Instructional Design

Instructional design theory provides guidance on how to help people learn or develop in different situations and under different conditions. This guidance includes what to teach and how to teach it. As a field, instructional design is historically and traditionally rooted in cognitive and behavioral psychology.

Instructional-design theory takes into account both methods and situations. Such theories offer instructional designers and teachers different tools for facilitating learning in different situations. Instructional design methodology known as ADDIE (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, Evaluate) is a common approach widely used in the development of instructional courses and training programs.

This approach provides educators with useful, clearly defined stages for the effective implementation of instruction. The ADDIE framework is a cyclical process that evolves over time and continues throughout the instructional planning and implementation process. It comprises five stages, each with its own distinct purpose and function in the progression of instructional design.

The first stage of ADDIE is analysis. The designers' main consideration is the target audience. A needs analysis is conducted to determine the needs of the audience by distinguishing between what students already know and what they need to know at the conclusion of the course. During this analysis, instructors or designers examine standards and competencies to establish a foundation when determining what students need to know by the end of the course. Reviewing the standards and competencies beforehand will assist in this process.

Design is the second phase. The design process consists of several key facets. The designer is primarily conducting research and planning throughout this stage. The planning includes the identification of objectives, determining how the objectives will be met, instructional strategies that will be employed to achieve the objectives, and the media and methods that will be most effective in the delivery of the objectives.

During the design phase, the designer or instructor must consider the information or data from the analysis phase. If a thorough analysis is not conducted instructors or designers may find that they are replicating their efforts during the implementation stage. Students' overt and covert participation can contribute to their overall satisfaction and can determine whether students continue in a program or course.

Development is the third phase. Designers must now refer to the results from the previous two phases and construct a product for the delivery of the information during the development phase. This transitional stage transforms the designer's role from research and planning to a production mode.

The development phase emphasizes three areas: drafting, production, and evaluation. Designers in this stage develop or select materials and media and conduct formative evaluations. Encompassing a formative approach, evaluation during the development phase calls attention to the product and

the quality standards of the product. Designers will now determine if the students or audience will learn from the product and how it can be improved upon before implementation.

Implementation is the fourth phase. This is when designers must take an active rather than a passive role and their role will intensify with the advent of this phase. In order for the product to be delivered effectively, developers must continue to analyze, redesign and enhance the product. It can be counterproductive to the implementation of the program if the product or course is left to function in its natural state. No product, course, or program can be effective without conducting an evaluation and necessary revisions throughout the implementation phase. When the learners and instructor are active contributors in the implementation, modifications can be made instantaneously to the course or program to ensure effectiveness.

Evaluation is final phase and an essential multi-dimensional component of the ADDIE process. The evaluation phase can occur during the development stage in the form of formative evaluations, throughout the implementation phase with the aid of the students and the instructor. It can also take place at the end of the implementation of a course or program in the form of a summative evaluation for instructional improvement.

Throughout the evaluation phase, the designer must determine if the problem has been solved, if the objectives have been met, examine the impact of the product or course and ask whether any changes are necessary in the future delivery of the program or course. This phase can often be overlooked because of time or economic factors, although it is a necessary practice. The evaluation phase should be an integral part in the continuation of analysis and effective implementation of future courses and programs.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Curriculum, Plans, and Processes in Instructional Design: International Perspectives
Norbert M. Seel; Sanne Dijkstra.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004
Instructional Design: International Perspectives
Robert D. Tennyson; Franz Schott; Norbert M. Seel; Sanne Dijkstra.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, vol.1, 1997
Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology
David H. Jonassen.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "An Ecological Psychology of Instructional Design: Learning and Thinking by Perceiving-Acting Systems," Chap. 18 "The Library Media Center: Touchstone for Instructional Design and Technology in the Schools," Part IV "Instructional Design Approache
The Design of Instruction and Evaluation: Affordances of Using Media and Technology
Mitchell Rabinowitz; Fran C. Blumberg; Howard T. Everson.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004
Instructional-Design Theories and Models: An Overview of Their Current Status
Charles M. Reigeluth.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1983
Task Analysis Methods for Instructional Design
David H. Jonassen; Martin Tessmer; Wallace H. Hannum.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999
Constructivism and the Technology of Instruction: A Conversation
Thomas M. Duffy; David H. Jonassen.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "Constructivism and Instructional Design," Chap. 9 "Some Thoughts about Constructivism and Instructional Design," and Chap. 17 "The Assumptions of Constructivism and Instructional Design"
The Application of the Cognitive Learning Theory to Instructional Design
Blanton, Betty B.
International Journal of Instructional Media, Vol. 25, No. 2, Spring 1998
Levels of Expertise and Instructional Design
Kalyuga, Slava; Chandler, Paul; Sweller, John.
Human Factors, Vol. 40, No. 1, March 1998
Handbook of Distance Education
Michael Grahame Moore; William G. Anderson.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Part III "Design and Instruction"
The New Frontier: A Case Study in Applying Instructional Design for Distance Teacher Education
Egbert, Joy; Thomas, Michael.
Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, Vol. 9, No. 3, Autumn 2001
Hypermedia Learning Environments: Instructional Design and Integration
Piet A. M. Kommers; Scott Grabinger; Joanna C. Dunlap.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1996
Instructional Designs for Microcomputer Courseware
David H. Jonassen.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1988
Symbolizing and Communicating in Mathematics Classrooms: Perspectives on Discourse, Tools, and Instructional Design
Paul Cobb; Erna Yackel; Kay McClain.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000
Toward a Scientific Practice of Science Education
Marjorie Gardner; James G. Greeno; Frederick Reif; Alan H. Schoenfeld; Andrea Disessa; Elizabeth Stage.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "An Applied Science of Instructional Design"
Learning to Solve Problems: An Instructional Design Guide
David H. Jonassen.
Pfeiffer, 2004
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