Understanding The Basics Of Instructional Design

Share this article

Share this article


Understanding The Basics Of Instructional Design

Share this article

Businesses today are aggressively adopting virtual learning methods. Consequently, instructional design companies are abandoning the traditional models of learning in favor of eLearning. Instructional designers are continuously developing and improving processes that will ensure a smooth transition for online learners, helping them gain relevant knowledge without the real-time guidance of qualified instructors. 

In this article, we dive into the world of instructional design. Starting with its history and growth, and its types, to the merits of a custom instructional design model. 

Background To The Instructional Design Process

The research done by Robert Gagne in system development serves as the foundation for the notion of instructional design. Robert Gagne investigated the best ways to train Army Air pilots following the Second World War. 

The 1950s and 60s were driven by "programmed instruction," which was founded on behaviorism ideas; however, the contemporary instructional design seems to be more contextual, flexible, and user experience focused. The last few decades have seen a change in instructional design. The stress on skill advancement and knowledge acquisition has given way to concentrate on the user experience and personal meaning creation in the discipline of instructional design. 

Technology advancements in social networks, cloud-based applications, and big data have an impact on some of the patterns in instructional design today. As a consequence of data analytics, educational materials are now a lot more customized and concentrated. 

What Exactly Is Instructional Design

The process of designing, producing, and delivering instructional materials, experiences, and programs is known as instructional design. Until recently, the only techniques for teaching were traditional classroom sessions taken by experienced tutors or trainers. Now, eLearning has advanced significantly to compete with the traditional methods of training and education. As a result of this, instructional designers have been entrusted with creating eLearning courses that enable efficient information acquisition without the assistance of a teacher. 

To put it simply, instructional design is the process of applying our understanding of how learners learn to direct our educational patterns and tactics in order to fulfill the needs of learners and achieve intended learning outcomes.

Theories Behind The Process

Three various theories that have an influence on behavior are regularly employed by experts. And they're all concerned about how the learners will learn. You can determine which one is more beneficial in a learning environment by studying each one.

  • Behaviorism: This approach concentrates on a person's measured, repeatable behaviors that eventually become routine. It also addresses how a person's behavior is influenced by their environment. But the theory completely disregards the potential of internal thought processes in a learner's mind because it is only concerned with quantitatively observing reactions to stimuli. It primarily cares about "what" learners need to understand.
  • Cognitivism: Cognitivism looks for novel behavioral patterns. However, cognitivism emphasizes the mental processes that underlie behavior, which Behaviorism neglects. Proponents of this idea then interpret the observable changes in behavior as clues as to what is going on in the subjects' minds. Therefore, learning is seen more as an internal and proactive mental activity from a cognitive perspective. And in contrast to behaviorism, which emphasizes the what, cognitivism emphasizes the how; specifically, how to learn. 

The learner is the center of cognitivism, whereas behaviorism emphasizes the learner's context. Cognitivism makes use of tools and technologies that simulate how people think, taking into account even more intricate processes including problem-solving, cognition, processing information, and notion formulation.

  • Constructivism: According to this view, we each have a unique perception of the world depending on our experiences, mental frameworks, and values. It places the learner at the center of the educational environment, much like cognitivism does. 

Instead of passively taking in information, the learner actively participates in creating their own understanding. This means that information cannot just be passed from one person to the other. The learner is in charge of their own learning, according to constructivists. Because of this, it is critical to make material available and open in a variety of ways so that learners can use it whenever they like and change it to suit their needs.

Types Of Instructional Design Models

ADDIE Instructional Design Process

Analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation, or ADDIE, is regarded as the most prevalent design paradigm and serves as the model for more recent types of instructional design models.

  • Analysis: Determine the requirements of the learners, including any existing skills and knowledge as well as general learning objectives.
  • Design: Describe the goals of the lesson, the methods of instruction, the evaluations, the content, the subject matter assessment, the curriculum planning, and the media choices.
  • Development: Produce and put together educational materials and resources. On the basis of ongoing assessments of learners, environment, and content demands, adjustments to the design aesthetic may be implemented.
  • Implementation: Create educational materials, such as instruction manuals, for teachers and facilitators. Try or test major instructional materials and tools, including software.
  • Evaluation: Complete the procedures for the summative and formative assessments.

SAM Design Model

An uncomplicated and summarized version of the ADDIE Model called the Successive Approximation Model (SAM) was created particularly to gather input and create workable models ahead of time for the instructional design process. This model develops courses by a recursive method as opposed to a linear one. 

The three components of the basic SAM model are preparation, iterative design, and iterative development. This model's foundational word, iterative, which also indicates that each stage is intended to be revisited and reviewed, is crucial here.

The collection of all relevant data and information is the first step in the preparation phase; the material and range of this stage will differ substantially based on the project or program. 

The "Savvy Start," which promotes coming up with ideas, doodling, and prototyping and involves as many relevant parties as possible as you create the material, is the defining feature of the end of the initial stage of this model.

The objective of the second stage, known as iterative design, is to develop and test the substance so that the parties involved can assess it. The reasoning behind this is that since a product that already exists can be reviewed and tested more thoroughly compared to one that is still only a thought, it is simpler to provide feedback and assess it.

The completed prototype is thoroughly developed and put into use during the last iterative development stage. It can be assessed after use and, if necessary, put back through the development and implementation phases.

The Benefits Of Custom Instructional Design For Employee Training

  1. Courses that are pre-made are eliminated in instructional design. Rather, it concentrates on developing a "framework" that is particular to and tailored to the matter in question. Every gap is unique to instructional designers. You, therefore, require a special "link" that would precisely cover each of these.
  2. Interactive techniques are used in instructional design to promote learner participation. The instructional design engages all parties involved in the process, as opposed to alternative training programs that depend exclusively on the instructor's expertise (trainer-centric). Based on an evaluation of what the learners need to know, the project's design combines a variety of approaches and resources to improve the learning opportunity.
  3. Through the identification of specific, quantifiable goals, the instructional design establishes defined outputs and responsibilities. These goals serve as the foundation for a program's overall design as well as each of its elements. The design is reviewed by instructional designers to remove extraneous elements and strengthen the connection between the education program and the real outcomes.
  4. Being "consistent" in instructional design doesn't really mean repeating the same content. Consistency is the capacity to duplicate the procedure and continuously guarantee the program's educational integrity. As a result, instructional design may adjust to your particular demands by giving out customized instructions while maintaining consistency.


To summarize, this article talks about the prerequisites for creating learner-centric eLearning courses. To improve the quality of the online course, it is crucial to adhere to a clear instructional design approach and eLearning standards.

Get news to your inbox
Trending articles on News

Understanding The Basics Of Instructional Design

Share this article