Instructional Media & Technologies

When making instructional media decisions, there are several considerations to make. This page provides a list of these considerations. The processes calls for asking pertinent questions. Instructional media includes any and all of the learning and instructional materials and resources which a face-to-face on online course instructor may choose to use in order to facilitate instruction and achieve the stated instructional objectives.

These teaching media might traditional materials like chalkboards and blackboards, instructional handouts and resources, books, overhead notes, charts, audio, and video. It might also include electronic learning and instructional material such as Internet resources, DVDs, CD-ROMs, computers, educational software, interactive video conferencing, animation and multimedia, as well as Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) compliant for web-based e-learning. Let us look at the criteria for selecting instructional resources.

Selecting Instructional Media

  • What are my instructional or learning objectives?
  • What learning styles am I attempting to address?
  • What is the size of my audience?
  • What is cost-effective?
  • How much time do I have to develop this?
  • How quickly will the media I want to use change in format or availability?
  • How often will the information I am transmitting be updated?
  • Should I buy off the shelf resources or create from scratch?
  • Does it promote interest and interactivity?

Choosing or Designing an Instructional Model

  • Are you looking to change behaviors and ideas or are you trying to build on an established knowledge base? Some instructional design models are designed to affect change before and after type scenario. Others attempt to increase or add to an established idea or belief system.
  • How primarily, do you want to present the knowledge? Most times you are choosing between a procedural approach (one that uses examples and practice), and a declarative approach (one that uses analysis and explorative exercises).
  • What is the context? Sometimes courses are either training based or academically based (labs are primarily used for training and lecture for academic knowledge).
  • How are you using your model? Is this model being used to design a module, chapter, lesson, or unit; or is it going to be used to design an entire course.
  • Are you matching instructional media and technologies for learning? Are learning strategies, teaching strategies, and instructional strategies matched?
  • What learning theories are most applicable? It is always good to know which learning theories you support and follow. This can also guide you as to which models will best meet your learning objectives.

When selecting instructional media, use your best judgment to facilitate learning and enhance learning outcomes, keeping these goals in mind: Gaining attention, developing learning interest, and modifying the learning environment to best address different learning styles.