Instructional Design Defined
In a few of my more recent blog posts, I’ve talked about what it means to be an Instructional Designer and how I had an interest in Educational Technology at an early age. I thought it’d be a good idea to continue down this path of origin by defining Instructional Design and Educational Technology. This blog post will focus on Instructional Design, but feel free to read my post on “Educational Technology Defined”.
Most people get a slightly confused look on their face when I tell them that I am a Manager of Instructional Technology. But when you really think about instructional design and educational technology, it is all around us.
For example, if you have ever had to complete a training seminar for work, maybe a harassment or safety course, you’ve experienced Instructional Design. If you’ve ever read an instructional booklet for a consumer product, it was instructionally designed by a technical writer. If you’ve ever traveled by airplane, the pre-flight safety demonstrations were instructionally designed. Ahaha! Instructional design IS all around us!
Most people associate Instructional Design with the education industry only, but it is used prevalently in businesses and other industries, too. Interestingly, Instructional Design first originated during World War II by the Military. Training materials and assessment tests were developed based on learning theories and principles of instruction.
Instructional Design, also known as Instructional Systems Design, is the act of creating an experience with the purpose of increasing a person’s knowledge or skill in a way that is effective and appealing. It must be effective because the objective of increasing knowledge or skill must be achieved. It must be appealing because the person (or learner) must want to partake in the instruction.
An effective Instructional Designer will conduct an analysis to determine the current state (what the learner currently knows or can do) and the needs (capabilities or hindrances) of the learner. Another component of Instructional Design is properly defining the end goal of instruction. And of course, an Instructional Designer must create an “intervention” to assist the learner in achieving that defined end goal. An example of an intervention would be a hands-on laboratory experiment in a science course or a video showing the correct way to change the oil on your car.
Analyze Define Intervene
Instructional Design is often associated with pedagogy or “the process of teaching”, but the field is also associated with andragogy or adult learning theory, since many of the instruction is created for adult learners.
There are also different methods for which the instruction is given. For instance, student-only instruction is self-paced learning like the tutorials you can find on YouTube or are asked to complete by Human Resources via an online website. Another mode of instruction is Teacher-Led instruction. This is what most people associate with education- a traditional classroom experience. Finally, community-based instructional settings provide learners with an opportunity to conduct hands-on learning in a supervised environment. An example of this would be a Fire Department having its members extinguishing a controlled fire.
The main result of Instructional Design is the outcome. The outcome can be measured and assessed or other times the outcome is hidden and therefore, not so easily measured.
Instructional Designers typically follow a model for creating instruction. The most common design model, which is discussed in length here, is the ADDIE model. The ADDIE Model has five phases:
1) Analyze – Determine the Needs and Outcomes
2) Design– Plan the instruction
3) Develop– Build the instruction
4) Implement– Bring the instruction “to market” or give the instruction to the learners
5) Evaluate– Determine the success of the instruction
Instructional Designers also work with different learning theories such as cognitivism, behaviorism, and constructivism. Each of these learning theories are discussed further in the post- Learning Theories.
The thing about instructional design (and audio editing and movie editing for that matter) is that you only notice it when it’s of poor quality. A good instruction will result in a change in the learner’s knowledge or skill with little notice of actually being taught.
Posted on April 8, 2013, in Instructional Design, Tausend Talks Shop and tagged ADDIE, education, Instructional Design, Instructional Systems Design, ISD, Learning Theories, Pedagogy, Training. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.