Instructional Design Review
What is Instructional Design
Instructional Design is a multidisciplinary field that draws on learning theories, behavioural psychology and neuroscience to create experiences that address a learning need.
These experiences can be in the form of a classroom-based course, workplace training session, eLearning module or Virtual Reality (VR) environment.
What do Instructional Designers do?
The role of a workplace Instructional Designer is to select and design an appropriate learning solution that solves a performance problem.
By using elements of learning theories (such as Behaviourism, Cognitivism and Constructivism) and adhering to adult learning principles, Instructional Designers build experiences that facilitate the successful transfer of knowledge, skills or attitudes.
Businesses use Instructional Designers to ensure that the experience created results in a measurable improvement to staff performance.
Instructional Design Theories and Models
Instructional design can be managed via models or guidelines such as ADDIE or AGILE. ADDIE and AGILE differ in approaches but contain similar components such as analysis, design and development. The key to success with either approach is the quality of communication between the people involved in learning projects.
An output of analysis is the identification of a performance gap and the creation of performance objectives to bridge this gap. A commonly used framework for creating learning objectives is Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Once the learning objectives are set, the instructional designer will chunk the content and sequence it in a way that builds on prior and new knowledge. Various forms of feedback are provided based on performance and support is gradually removed to allow learner practice. Finally, acquisition of newly acquired knowledge is verified via assessment activities.
Other tools used by Instructional Designers are M. David Merrill’s ‘First principles of instruction’ which combine existing learning theories into a problem-centered model and Robert Gagne’s ‘9 events of instruction’ that ensure the conditions for learning are present.
For digital learning experiences, the Instructional Designer will typically create storyboards for review purposes that then act as a blueprint for the construction of eLearning courses.
Instructional design provides a learning solution to a performance problem. “
Pros: Numerous theories, models and guidelines to assist learning design
Cons: Some broad theories are not ideally suited to digital learning development
Comments: Good instructional design underpins all learning experiences