Instructional Design Principles

When applying instructional design principles, what are the important consideration to make in online instruction and face-to-face instruction? Other questions to ask yourself are: What is course design, and what makes it effective? When designing an online course or face-to-face course, what are the important issues to first address, and where do you begin? How can you tell that the course will be effective?

These are questions that are asked within educational principles, and campus and online course design is therefore the careful and comprehensive planning of courses to assist learners in achieving the stated instructional goals and objectives. Thinking about instructional design foundations and principles is important to the process of designing effective instruction.

Instructional Design Principles and Elements

  • The Learner
  • Objectives
  • Methods
  • Evaluation

Elements of Instruction

  • For whom is the instruction being developed?
  • What should the learner be able to do after completing the instruction?
  • How are these learning objectives best acquired? What teaching/learning methods, activities, and resources should you use?
  • How will you know if the objectives have been mastered? Or that learning has happened?
  • Before designing instruction, evaluate the following essential elements

Learner characteristics

  • The academic background of the learner, previous academic experience or exposure to the topic, and his/her school or grade level.
  • Personal or social characteristics: Age, attitude, work experience, how the content of the instruction relates to his/her life.
  • Characteristics of the non-conventional learner: Culturally diverse learners, primary language, learners with disabilities.
  • Learning styles, the existing conditions necessary for an individual to learn.
  • Motivation of the learner: the student seeking grades, credit, self-improvement, salary or status advancement. Motivation is one of the most important factors to success.

Objectives of the Instruction

Stated objectives are necessary to:

  • Facilitate effective learning by designing appropriate instruction
  • Provide a framework for evaluating learning
  • Prepare and guide the learner
  • Objectives can address the- Cognitive domain, Psychomotor domain, Affective domain
  • The evaluation of the instruction

Methods of Instruction

  • Defining the content needed to address the instructional problem or need is important to instructional design principles.
  • Sequence the content to help the learner achieve the objectives.
  • Deliver the instruction in one of three patterns: Whole group presentations, Small group interactions, Individualized learning.

Steps in the Instructional Design Process

  1. Assess the situation: Needs assessment, Normative needs (test scores, grades, prerequisites), Comparative needs (learning styles) and – Expressed needs, mostly from feedback of students and other peers). Performance Assessment (Feedback from previous students regarding previous instruction. Answers the question: Are the goals of teaching being met?) Choose a design model to follow or design your own using established instructional principles.
  2. State the Goal: Think about why you are having students write papers, discuss certain topics; reason why you are assigning certain topics and tasks. Articulate this in some way to your students).
  3. Select Appropriate Delivery Medium: Is multimedia appropriate. Think carefully about why you are using a type of multimedia, and how using that media will help enhance your efforts to meet your learning objectives.
  4. Implementation: How much help/support do I need? What type of implementation: Interface design Programming Scanning and Digitization
  5. Evaluation and Revision: Evaluation of students, course, lesson, unit or module.

Learn more about foundations of the field and instructional design principles. Instructional design principles are formed by other principles stemming from disciplines that include systems theory, cognitive science, educational psychology, organizational theory, communications, philosophy, anthropology, and other areas of study. The purpose is to apply these principles and their implications to designing effective instructional programs and courses.