What is Instructional Design?

What is instructional design? This is a question that takes graduate students  their first two semesters to BEGIN to answer.  The terms instructional design, instructional technology, and instructional systems design, are often used interchangeably.  Below, I’ve included a few definitions from InstructionalDesignCentral.com to help differentiate between instructional design, instructional technology, and instructional systems design:

What is Instructional Design?

Instructional design is the practice of maximizing the effectiveness, efficiency and appeal of instruction and other learning experiences. The process consists broadly of determining the current state and needs of the learner, defining the end goal of instruction and creating some “intervention” to assist in the transition. Ideally the process is informed by pedagogically and andragogically (adult learning) tested theories of learning and may take place in student-only, teacher-led or community-based settings. The outcome of this instruction may be directly observable and scientifically measured or completely hidden and assumed. There are many instructional design models but many are based on the ADDIE model with the phases analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation.

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. www.umich.edu/~ed626/define.html

Instructional design is the process by which instruction is improved through the analysis of learning needs and systematic development of learning materials. Instructional designers often use technology and multimedia as tools to enhance instruction.

Instructional design is the systematic process of creating or adapting instruction, including at least these steps – defining the problem or knowledge gap that the instruction is meant to address, defining the audience that the instruction is meant to serve, developing objectives and assessment strategies, selecting and sequencing content and learning activities, evaluating the instruction, and revision.

What is Instructional Technology?

Instructional technology is “the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of processes and resources for learning,” according to the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) Definitions and Terminology Committee. Instructional technology is often referred to as a part of educational technology. While instructional technology covers the processes and systems of learning and instruction, educational technology includes other systems used in the process of developing human capability.

Instructional technology is the systemic and systematic application of strategies and techniques derived from behavioral, cognitive, and constructivist theories to the solution of instructional problems.

Instructional technology is the process of using technology (e.g., multimedia, computers, audiovisual aids) as a tool to improve learning. The application of technology to instruction is optimized when instructors have a basic understanding of various technologies and instructional best practices. Also referred to as “educational technology.”

What is Instructional Systems Design?

Instructional Systems Design is an organized process for developing a curriculum or instructional materials program.


About bryantanner

I'm obsessed with learning via the appropriate technology. My professional mission is to effectively deliver instruction to learners in a way that yields the greatest results for all stakeholders involved.
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