“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”[i]
– Benjamin Franklin
Instructional Design is the practice of crafting and creating instructional experiences that make learning more efficient, effective, and appealing.[ii] Instructional Design combines the art of creating engaging learning experiences along with the science of how the brain works.[iii] Combining psychology, education, and communication skills are essential for an Instructional Designer (ID) because it ensures that learners receive instructions in a form that is effective and meaningful to them.[iv] Simply put, Instructional Design is the creation of carefully and meaningfully crafted instructional materials.
The foundation for Instructional Design was laid during World War II when hundreds of thousands needed to be taught very specific tasks in a short amount of time. There were specific aspects of complex tasks that were broken down so that soldiers could better understand and comprehend each step of the process.[v] Today, Instructional Design is an essential part of workplace learning. With the need for learning in the workplace at an all-time high, ID’s are in high demand. In fact, the 2018 Workplace Learning Report just released their findings and 94% of employees now say that they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career.[vi]
A common misconception is that design is the same as development when it comes to Instructional Design. However, that is not the case. Design is the initial brainstorming to determine how to train learners on a given topic, whereas development is deciphering the way to bring those ideas to fruition. Figuring out the “how” and the “way” is essential to success in this area.
There are many Instructional Design models for IDs to choose from.
- There is the ADDIE model with the five phases: analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation.[vii]
- The Gerlach and Ely model which emphasizes the cycle nature of Instructional Design. The central focus being systematic planning, with equal emphasis on clearly defining teaching goals and the methods for reaching each of the desired learning outcomes.[viii]
- There is Gagne’s 9 Events of Design: gain attention, state learning objective, recall prior knowledge, present information, provide guidance, elicit performance, provide feedback, assess performance, and enhance retention.
There are many Instructional Design models and a seasoned ID will choose the best for the organization’s needs.
Organizations that link business goals with Learning & Development have a greater chance of achieving their goals. In fact, according to Brandon Hall Group research, organizations that align their business goals with their learning strategy are at least 40% more likely to see increases in key business metrics. Surprisingly, they also found that only 36% of organizations actually have their learning strategies aligned with their business goals.[ix]
Recently, TTA partnered with a Fortune 500 energy organization whose goal was to develop leaders from within. The organization sought to develop a training program for their elite technology engineers, who also possessed the skillsets to become leaders within the organization. The organization had an existing leadership program in place that was rarely utilized due to negative employee feedback. Learners found the content uninteresting and the result was an overall lack of enthusiasm for the material, leading to non-retention of the subject matter.
Needing to fix the problem, the organization sought out a complete curriculum overhaul. TTA identified an experienced Instructional Designer who created a new leadership curriculum. The leadership curriculum was customized to meet both the organization’s and the learners’ needs. TTA then deployed instructors to deliver leadership training. The program was a success. Learners, as well as the organization’s evaluations of the course and curriculum, were overwhelmingly positive. The program was unanimously adopted as an ongoing solution for potential leaders of the organization.
As the needs for workplace learning keep growing, organizations must continually review and revise their training programs. With the help of Instructional Designers, organizations are setting their employees, managers, and bottom line up for success. As Pablo Picasso once said, “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”[x]
For more on Instructional Design, visit our Instructional Design page.
[i] “Benjamin Franklin Quote: ‘An Investment in Knowledge Always Pays the Best Interest.”.” Nikola Tesla Quote: “The Motors I Build There Were Exactly as I Imagined Them. I Made No Attempt to Improve the Design, but Merely Reproduced…” (12 Wallpapers) – Quotefancy, quotefancy.com/quote/12092/Benjamin-Franklin-An-investment-in-knowledge-always-pays-the-best-interest.
[ii] “Instructional Design.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 3 July 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instructional_design.
[iii] “Home.” InstructionalDesign.org, www.instructionaldesign.org/.
[iv] “What Is Instructional Design?” Purdue University Online, 25 Apr. 2017, online.purdue.edu/ldt/learning-design-technology/resources/what-is-instructional-design.
[v] “What Is Instructional Design?” Purdue University Online, 25 Apr. 2017, online.purdue.edu/ldt/learning-design-technology/resources/what-is-instructional-design.
[vi] “Elearning for Employee Engagement & Retention.” LinkedIn Learning, learning.linkedin.com/elearning-solutions-guides/workplace-learning-report-2018/workplace-learning-trends-for-employees.
[vii] “Instructional Design.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 3 July 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instructional_design.
[viii] Kurt, Serhat. “Instructional Design Models and Theories – Educational Technology.” International Journal of Educational Technology, 12 May 2018, educationaltechnology.net/instructional-design-models-and-theories/.
[ix] Brandon Hall Group, go.brandonhall.com/l/8262/2018-02-23/86f6jf.
[x] “45 Powerful Planning Quotes To Help You Reach Your Goals.” Workzone, 15 June 2018, www.workzone.com/blog/project-planning-quotes/.