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Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity

Dissertation - Boise State University Access Only

Degree Title

Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies

Major Advisor

Jonathan Brendefur, Ph.D.

Major Advisor

Michele Carney, Ph.D.


Keith W. Thiede, Ph.D.


Kerry Lynn Rice, Ed.D.


Instructional design models and frameworks are always changing based on new information and new environments. This study examines two distinct instructional design approaches to determine the most effective approach to change performance outcomes in an online authentic business environment. Several studies have been conducted to determine effective approaches; however, most of these studies have been conducted in laboratory-like environments with low knowledge learners. This study compares two different approaches to add to the discussion on instructional effectiveness in an authentic online business environment. In this study, I examine the effectiveness of the coherence principle, eliminating all extraneous details that do not directly pertain to the learning objective, and compare it to using gamification to motivate and engage learners. I looked at learners’ reactions to the trainings, learning outcomes, and performance outcomes. Despite using a large sample size, there was no significant results on learners’ preferences between the two trainings. Learners in the coherence group outperformed learners in both the gamification group and the control group on an exam and on customer satisfaction scores.