Instructional design (ID) solutions are the crucial element which runs innately in the eLearning development process. Any eLearning courseware development begins with instructional design. ID strategies vary according to the course content and play a significant role in eLearning development.
Understanding Instructional Design
Instructional design (ID) primarily focuses on the learning outcomes. It learns, adapts, and innovates on demand. ID strategies utilize different fundamental learning aspects while addressing the learning requirements in courseware development.
Analyzing the content: This is the essential step in the development process. Before initiating any activity in the development process, a thorough needs analysis and study of the target audience is a must. The rudimentary learning objectives are outlined during this stage.
Collaborating with teams: ID is a highly collaborative task. In the planning process, an instructional designer should collaborate with subject matter experts (SME), graphic designers, developers, project managers and quality assurance (QA) specialists. The ID must be communicated among the teams and incorporated into the course development to achieve the outcome.
Adopting technology: ID must be synchronized with all the technical aspects required to develop the courseware. Good knowledge about authoring tools such as Articulate Storyline and Captivate is an essential element of the courseware development. It is also ideal for the instructional designer to have functional knowledge of an LMS (Learning Management System).
Planning: Post analysis, a plan must be outlined so that the content developed is easier to absorb. At this stage, it is imperative to identify what methodologies can be adopted and what technologies can be used.
Content design and development: Based on the learning needs and according to the learning objectives, ID strategies determine the content design and development. The purpose of this activity is to engage the learners and fulfil the learning objectives. The content must flow smoothly, helping the learners retain what they have absorbed.
Assessing the learning outcome: Next, the developed learning material must be evaluated to ensure that it is effective in addressing the learning needs. The learning material must be measured to see how effective it is on the learners’ behaviour. It is important to assess if the learners have gained the knowledge that the course aims to provide.
Applying ID Models
Applying an appropriate ID model while creating a course is important. If a specific model is practiced or a blend of models is utilized in developing a course, the learner’s knowledge retention increases. Let us look at some of the most important ID models:
ADDIE: Among the various ID models, this is the most preferred ID model people follow. ADDIE indicates Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation. It is an old model and is linear in structure. ADDIE is very thorough and while it is our preferred method, it is important to note that it can be time consuming.
Merrill’s Principles of Instruction: This model is a task-centred approach that focuses on four phases of learning, including activation, demonstration, application, and integration.
Bloom’s Taxonomy: This model classifies different skills and objectives that the course designers set for their learners.
Dick and Carey Model: This model focuses on nine aspects of learning which include instructional goals, analysis, learner’s behaviour, objectives, strategy, instructional material, formative evaluation, and summative evaluation.
Kemp Model: The Kemp design model has a non-linear structure or a circular structure. It conveys that the design process is a continuous cycle, and therefore needs constant planning, design, and evaluation to ensure quality instruction.
Rapid Instructional Design: Rapid eLearning is the buzz word today and this model is best suited for those who want to develop rapid eLearning courseware. The four elements of this model include Prepare, Present, Practice and Perform.
Action Mapping by Cathy More: This model presents a visual approach and is primarily used in business situations. This model provides learning that is activity-oriented, rather than one with pages of information.
Why F.A.S.T. Rescue’s Instructional Design?
It is crucial to have an ID strategy for developing an eLearning training course. FAST Rescue offers an ID strategy that provides a holistic approach to how the training course can be designed to achieve the course objectives in the most effective manner.
The instructional design strategy includes techniques, methods, and tools to instruct the learners. The primary goal of our ID strategy is to achieve the end results by using the available or required resources to get effective results.
Similarly, before devising the ID strategy, we examine different essential elements of the strategy such as content, media, visuals, and assessments. In the ID strategy, we use all these elements effectively and proportionately to help learners get engaged in the training process.
We interchange different strategies according to the learning needs:
- Scenario-based approaches
- Storytelling approaches
- Gamification approaches
- Micro learning approaches
- Video-based approaches
- Personalized approaches
- Simulation-based approaches
FAST Rescue has been offering effective Instructional Design solutions for our clients since 2008. We create the best learning experiences while combining the best of instructional design and visual design strategies to create effective corporate learning solutions.
1. What are the three essential elements of instructional design?
While developing eLearning content, instructional designers consider the three important elements: Learning Objectives, Learning Activities and Assessments. These are often referred to as the ‘magic triangle’ of learning.
2. What is the sole purpose of instructional design?
Instructional design primarily focuses on learning outcomes. The sole aim of instructional design is to ensure that the learning objectives/outcomes are achieved by the end of the course.
3. What is the generic instructional design process that works for all eLearning courses?
The following aspects are covered in the instructional design process:
- Analyse the learning needs
- Determine the learning objectives
- Create the storyboard
- Develop the design
- Deliver the training
- Evaluate the learning
4. What are some of the best ID models?
Here are some well-known ID models:
- Merrill’s Principles of Instruction
- Bloom’s Taxonomy
- Dick and Carey Model
- Kemp Model
- Rapid Instructional design
- Action Mapping by Cathy More
5. What are some of the tools used by instructional designers?
Prominent tools used by instructional designers include:
- Articulate Storyline
- iSpring Suite
- Adobe Captivate