner performance measured?
  • Do the evaluation elements align with the stated objectives?
  • Does the instruction make sense?
  • Does the instruction help learners achieve the learning objectives?
  • Does the formative evaluation illuminate the reaction of the learners to the content?
  • Did learners find the instruction clear and compelling?
  • Did learners find the instruction engaging (not boring)?
  • Was the project delivered on time and on a budget?

What’s Next?

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