Skip to main content


The Learning Science Weekly Podcast brings together thought leaders, researchers, creatives, authors, and scientists to chat about the science of learning and how it can be applied in corporate and customer education.

In this week's episode of the Learning Science Weekly Podcast, we spoke with Dr. David Merrill about the study of effective, efficient, and engaging instruction. We covered the first principles of instruction including what those principles are and how we can apply them in workplace learning and customer education.

Guest: Dr. David Merrill

Dr. Merrill has been engaged in the study of effective, efficient, and engaging instruction for more than 50 years since he finished his Ph.D. program at the University of Illinois in 1964.

Since receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1964 he has served on the faculty of George Peabody College, Brigham Young University-Provo, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, Utah State University, Florida State University, and BYU Hawaii (as a missionary volunteer). He served a service mission at BYU Hawaii where he helped faculty put courses online.

 Since retiring he has taught online courses at Florida State University, BYU Hawaii, University of Hawaii, and Utah State University. He is internationally recognized as a major contributor to the field of instructional technology, has published many books and articles in the field, and has lectured internationally. Among his principal contributions: TICCIT Authoring System 1970's, Component Display Theory and Elaboration Theory 1980's, Instructional Transaction Theory, automated instructional design and ID based on Knowledge Objects 1990s, and since 2002 First Principles of Instruction.

Mentioned in the episode:

Dr. Merrill received the ETR&D Distinguished Development Award 2013 and the AECT D&D Outstanding Book Award 2014 for his book “First Principles of Instruction.”

You can personally connect with Dr. Merrill through his website or you can email him directly at

Dr. David Merrill is the owner of the miniature Ascape Tennsion & Sulphur Gulch Railroad. His Model Railroad can be viewed here!

Thank you again for listening and join us again next week!