Instructional Designing is an art of creating sets of instructions that make it easier to upgrade knowledge and skills in any area of study or work discipline. Any course of study or a training module needs a systematic approach in its development, which is governed by some principles of instructional design. The course developers need to have the objectives and expected end results clearly documented in a well-written document. Not just that, they need to plan what needs to be done to achieve the objectives, identify the milestone deliverable visualize about the building blocks after understanding the requirements and last but not the least, ensure a meticulous adherence and implementation of the planning.
The most relevant application of instructional designing can be seen in imparting education. There have been continuous advancements in the ever-evolving education systems around the world. The focus is shifting to methods of experiential learning or learning-by-doing from the traditional lecture based teaching or rote learning. This evolution started with the revelation about the many forms human learning such as visual, auditory and kinesthetic (through experience).
Another radical change that has affected the teaching or learning methodologies is the advent of computers and Internet and, leading to options of distance learning. The idea of learning from a remote location opens up many challenges such non-overlapping availability of learners and instructors, communication barriers due to physical absence, delay in responses or feedback and so on. All this points to need of course material that engages more, reinforces the learning, asks questions and gives instant feedback for assessment. Getting all this together couldn’t have been made possible without a well-thought method to weave the courseware with seamless sections and logical breaks. Enter the world of instructional design where learning happens with an instructor who talks less, who may be present only virtually and in some cases, not even required.
There are different models of instructional designing. Most of them generally comprise of five phases. The first phase is analysis, where the designers study the requirements or expectations from a learning module or product. Next comes the design phase which deals with translating the spoken or written requirements into a developer’s language with minute details of how the product will come into being. The development phase starts when the design is ready, followed by implementation and evaluation phases. The entire learning development cycle is executed by a team of instructional designers, graphic artists and software programmers, in a streamlined manner, using defined processes.