We are witnessing significant disruptions throughout most organizations, including the overall workplace dynamics, the composition of the workforce, and how the job tasks are performed. Employees’ expectations have undergone notable transformations, particularly regarding when and where they work and how they acquire knowledge, which is still in flux.
Learning leaders must adopt a comprehensive perspective encompassing these elements to effectively address these disruptive changes and reevaluate their organization’s approach to foster meaningful employee training delivery and knowledge retention. Each element is crucial in crafting an experience that aligns with the workforce’s brand.
The evolution of eLearning has been a captivating journey to observe. Innovative tools and trends continuously emerge while others fade into oblivion as mere buzzwords. Amidst this dynamic landscape, an unwavering and essential design principle remains – Instructional Design (ID), now often referred to as Learning Experience Designer.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 7% increase in Instructional Design employment from the present until 2031. Effective eLearning initiatives perpetually employ this indispensable yet somewhat inconspicuous skill. Even when imperceptible, it silently underpins the most interactive interactions. It flawlessly incorporates content to the point where a short paragraph would conspicuously stand out.
Comprehending the Fundamentals of Instructional Design
Instructional design embodies the concept beyond the mere transmission of information to end users; rather, it entails a thoughtful approach to harnessing that information for optimal benefit.
According to the Association for Talent Development, instructional design involves crafting learning experiences and resources to facilitate acquiring and practically applying knowledge and skills. This discipline adheres to a structured approach, which includes assessing requirements, devising a process, creating materials, and appraising their efficacy.
At Infopro Learning, we create engaging eLearning courses using a comprehensive checklist. It covers learning objectives, presentation strategy, course duration, content coverage, writing style, characters, relevancy, formatting, completion screen, CYUs, key takeaways, assessments, and much more.
Our collaborative team of instructional designers and subject matter experts (SMEs) closely tailor each eLearning course to match our clients’ unique needs and objectives. We also conduct thorough quality assurance checks to ensure the course content is accurate, up-to-date, and aligned with industry standards. With our comprehensive checklist and meticulous attention to detail, we strive to deliver high-quality eLearning courses that engage learners and drive measurable results.
What Are Some Instructional Design Models?
Instructional design models are sophisticated frameworks that systematically plan, develop and implement effective educational experiences. Employing these models fosters a strategic approach to learning design, ensuring optimal outcomes and heightened learner engagement. Among the myriad of models available, several key ones stand out for their prominence and effectiveness.
1. ADDIE Model: The ADDIE model is an instructional design approach that follows a comprehensive and step-by-step process, consisting of Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. This method ensures a thorough and systematic approach to instructional planning. It begins with a meticulous analysis of learners’ needs and objectives, followed by the design and development of instructional materials. Next, the implementation phase brings the materials into action, leading to the final evaluation stage, where the effectiveness of the design is assessed and refined.
2. Bloom’s Taxonomy: This model, introduced by Benjamin Bloom, classifies cognitive learning into six hierarchical levels: Remembering, Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating, and Creating. Instructors employ this model to design learning experiences that progressively stimulate higher-order thinking skills and promote deeper understanding.
3. Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction: Developed by Robert Gagne, this model outlines nine essential steps to foster effective learning. These events include gaining learners’ attention, informing them of the learning objectives, stimulating prior knowledge, presenting new content, providing guidance, eliciting learners’ performance, providing feedback, assessing their performance, and enhancing knowledge retention and transfer.
4. Merrill’s First Principles of Instruction: This model presents five principles rooted in the idea that learning should revolve around problem-solving: task-centered learning, drawing upon prior experience, showcasing skills, applying those skills, and integrating knowledge into real-life situations. Merrill’s model emphasizes the active engagement of learners to enhance learning effectiveness.
5. SAM (Successive Approximation Model): SAM is an iterative and agile instructional design model emphasizing collaboration and frequent prototyping. It involves three stages: preparation, iteration, and implementation. During each iteration, designers gather feedback from stakeholders and learners, leading to incremental improvements in the instructional materials.
6. ARCS Model: Developed by John Keller, the ARCS model focuses on four key elements: Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction. This model aims to captivate learners’ attention, demonstrate the relevance of the content, build their confidence, and provide satisfying learning experiences to enhance motivation and engagement.
7. Dick and Carey Model: Known for its systematic approach, this model emphasizes aligning instructional strategies with specific learning objectives. It consists of nine steps: identifying instructional goals, conducting instructional analysis, and proceeding through design, development, implementation, and evaluation.
If you believe that your eLearning endeavors would benefit from adopting an instructional design approach, we present the most effective practices for instructional design. These best practices will help you motivate the learners who are not very interested and get them more engaged in the learning process.
6 Instructional Design Best Practices
1. Seeing Through the Eyes of the Learner
Analyzing an eLearning program from the learner’s viewpoint helps gauge whether the course is captivating and inspiring. If the training fails to captivate, leading to confusion or distraction for you as an observer, it will likely have a similar effect on the learner. This is where a well-structured instructional design model becomes crucial. Whether you opt for ADDIE, SAM, or any other suitable model, it enables you to create, assess, and refine your program thoroughly before presenting it to the learners.
2. Narrating a Story
For ages, people have loved sharing stories. It’s like passing on knowledge from one person to another. Imagine how stories can make learning more interesting: You can use characters that feel like old friends or begin with a problem everyone knows. As the training continues, the story develops, ending happily when the learner succeeds. Using stories like this helps people stay engaged and is a fantastic way to design effective lessons.
3. Providing Learners with Relatable, Real-Life Examples
Sometimes, training programs are designed to make learners understand the rules and methods essential for their well-being and success in a real situation. Connecting the training directly to their roles ensures that employees remember what they learn. For instance, if we were teaching the manufacturing industry employees about safety, we could use real-life examples to show what happens when they follow or ignore safety rules. In this type of training, we shouldn’t give away the answers right away. Letting employees figure things out independently makes the training more interesting and engaging.
4. Harnessing the Power of Statistics for Outcomes
One of the major hurdles in instructional design is captivating the learner’s attention and inspiring them to stay engaged. A powerful way to achieve this is by presenting learners with compelling statistics that highlight the real-life outcomes or significance of their actions. For instance, imagine a web security course where you share statistics on the frequency of web security thefts and the potential data breaches that can occur. Such impactful data can motivate learners to take the subject matter seriously and apply the knowledge effectively.
5. Allowing Learners to Take the Charge
It is highly encouraged to grant learners the autonomy to navigate the course according to their preferences. Similarly, refraining from imposing time constraints on particular pages or sections of the course is advised. The efficacy of such restrictions in ensuring effective information assimilation is dubious, as mere prolonged exposure does not guarantee enhanced comprehension. Implementing branching scenarios to tailor the learning experience to individual needs can significantly enhance the relevance and effectiveness of the learning process.
6. Simplifying Your Way to Clarity
When designing an eLearning course, it’s essential to prioritize quality over quantity. Learning experience designers may feel tempted to cram all the information and goodies into the course, but this approach can result in information overload. Here’s a helpful tip: consider if each chapter or section can work effectively as a concise five-minute lesson. Simplification is key.
Furthermore, it is essential to select graphics that directly relate to the topic, incorporate gamification elements to enhance engagement, provide learners with the opportunity to assess their comprehension and employ appropriate tools to optimize the learning experience.
Organizational disruptions have led to the evolution of eLearning and Instructional Design to create engaging and effective learning experiences. Prominent ID models include ADDIE, Bloom’s Taxonomy, Gagne’s Nine Events, Merrill’s Principles, SAM, ARCS, and Dick and Carey Model. Best practices involve learner-centric design, storytelling, real-life examples, impactful statistics, learner autonomy, and simplification for clarity and relevance.
Are you prepared to adopt a fresh perspective regarding your training endeavors? Feel free to get in touch with us so that we may engage our team of instructional designers to contribute to your eLearning projects actively.