What is instructional design? The discipline is defined as the systematic process of translating general principles of learning and instruction into plans for instructional materials and learning. Principles and foundations of instructional systems design guide good instructional development and delivery. As a field, it is rooted in cognitive and behavioral psychology.
As a discipline, is it concerned with educational and instructional research and instructional theory and learning theory about instructional strategies and the process for developing and implementing the strategies. In the process, it is systematic and uses learning and instructional theory for instructional quality. This requires analysis of learning needs and goals and the development of a delivery system to meet those needs.
It includes development of instructional materials and activities, implementation, and evaluation of instruction and learner activities. It is the science of creating design plans and specifications for instructional development, implementation, evaluation, and environments that facilitate learning. In other sections of this site, we discuss instructional design degree programs and related area of study such as adult learning degree programs.
Principles of Instructional Design and e-Learning
Instructional design is defined along other terminologies:
- Education: All experiences in which, and through which people learn. Can be formal or informal.
- Educational technology: Concerned with the educational applications of technologies and not the myriad uses of technologies in modern society. It examines those aspects of education that are crucially dependent on (usually new) technologies.
- Learning: Relatively permanent change in behavioral potentiality occurring as a result of reinforced practice, and experience. Habits and knowledge that develop as a result of experiences with the environment, as opposed to instincts, drives, reflexes, and genetics.
- Instruction: The deliberate arrangement of learning conditions to promote the attainment of some intended goal. The delivery of focused educational experiences.
- Instructional development: Process of implementing the system or plan.
- Instructional Models: Guidelines or sets of strategies on which the approaches to teaching by instructors are based. Effective instructional models are based on learning theories. Often they are Visual models.
- Instructional system: Arrangement of resources and procedures to promote learning.
- Instructional technology: The systemic and systematic application of strategies and techniques derived from behavioral, cognitive, and constructivist theories to the solution of instructional problems. It is the combination of instructional Design and instructional Development.
- Learning theories: Describe the ways theorists believe people learn new ideas and concepts. Explains the relationship between information we already know and the new information we are trying to learn.
- Training: Instructional experiences that are focused upon individuals acquiring very specific skills that they will normally apply almost immediately.hose learning experiences that are facilitated by a human being.
- Teaching: Those learning experiences that are facilitated by a human being.
- Technology: Objects, knowledge, activities, socio-technical systems. Related to science. Involves design. Is multi-dimensional and is socially shaped/shaping.
Alessi, S., & Trollip, S. (1991). Computer-based instruction. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc.
Anglin, G. (Ed.). (1991). Instructional technology: Past, present and future. Englewood, Colorado: Libraries Unlimited.
Kemp, J., Morrison, G., & Ross, S. (1996). Designing effective instruction. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Seels, B. & Glasgow, Z. (1998). Making instructional design decisions. Columbus, Ohio: Merrill Publishing Company.
Smith, P. & Ragan, T. (2005h). Instructional design. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
The Purpose of the Instructional Development Process
As we summarize, keep in mind that the purpose of the instructional design process is to: 1) Identify the outcomes of instruction; 2) Guide the development of the instructional content, including the sequence and the scope; 3) Determine and establish how instructional effectiveness will be assessed or evaluated.