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Instructional Design


Instructional design (ID) has gained prominence in elearning due to its systemized approach to creating and evaluating the student learning experience. While the term itself might sound complex, in reality, all teachers follow some process of designing instruction already. Often, when a teacher first encounters ID, the response is "Oh, I already do that...". So, for many ID is just naming an existing process.

Why is ID so important online? In a classroom, challenges and concerns can be addressed in "real time". If some component of a course or lesson is unclear, students can get immediate clarification. Online, however, this is not possible. In order to eliminate student frustrations, potential ambiguities and concerns need to be addressed before the course goes live. ID is the process that enables and verifies quality.

Instructional design anticipates and plans for student experiences in a static environment where teacher feedback and clarification may be delayed.


Learning Development Cycle
"Instructional design (ID) serves only a small part of the entire learning experience. The pace of information development exceeds courses as the primary delivery mechanism of learning, challenging established ID. Alternatives to courses, like learning networks and ecologies, are developing as an informal learning approach. Designers and organizations receive substantial benefits to acknowledging informal learning, and initiating a focused design approach. Effective learning design must recognize different domains of learning. Learning Development Cycle attends to four broad learning domains: transmission, emergence, acquisition, and accretion."

Instructional Design in Elearning
"Elearning is the marriage of technology and education, and most often, the instructional designer's greatest role is that of "bridging" concepts between the two worlds. This vital role ensures that a subject matter expert's (SME) concepts are properly developed by graphic designers and programmers. Unfortunately, the role of instructional design (ID) in elearning is often misunderstood - due to the perceived complexity of the process and to poor understanding of the pedagogical requirements of elearning. To a large degree, ID is the process whereby learning, not technology, is kept at the center of elearning development."

Computers in Teaching and Learning
"This section contains pointers to sites and articles mainly concerned with the various pedagogic theories and their relationship to the technology."

Definitions of Instructional Design
Quick, simple overview of common ID terms.

Dick and Carey Model
"This model describes all the phases of an iterative process that starts by identifying instructional goals and ends with summative evaluation."

Andragogy vs. Pedagogy - Resources
Links to a variety of articles and resources focusing on andragogy.

A site focused on debating the role of technology in education.

Transforming Learning
Article focuses on the intent of ID, namely to transform learning.

Instructional Systems Design
"So, why ISD? Simply stated, this process provides a means for sound decision making to determine the who, what, when, where, why, and how of training. " Check out the main site Big Dog's ISD - excellent site.

Standards for Quality Online Courses
A great resource for designers, developers, and managers of online learning. Elearning is still in its infancy...so standards are important to the future health of the industry.

Information Processing
Any instructional designer needs at least a functioning understanding of cognitive psychology. This is a good place to start. Professional Development Online is also a valuable resource.

Cooperative Learning
The design needs work...but otherwise, the resources are great.

Teaching and Learning on the Internet
A must visit site. Links to a wide range of resources related to teaching and learning - both online and in a classroom.

Pedagogical Techniques for Computer-Mediated Communication

Theory into Practice
"The Theory Into Practice (TIP) database contains descriptions of 50 theories relevant to human learning and instruction. Each description includes the following sections: overview, scope/application, example, principles, and references."

Teaching with Technology Today
"The Learning Technology Development Council (LTDC) of the UW System initially conceived of Teaching with Technology Today as a means of more effectively examining and conveying how learning technologies affect and enhance teaching, learning, and research."

Learning Styles & Multiple Intelligence
Lists learning style and MI self-tests, as well as many general learning resources.

Multimedia and the Changing Learner Experience
"This paper argues for a pedagogical analysis of what the new multimedia systems can offer that will impose on them a more ambitious objective than they currently have."

Elearning design and collaboration platform


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