Instructional Design Document

Tool: Instructional Design Document

Category: Template / Project Management Documentation

Description: Many instructional designers utilize Design Documents to manage and document the design of instruction. Design Documents are essentially a formal outline that details what is to be included in the instruction. They serve as a “road map” during the Development phase. Design Documents allow for consistency among training and educational courses within a set curriculum. They also ensure accuracy no matter which Instructional Designer is assigned to work on the program. They also serve as a valuable project documentation tool to keep track of work hand off, version updates, and changes to the curriculum.

Many organizations have their own Design Document templates, but basically contain the same components (including, but not limited to):

  • Purpose and Objective
  • Audience/ Learner Analysis, including skills and knowledge gaps
  • Learning outcomes
  • Assessment Plan, including activities and methods of measuring learning outcomes
  • Instructional Strategies
  • Resources, including learner and instructor resources (textbooks, articles, case studies)
  • Media to be developed, such as slideshows, documents, video, podcasts
  • Scope and Sequence of Lessons / Topics
  • Team members and their responsibilities, including ID, SME, Media Experts, Graphic Artists, etc
  • Approvals
  • Evaluation Plan to measure the success of the overall instruction (not just the learning outcome assessment)
  • Maintenance Plan

Application/Example: I created a Design Document to aid in the consistent design of short 2-5 minute primer videos. These videos are directed towards students to help them understand the course lesson outcomes and what is expected of them. This design document is being used for both my online class in Professional Development at Ithaca College and also as a guide for Pepperdine University School of Law’s introductory courses.

Here is a PDF example of my Design Document for lesson 1 (of 8) of Professional Development II.

Design Document

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About Julie Tausend Burba

Instructional Designer at Hulu, Ed Tech and Project Management enthusiast. MBA Technology Management, MS Management, BS Communications, Traveler and Cook.

Posted on August 4, 2013, in ePortfolio Pieces, Instructional Design, Project Management and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

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