instructional design
instructional design

Instructional Design


gas-like elements


What is Instructional Design?

Instructional design is a practice by which learner or organizational needs are identified leading to a learning solution being crafted, implemented, evaluated and refined.

Other Common Names

  • Instructional Systems Design

Key Properties

Instructional design is the intentional process of deciding how (or if) training can help solve a problem, determining the best way to create a learning experience that will address the problem, and then evaluating the effectiveness of the learning experience. These are some core properties of instructional design:

  • A structured approach
  • A needs analysis, program design, and assessment (at a minimum)
  • An engaging learning experience intended to meet an individual or organizational need
instructional systems design

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Elements that Bond with Instructional Design

measuring for effectivenessMeasuring for Effectiveness

Regardless of the instructional
design model that you choose to use, the final piece of the process will always involve evaluation, assessing, or measuring for effectiveness. The key is to include any sort of measurement into the design of the
program so that it is a natural part of the learning experience and not simply an add-on after the fact.

learning boostsLearning Boosts

One of the biggest challenges of looking at a two-dimensional visual representation of a model on paper or your computer screen is that it’s easy to lose sight of the depth that goes into a process like instructional design. Steps such as design or implementation should not be thought of as one-time components. Incorporating an element such as learning boosts will mean that implementation is not a one-time event, but rather a series of pieces that make up a larger, more comprehensive learning experience.


You can learn a lot about people—the way
they respond to pressure or adversity, work within a structured environment, adhere to rules, or choose to problem solve—through game play. Incorporating a string of game-based elements into the design of a learning experience can be a particularly useful strategy, as long as it aligns with the learning objectives that have been established to address a challenge or problem.

learning objectivesLearning Objectives Taxonomy

As you’ve read earlier in this chapter, choosing the right learning objectives and connecting them to the appropriate learning activities is a core piece to any effective design step.


This element is a kind of alpha and omega when it comes to instructional design. Data will be an essential piece when kicking off an instructional design project and performing the initial assessment. Collecting good data during and following the implementation of a learning experience will be crucial when evaluating the effectiveness of the program.