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Instructional Design

A Tutorial on Instructional Design for the Beginner

Heather Hoskinson

on 13 December 2014

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Transcript of Instructional Design

What is instructional design?
Instructional design applies logic and science and solves problems in designing and developing instruction.
Learning about Learning
One of the most important things an instructional designer is tasked with is becoming a subject matter expert on
how people learn
. This is HARD. Not only do people learn in a variety of ways, but a lot of our knowledge about how people learn involves a lot of sophisticated guess work.
What model will you use to design instruction?
Models are there to
you and are not designed to be followed to a 't'. So pick one that makes the most sense to you and is the best match for your instructional goals.
You gots to analyze before you realize...
Task Analysis
Learner Analysis
In order to keep the learner at the center of instruction, it's imperative that you learn what you can about your target audience. This is the idea of a learner analysis.
Developing Learner Objectives
So now you know what the desired change in behavior or knowledge is, but what would that look like, specifically? This is the point of developing observable learning objectives. Mager defines it as "a description of a performance you want learners to be able to exhibit before you consider them competent" (1984, p. 3).
Organizing Instruction
Ask any teacher this one and most will tell you:
Hook the learner with a question to ponder, an intriguing comment, funny story, etc. You want your target audience at least somewhat eager to learn more. The hook is an art form.
Declare the learning objective. It's useful for the learner to see where you are leading them. The objectives are the pin on the map.
Access prior knowledge so that they can begin to make connections and build schema.
Present the content. (This is the most varied piece of instructional material.)
Facilitate application and synthesis of the content. Oversee the learners (if possible) while they practice new behavior. Give feedback to the learner while they are performing the learning activities.
Assess performance and achievement of learning objective.
Instructional Design
A Road Map for Beginners
Wake up. This is where we're going. Every good instructional designer knows that examining your goals is the first step.
(Brown & Green, 2011)
For the ambitious little whippersnappers, here is an entire "IdeaBank" for instructional design. Knock yourself out. You overachiever, you.
Instructional Design as Reality
: Instructional Design can start at any point in the design process. Often a glimmer of an idea is developed to give the core of an instruction situation. By the time the entire process is done the designer looks back and she or he checks to see that all parts of the "science" have been taken into account. Then the entire process is written up as if it occurred in a systematic fashion.
Instructional Design as a Process
: Instructional Design is the systematic development of instructional specifications using learning and instructional theory to ensure the quality of instruction. It is the entire process of analysis of learning needs and goals and the development of a delivery system to meet those needs. It includes development of instructional materials and activities; and tryout and evaluation of all instruction and learner activities.
(What instructional design looks like in a textbook)
(What instructional design looks like when you and I do it)
Shhh! Don't go telling any scientists I said that!
There are a host of assumptions about learning. As an instructional designer, it's important that you have explored them thoroughly. I will post the assumptions here for your review.
Our new understandings of brain physiology give us vital information concerning how we should teach people.
credit iStockphoto
Separating Fact and Fiction in Brain-based Learning: http://www.edutopia.org/neuroscience-brain-based-learning-myth-busting
What Mind, Brain, and Education Can Do for Teaching: http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/Journals/Winter2011/Tokuhama2
Maybe not
The greater number of times the target information is processed by the learner the greater the chance the learner has of recalling the information.
This guy thinks so!
Hmmm...not so much
Illustration: Steven Wilson
He even has an algorithm: http://wrd.cm/1yxANA8
An Exploration on the Negative Effects of Repetition and Testing on Memory: http://bit.ly/1z4pI7m
Do you hear the faint sound of children rejoicing everywhere, or is it just me?
Learner modality preference has a huge impact on learning.
See full infographic: http://bit.ly/1zMkFrM
There is a lot of misinformation regarding the efficacy of tailoring instruction to learner modalities.
The more positively motivated a human is to learn something the more likely it is that he will learn.
The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by RSA Animate
If learners process target information deeply they are more likely to remember it.
But then again, the spacing effect and repetition have also proven to be effective, so hmmm....
We do not understand clearly how people learn.
"...there will be a great deal of interest on display in our hypothetical museum of learning. But there will also be a large number of empty rooms - for there is still so much that we have to learn about learning."
- Howard Gardner, 2006
Now that we've briefed on some of the assumptions about learning, it's high time we take a look at some instructional design models. Can I get a 'hell yeah'?
Kemp, Morrison, and Ross' Instructional Design Plan (2007)
*There is no specific jumping in point, not sequential.
*This is considered a learner-centered approach.
*Designer asks six initial questions and then decides which of these nine elements will be included in design.
courtesy of Knewton.com
Courtesy of jclarkgardiner
This "systems approach" model will appeal to all of the linear thinkers out there, all those left-brainers in the house.
The emphasis is the importance of revision, examining instruction and refining it as weaknesses become apparent.
A video for each step of the ADDIE model can be found at: http://www.edtechdojo.com/videos.html
Although technically not an instructional design model, it is still immensely useful for designing instruction. For the novice designer, ADDIE would be your best bet as a means to guide your design process.
Trust me: "Keep it simple, stupid."
(another popular design principle, courtesy of the U.S. Navy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KISS_principle)
Let's not leave out David Merrill's "first principles of instruction" (2002). Use his guiding questions when engaging in the design process:
Is learning being promoted by engagement of real-world problems?
Is existing knowledge being activated as a foundation for new knowledge?
Is new knowledge demonstrated to the learn?
Is new knowledge applied by the learner?
Is new knowledge integrated into the learner's world?
The models are there to guide you through the ADDIE process of designing instruction. That being said, now I think I've explained these backwards.
Whew...I'm exhausted. Are we there yet?!
My tip to the novice instructional designer is to not get too caught up in these models and the necessity of learning them backwards and forwards. They are a guiding tool, not necessarily informative. Have a "cheat sheet" with the models there for you to consult before diving in, and pick and choose as you see fit to best suit your needs.
Tip for the novice: Go spend some time communing with Dewey, Chomsky, Skinner, Piaget, Bruner, Kant, and maybe a little Ralph Tyler for good measure. No doubt I am leaving out some greats, but reading the works of these "learning about learning" pioneers will stir up your own ideas about learning theory and will serve to help you figure out where your own theory may fall in the spectrum.
Needs Analysis
You've been tasked with feeding your family...again. Is there food in the fridge? If so, is it something that needs defrosting? Or do you have to go grocery shopping? Are you going to go grocery shopping to make a recipe or are you going shopping to replace everyday stock items? Congratulations, you've just carried out the needs analysis for the process of feeding your hungry little family.
Needs Analysis Questions
What is the change being requested?
Who is requesting this change?
Where will this change need to take place?
Is instruction the most appropriate means for bringing about the desired change?
the state of hunger to satiation
your little monsters or your spouse, because they are driving him/her crazy, due to aforementioned hunger
kitchen, restaurant, backseat of the minivan (don't judge)
this analysis her pertains to appropriation of food and it is definitely the most appropriate means for desired change
Pro tip:
Remember that the goal of an instructional designer is to keep the learner at the center of instruction. So don't underestimate the power of the subject matter expert interview/questionnaire. What if, after all, you did not consult your 4-year old before making him fish sticks and he wanted a grilled cheese? The change being requested will not happen and you are back at square one, my friend. Ouch.
No one seems to love a process more than instructional designers! So if you have a complex design project, use Mager's Performance Analysis Process (1988) to guide you through needs analysis.
Don't over look the importance of goal analysis. In this case, the instructional designer is not being asked to identify the problem, but rather to develop appropriate intervention to achieve the goal. This assignment is a perfect example. Goal: develop a tutorial for a novice learner. I decided how to achieve the goal, but played no role in decided what the goal was.
Needs assessment is implemented in stages: planning, data collection, data analysis, compile report
Who is audience?
What type of data to collect?
LEARN MORE: The John Hopkins Institute, The Science of Learning Institute, http://scienceoflearning.jhu.edu/
There are many models you can use for needs analysis but they all share a common goal = provision of data that informs your design.
content analysis
subject matter analysis
learning task analysis
(same thing)
(yep, same thing)
(You guessed it. Same thing.)
Ultimately, all we are talking about here is an analysis of the content to be taught, the tasks and scope of sequence.
This step is particularly crucial for the designer because often times, the subject matter is foreign. This process gives him/her a chance to take a close look at the material and analyze it from a learner's perspective. Additionally, since this process is carried out while working closely with the subject matter expert (SME), it also gives the SME the opportunity to reveal missteps in their learning activities and sequence.
Morrison, Ross, and Kemp (2006)
What tasks does the learner need to know?
What knowledge must learner have before he/she can perform each task? Describe each task.
Prioritize tasks and organize around feasibility if there is a large amount of tasks.
What sequence will the tasks need to occur in order to make the most sense for the learner? Analyze sequence.
What type of cognitive behavior, physical performance, or affective response is required?
(Jonassen, Hannum & Tessmer, 1998)
Identifying the steps required to perform a goal is not so easy and in fact, quite difficult. This must be why you hear the word "analyze" over and over again as you learn about instructional design. It's the analytic thinker's profession, to be sure!
"What exactly would learners be doing if they were demonstrating that they already could perform the goal?" (Dick, Carey, and Carey, 2001, p.37)
It always comes back to good 'ol goal analysis.
Once you have your learning objectives sorted out, you can really dive into the heart of the content. This is where you conduct the needs analysis. This part of the process can employ a variety of methods, e.g. interviewing subject matter experts (SME), walking through the tasks with the SME, topic analysis using an outline or flowchart.
Important: When putting ideas to paper, describing your target audience, be sure and describe them "as is". Don't write about the ideal student, the one you envision taking your robust, engaging, altogether stupendous online course. Envision all levels of students and don't forget about the one participating in instruction because he has to, not because he wants to.
It's widely accepted that the basic demographic information about your target audience is key. However, how you get that information is widely debated. Some swear by questionnaires and surveys and yet, Mager, ID god that he is, says effective questionnaire development is a skill few people have, so why bother.
Determine entry skills! This part is not debatable.
You can also take the narrative approach and create a fictitious profile for the target audience. Conjure up your "typical" member. If you are the creative type and the word 'analysis' for the 100th time kind of makes you want to barf, do this! Then when you're done you can have your challenged learner and your gifted learner running off to have an illicit affair in Cancun. Okay, in your mind, but whatever. "But Carlos listens to me!" See? It's fun!
instructional goal
instructional objective
Resource to help you translate goals into objectives:
ASU Teach Online Objectives Builder - http://bit.ly/1vG5ITU
This tool is very useful and in line with the instructional design process because it uses Bloom's Taxonomy to develop objectives.
Planning and organizing your content is a big part of your job. There are many different learning activities and the ones you plan should cover a fairly wide range, from abstract to concrete. Dale's Cone of Experience will be a useful tool to help guide you as you are planning.
As an instructional designer, you will need to become well versed in the wide range instructional activities available. The rapid pace of technological evolution has made this harder to do than it once was.
Use Universal Design for Learning principles to make instruction accessible and cater to everyone, not just the "typical" student. Video on UDL principles here:
Learning Activities
Choosing the appropriate learning activities is really at the heart of what instructional designers do. Activities will be chosen based on the type of learning environment, open-ended or direct. The open-ended environment is often inquiry-based and involves project-based learning. So these activities will look quite different from the activities you choose in a more direct environment, where there is a lot of structure and activities are more concretely prescribed.
compare and contrast
graphic organizers
instructional games
Venn diagramming
There are a LOT of learning activities that instructional designers have to know. Here are just a few:
reciprocal teaching
cooperative learning
You silly minx. You thought we were finished didn't you? Well, almost! But let's not forget about assessing learner achievement!
Assessing whether the learner met the objectives is of paramount importance. You can compare those results against a set of standards, or against other learners.
Formative assessment can be implemented throughout the instructional process and summative after the instruction is complete. This data collection will help inform the instructional model so that it can be revised accordingly. Assessment and revision is an ongoing process, as we saw in Dick and Carey's System Approach model at the beginning of this lesson.
Heather Hoskinson
Kansas State University
EDU 763: Instructional Design
December 10, 2014
And finally.....drum roll please.......
Don't forget assessment! This would require another tutorial entirely:
Full transcript