Instructional Design – What Does It Really Mean, Pitfalls and How To Overcome Them 

Instructional Design – a component that is one of the most important in the field of eLearning. When you have the instructional design mastered, you can easily achieve the goals you have set for eLearning. In a layperson’s terms, Instructional Design is the process through which instructions are constantly and continuously improved by analysis of the learning needs.

When you ask an Instructional Designer what they really do, the answer that you’re probably going to get is complicated – or oversimplified- but what you must really understand is that it is much, much more than someone who creates informative slides.

As human beings, we are constantly assimilating information and using it to enhance our lives. The process of Instructional Design is not much different. It is the art of combining psychology, communication, and education to create easily adaptable and effective training plans for learners. You could call it the backbone of eLearning, so to speak.

Instructional Design is not some new-age process that has just come up – did you know that Instructional Design methods have been proven to exist as late as the 1940s? Yes – there is evidence of Instructional Design principles being used to train members of the military as late as in World War II.

Now that we’ve understood what instructional design is, it is easy to succumb to the pitfalls in the industry as well. This is why we generally when you trying to develop an online course that is promotes interaction, is engaging, which motivates the learners but most important of all makes learning easier is easier said, than done.

The basic principles of instructional design are simple – try to follow a process like the one shown below:

Analyze ->Dévelop-> Select a Implement

Once you have the method organized, you can then follow a simple rule book to ensure that your content is user-friendly and engaging. Here’s a brief list of what you can do :

  1. Avoid dumping too much content into each page – As much as we’d like to include the complete information, you should understand that crowded pages are never much fun to look at. Try simple techniques to capture attention. According to Miller’s law – the human mind can process only seven items at a time – plus or minus one or two – so break the content into separate pages if you want complete focus.
  2. Make sure the flow is consistent – No one likes inconsistent flow, especially when trying to learn something – double-check to make sure the flow would make sense to anyone seeing the content.
  3. Avoid grammar, spelling and font errors – Even though it is a simple typo, the impression that you create when a spelling error is present in a learning module is not very nice. Make sure your font is consistent too, it can be jarry on the eyes of the learner to see irregular fonts too.

Although these might seem like just a few insignificant pitfalls, content that is made without  Instructional Design principles can be clumsy and unstructured, hence inefficient.  Once these are taken care of by diligently sticking to Instructional Design principles, you are sure to achieve your learning goals, easily and without any hassle.

 

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