Instructional Design in eLearning: Why it Matters & What Matters Most
Why is it such a struggle to move courses online? For one, most people underestimate the amount of time it takes to make an online course. Two, how many kinds of moving parts and people are involved in it. And three, your PowerPoint lecture course isn't going to translate effectively to an online learning experience, so collaboration and persuasion are required.
If you're new to eLearning or want to teach effectively, instructional design best practices are crucial to your success.
This article explains the roles of instructional design (ID) in e-learning, pulling together the functions of ID most significant to developing today's most successful online courses.
What is Instructional Design?
Instructional Design is the deliberate planning and creation of materials used to provide knowledge to learners.
Online instruction needs to work in the absence of a live instructor. Instructional Design does just that.
Instructional Design in Education
The primary benefit of instructional design is that it sets the stage for a thriving learning experience. Eliminating instructional design from education increases the risk of disappointing results. Similarly, neglecting content design and development from a modern eLearning solution is much more likely to underperform.
Keep in mind the amount of technical expertise required in developing the best online training solution for your learners.
Instructional Design in eLearning
Students don't want to sit and stare at a screen for hours at a time. Studies show that the average attention span is no more than three seconds. Instructional designers develop online and accelerated courses; they are skilled at engaging and re-engaging the learner.
Online courses are more than web-based information. An instructional-sound curriculum is made up of learning experiences. Each experience different in the way it attracts interest and builds understanding.
Consider it safe to abandon all thoughts of online lecture-style PowerPoint transfers. They won't cut it.
With the colossal boom of online learning, competition is aggressive. And if you substitute instructional design for info-slides, the learner will check out and struggle to complete, let alone retain the course material.
Now, not all instructional designers are created equal. There's a criterion that instructional designers should fit to provide the quality you expect for your students and the facility's eLearning curriculum. The following are what we consider the most beneficial competencies to your project and the lack of to be the most detrimental.
Competency of an Instructional Designer
Ongoing advances in e-learning and technology are continuing, and instructional designers need to adapt in ability, experience, and specialties. Today, for online learning to be active and engaging, design and quality are critical, and cutting corners to cut costs is terminal.
Now that you know the risk of ignoring instructional design, what about the benefits of outsourcing another professional? What can you expect to benefit from by having an ID or a team of instructional designers by your side?
Is Hiring an Instructional Designer Necessary?
The use of an instructional designer is not only beneficial to the success of the learner but the success of your company. The right Instructional Designer does an excellent at helping university faculty and administrators to understand student learning.
They work hand-in-hand with your faculty, acting as an extension of your administration, helping facilitate overall objectives, such as retention and growth.
Other Benefits of Instructional Design
Exposure to New Content Delivery Formats
Instructional designers can be invaluable assets that bring effective ways to educate your faculty about student learning, especially for the various levels of students.
Some also provide support for all and any learning management systems or technology used to produce an instructional sound and interactive e-learning experience. The outcome should leave you with a systematic plan for crafting effective and efficient training solutions that meet both organizational and individual needs.
Any faculty members seriously concerned about their learners, always seek to find a research-informed body of content carefully crafted into a usable, practical tool.
A worksheet that helps to understand student learning in ways that lead to clear suggestions for improving curriculum design and course delivery is like the holy-grail on education.
A reliable Instructional Designer can provide that for you.
Outsourcing e-learning curriculum development is a practical and cost-effective solution designed to complement your organization. The instructional designer does the heavy lifting for you. They bring to the table research helping faculty to understand learning behaviors for high-quality materials that consider the strengths and weaknesses of students.
Elevate staff with coaching
Instructional designers know about instructional design models and learning theories, and ought to be proficient in various technologies and learning management systems. They use a systematic approach to create effective and efficient training solutions that meet organizational goals.
What are Instructional Design Models?
An Instructional Design Model is the framework used to create practical training.
While there are many ID models and processes, many of their components are similar. They include analysis, design, development, and evaluation.
We'll touch on the most common model used for creating instructional materials is the ADDIE Model.
The ADDIE Model
ADDIE stands for analysis, design, develop, implement, and evaluate. It is the most commonly used and widely accepted model. The design approach is flexible and works for traditional instruction, individual institutions, web-based instruction, and across the industries. It's efficient in measuring phases of the course development process such as time, cost, and behavioral results, and is quite helpful in evaluating strategies.
ADDIE is also the most competent approach if your team needs to incorporate those goals and measurements into your training program.
If you're experimenting with eLearning, you're probably wondering what to do if you're not fully prepared to commit to outsourcing an instructional design team?
If that sounds like you, here's more information to keep in mind as you attempt developing your online course.
Is it possible to create an online course with little or no instructional design experience?
It is possible to create an online course with limited instructional design experience. However, subject matter expertise is not enough by itself. You'd need to employ common sense ruthlessly and continuously think from the point of view of the person taking the course.
It's the instructional designer's job to take the SME's knowledge and translate it into a learning experience. It's the SME's job (or volunteer duty) to be a resource for the ID while they design the program.
Online instruction needs to work in the absence of a live instructor, so the primary way it differs from in-person training materials is that it's fully stand-alone.
The first thing to make sure of is that in text-and-diagram only format, the course makes sense. If you can't make the course work at the sentence level, it won't work no matter how much interaction or bells and whistles you put on it.
Can you hire SilkWeb Instructional Design for your Online Learning Course?
At SilkWeb, we create custom e-learning content from scratch or utilize your existing instructor-led materials or older e-learning content to create an engaging e-learning experience for your students or employees. We create custom LMS solutions. We can work with nearly every LMS provider, including Blackboard Learn & Ultra, as well as Canvas.
If you want to engage learners with learning programs that are designed to increase business results, we'd love to hear from you.
Sources: http://ascilite.org/archived-journals/e-jist/docs/vol9_no2/papers/full_papers/kanuka.htm, https://www.wbtsystems.com/learning-hub/blogs/benefits-outsourcing-instructional-design-elearning