What Makes High Quality Instructional Design

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With the development of the Web 2.0, eLearning is the new buzz word for organizations and employers as they struggle to save time and costs without compromising on keeping their employees updated. In fact, eLearning does a lot more than just save cost and time. Though the medium of learning here is online, the importance of facilitating it with a complementary instructional design cannot be overstated. The adoption of a good instructor-led design facilitates an organization to accomplish explicit outcomes with respect to its goals of training and developing its workforce.

High Quality Instructional Design - Origin learningThe quality of an instructional design is often gauged on three things: effectiveness, efficiency, and cost. To achieve these, here are a few rules that you as an organization must keep in mind before you set out to design your Instructional learning strategy:

Design the means while keeping the end in mind

It is important to keep the specific goal that you wish to achieve by designing each particular learning module. Questions like, “What do I intend to achieve?”, “What should learners know, understand and apply in real-life settings?”, “How will this course help learners to be active participants throughout the course?” should be asked so as to not dilute the purpose of the study material.

It must be designed from the learner’s point of view

This is a corollary from the previous principle. To put it differently, the instructional design must be learner-centric. It must be capable of changing their orientation to an explorative one, and the role that the instructor plays is just of a facilitator. Every aspect of the design must focus on their specific learning needs. Incorporating techniques like story-boarding, humour and scenario based learning keeps learners emotionally involved in the process.

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It is a continuous process

Instructional designs must be refined continuously through periodic assessments and improvements. Think of it as a piece of software. You and your team start out with a set of features. Eventually you’ll find bugs or some flaws and fix them.

It follows a well-defined system

A never-ending process should not be construed for an unsystematic, hap hazard way of doing things. High quality instructional design is hardly accidental. Rather, it is achieved by following a robust methodology and logical steps of analysis, design, development, application or implementation, and assessment.

It is holistic and comprehensive

A well-crafted instructional design considers the big picture while also not ignoring the little details that’ll eventually make up the whole. Small but vital things like aligning your media needs with the tools that you choose to work on, for example, go a long way in making your design as a whole, greater than the sum of its parts.

Creating a successful instructor-led environment is as much a strategy as it is a design. What is important is to allow instructional and online learning design systems to complement each other to tackle the task of employee learning in a holistic manner.



  1. Need help: Looking for models/information on effective placement & practice of instructional design support for faculty. Thanks for ideas!

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