M. David Merrill is professor emeritus at Utah State University. He is available to lecture, provide a workshop, or consult on effective instruction. Click to contact him.

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

He was honored with the AECT Distinguished Service Award 2001 for advancing the field of Instructional Technology through Scholarship, Teaching and Leadership.  He received a life time achievement award from the Utah State University College of Education 2010; and he was recognized as an Honored Alumni for the College of Education at BYU 2011. He received the ETR&D Distinguished Development Award 2013 and the AECT D&D Outstanding Book Award 2014 for his book “First Principles of Instruction.”

He received his BA from Brigham Young University 1961; his MS from the University of Illinois, 1964; his PhD from the University of Illinois, 1964. Since receiving his PhD he 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 principle 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 1990’s, and since 2002 First Principles of Instruction.

He and his wife Kate have a combined family of 9 children, 37 + 12 (by marriage) grandchildren with more marriages expected and 30 great grandchildren with more on the way, which he claims as his most important accomplishment. 

The following papers summarize his professional career:

Reflections on a four decade search for effective, efficient and engaging instruction.  In M. W. Allen (Ed.), Michael Allen’s 2008 e-Learning Annual (Vol. 1, pp. 141-167): Wiley Pfieffer. Click to download

Merrill, M. D. (2017) A 50+ Year Search for Effective, Efficient, and Engaging Instruction. In S. Tobias, J.D. Fletcher, & D.C. Berliner (Eds), Acquired Wisdom: a publication series to preserve and transmit the knowledge and skills of distinguished educational researchers. Education Review (24), edrev.asu.edu) Click to download

Mailing address: 563 West 2040 South Circle, St. George, UT 84770
email: professordavemerrill@gmail.com

Meet him on Facebook (Click to visit his Facebook site)

He is the owner of the miniature Ascape Tennsion & Sulphur Gulch Railroad. (Click to visit his Model Railroad Blog)

Write Your Dissertation First and Other Essays on a Graduate Education, is a collection of anecdotes and counsel Dr. Merrill gave to his graduate students. You may find them helpful in your own graduate career. This book is available from the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT.org

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