Document Type : Original Article


Department of Psychology, Ardabil Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ardabil, Iran


This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of Gagne’s model of instructional design on the attention and working memory capacity of students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. This study adopted a quasi-experimental design with pretest-posttest and a control group. The statistical population of the current research consisted of all fifth-grade female students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in Tabriz in the academic year 2021-2022. In this study, 30 students with attention problems (scores higher than 72 in the Connors Parent Questionnaire) were selected as the sample and randomly assigned to the experimental and control groups. The experimental group underwent eight training sessions, four sessions per week, each for 30 minutes, using the Gagne’s training model while the control group did not receive any training. It should be mentioned that the computer version of the selective and divided attention and working memory tests were used to collect data. The data were analyzed using multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) and SPSS 22 software. The results showed that Gagne’s model of instructional design is effective in increasing divided attention (P <0.048), selective attention (P <0.018), reducing reaction time (P <0.009), and increasing working memory capacity (P <0.047) in students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Therefore, it is suggested that the content of courses requiring great attention and concentration be designed using Gagne’s model of instructional design and presented to students in order to increase the amount of divided attention , selective attention and working memory capacity and reduce reaction time.


Darwazeh, A. N. (1993). The effects of using Reigeluth's Elaboration Theory versus Gagne's Heirarchical Approach and the Random Order for sequencing instruction on remember and application levels learning. Journal of King Saudi University: Educational Sciences & Islamic Studies, 2 (5), 463-494.
Alloway, T., & Lepere, A. (2021). Sustained attention and working memory in children with autism spectrum disorder. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 68(1), 1-9, DOI: 10.1080/1034912X.2019.1634792
Berryhill, M. (2008). Vision sciences society. [Online] Available at: < [Accessed 16 May 2022].
Biederman, H. (2005). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. A selective overview. Biol psychiatry, 57(5), 1215-1220.
Chen, C., Kasof, J., Himsel, A.J., Greenberger, E., Dong, Q., & Xue, G. (2002). Creativity in drawings of geometric shapes: A cross-cultural examination with the consensual assessment technique. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. 33(2), 171-187. DOI: 10.1177/0022022102033002004
Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd Ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.
Davidovitch, N., & Milgram, M. (2016). Teacher effectiveness in higher education. ProQuest Information and Learning Company, 14(2), 365-379.
Enger, P.M.J. (2018). Are working memory measures free of socio-economic influence? Journal of Speech. Language and Hearing Research, 51(9), 1580–1587.
Faraone, S. V., Sergeant, J., Gillberg, C., & Biederman, J. (2003). The worldwide prevalence of ADHD: Is it an American condition? World Psychiatry, 2 (2), 104-113.
Fillauer, J., Bolden, J., Jacobson, M., Partlow, B.H., Benavides, A., & Shultz, J.N. (2020). Examining the effects of frustration on working memory capacity. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 34(1), 50-63.
Frey, L. (2011). The use of sequence and synthesis for teaching concepts. IDD & E Working Papers. Syracus, NY: Syracuse University School of Education. ERIC, 217859.
Kast, M., Baschera, G., Gross, M., Jancke, L., & Meyer, M. (2011). Computer-based learning of spelling skills in children with and without dyslexia. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 61(5), 177-200.
Kieling, C., Kieling, R.R., Rohde, L.A., Frick, P.J., Moffitt, T. … Castellanos, F.X. (2010). The age at onset of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Am J Psychiatry, 167(1), 6-14. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.09060796. PMID: 20068122; PMCID: PMC4478075.
Kirchner, W. K. (1958). Age differences in short-term retention of rapidly changing information. J. Exp. Psychol., 55, 352–358. DOI: 10.1037/h0043688
Korpa, T., Skaloumbakas, C., Katsounas, M., Papadopoulou, P., Lytra, F., Karagianni, S., & Pervanidou, P. (2020). EF train: Development of an executive function training program for preschool and school-aged children with ADHD. International Journal of Psychology & Psychological Therapy, 20(1), 13–27.
Lai, Y.J., & Chang, K.M. (2020). Improvement of attention in elementary school students through fixation focus training activity. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 17(13), 47-80. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17134780. PMID: 32635159; PMCID: PMC7370093.
Levene, H. (1960). Robust tests for equality of variances. In O. Ingram, G. Ghurye Sudhish, W. Hoeffding, G. Madow, & H. B. Mann (Eds.), Contributions to probability and statistics: Essays in honor of Harold Hotelling (pp. 278-292). Stanford University Press.
Levin, E. S. (2011). Working Memory: Capacity, developments and improvement techniques. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Madani, S., Alizadeh, H., Farrokhi, N., Hakimi, N., & Rad, E. (2017). Development of an executive functions (response inhibition, updating, sustained attention) program and examining its effectiveness on symptoms amelioration in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Psychology of Exceptional Individuals, 7(26), 1-25.
Michèle, M., Mazzocco, M., & Hanich, B. (2010). Math achievement, numerical processing, and executive functions in girls with Turner syndrome: Do girls with Turner syndrome have math learning disability? Leaning and Individual Differences, 20(2), 70-81. DOI:10.1016/j.lindif.2009.10.011
Namdari, P., Nazari, H., & Pournia, Y. (2012). Epidemiologic feature of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in elementary school children. Hong Kong J Paediatr., 17, 162-6.
Nowruzi, D., & Razavi, S. A. (2011). Fundamentals of educational design. Tehran: Samat Publications.
Ponce, H.R., Lopez, M.J., & Mayer, R.E. (2012). Instructional effectiveness of a computer-supported program for teaching reading comprehension strategies. Computer and Education, 5(13), 17-26
Rac-Lubashevsky, R., & Kessler, Y. (2016). Decomposing the n-back task: An individual differences study using the reference-back paradigm. Neuropsychologia, 90, 190–199. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.07.013
Reigeluth, C. M. (1999). The elaboration theory: Guidance for Scope and Sequences Decisions. In R. M. Reigeluth, (Ed.), Instructional-design theories and models: A new paradigm of instructional theory, Volume II (pp. 425-454). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Safavi, P., Ganji, F., Bidad, A. (2016). Prevalence of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in students and needs modification of mental health services in Shahrekord, Iran in 2013. J Clin Diagn Res: JCDR, 10(4), Lc25-8.
Spaulding, W. D. (2017). Cognitive functioning in schizophrenia: Implication for Psychiatric rehabilitation. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 25, 275-289.
Hakim Shooshtari, M., Shariati, B., Kamalzadeh, L., Naserbakht, M., Tayefi, B., & Taban, M. (2021). The prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in Iran: An updated systematic review. Med J Islam Repub Iran, 14(35), 8. DOI: 10.47176/mjiri.35.8. PMID: 33996659; PMCID: PMC8111633
Taghipour Javan, A., Framarzi, S., Abedi, A., & Hassan Nattaj, F. (2013). Effectiveness of rhythmic play on the attention and memory functioning in children with Mild Intellectual Disability (MID). International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, 17, 9-21.
Trull, T.J., & Sher, K.J. (1994). Relationship between the five-factor model of personality and Axis I disorders in a nonclinical sample. J Abnorm Psychol., 103(2), 350-60. DOI: 10.1037//0021-843x.103.2.350. PMID: 8040504.
Thorell, L.B., Lindqvist, S., Bergman Nutley, S., Bohlin, G., & Klingberg, T. (2009). Training and transfer effects of executive functions in preschool children. Dev Sci., 12(1), 106-13. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2008.00745.x. PMID: 19120418.
Treviño, M., Zhu, X., Lu, Y., Scheuer, L.S., Passell, E., Huang, G…. Horowitz, S. (2021). How do we measure attention? Using factor analysis to establish construct validity of neuropsychological tests. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 6(51), 99-111.
Unsworth, N., & Robison, M.K. (2020). Working memory capacity and sustained attention: A cognitive-energetic perspective. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 46(1), 77-103.
Valian, V. (2019). Bilingualism and cognition. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 18, 3-24.
Vergauwe, E., Besch, V., Latrèche, C., & Langerock, N. (2021). The use of attention to maintain information in working memory: A developmental investigation of spontaneous refreshing in school-aged children. Developmental Science, 24(5), 63-89.