The Secret Sauce Is Instructional Designing

Written by Shalini Saxena, CloodOn on 25 June 2016

In the past two decades, the learning scenario has evolved radically. Not just the ways of learning but the means of learning have changed too! Today the blackboards have been replaced by computer screens and the classroom can be any place based on learner’s convenience (ubiquitous learning). While these methods developed many new elements came into existence and many pre-existing ones gained importance. Instructional Designing (ID) is one such pre-existing element which has emerged as a powerful tool with the advent of e-learning.  

Amplify Learning – Add The Magic Of ID

Any raw content, no matter how good it is from the learning perspective it  can lack energy and focus. Without proper formulation, the whole learning experience can be lackluster. Considering the fact that ‘how you teach is as important as what you teach’, ID has become an integral part of learning. Seems complicated? Well, ID is basically the process of converting learning material into a more engaging and coherent format ensuring that the learner doesn’t miss out any essential concepts. 

Sparkling Up The Content

ID adds a little spice to the informative content and serves the garnished dish in front of the learner. Still not sure what it implies and why it is so important? Ok! Look at this exemplary script intended to guide you on social media tactics required to grow your online presence:

Social media is the center of online marketing nowadays and having positive social media manifestation is vital for every business. Online presence is no longer limited to having a website and being visible over the search engine, it includes having a Facebook Page, LinkedIn Page, Google User Ratings, Twitter, Vimeo and Quora Accounts, and much more! It can be an overwhelming task to manage all these without having the right knowledge and tools to make the best of these platforms. For excelling the usage it is necessary to have a plan along with creative content to be posted on appropriate timings. Also knowing your audience and using the sponsored content wisely are the keys to having a successful online strategy.  

Sounds boring?!?! Now look at the ‘same piece of information’ ramped up and summarized with slight designing: 

Got the crux of the paragraph in just a few second! That’s what ID does to content. It simplifies, embellishes and revamps the material, making it easier to grasp and retain.

Creating An Effective Instructional Design Document (IDD)

With learning management systems (LMSs) gaining more popularity the usage of ID for designing courses has been deeply embedded in the e-learning process. But how it is done? While there are several models to solve the purpose here’s the essence of what should be done for creating an effective instructional design:

  • Understanding how people learn
  • Connecting with the audience
  • Putting yourself in the shoes of a learner
  • Adding appropriate images and animation with a specific theme
  • Breaking up the content into relevant parts
  • Visualizing graphics, UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience)
  • Writing effective instructional text closely connected with video or audio content
  • Developing an LMS version
  • Using infographics
  • Leave adequate white space
  • Extensive use of real life examples

Incorporating these will not only amplify the learning process but also improve the overall impact of the course. It results in effective learning by combining content with activities and feedback. It makes sure the students don’t miss the obvious and at the same time boosts the learning process. 

Thinking Out Loud – ID Practical Examples

Enough preaching! Now that you are aware of ID’s importance, here are some good practices which you can immediately implement to your course:

  • Divide the course into modules - Having a well-defined structure gives a proper overview of the desired topics and minimizes the chances of missing out any important sub-topic.
  • Evaluate at every stage - Quizzes and assessments increase user interaction and pave the pathway for better learning.
  • Improve the look-n-feel - This can be done using n-number of ways like adding images, voice-overs, animations, videos, audio clips, etc.
  • Add badges or stars - No matter how young or old the end-user is, everyone loves appreciation – a little pat on the back! Adding certain ratings after completion of each level/module keeps the learner enthusiastic.
  • Be intuitive - It is extremely important for the course designer to know the points where students might get stuck and the course should implement a counter action anticipating that roadblock.
  • Track Learners’ Progress - To track learners’ progress you must have a way to find out if your instruction design is working for your learners and for this you need an LMS. With carefully crafted ‘module completion assessments’, you can figure out if your learning objectives are met and identify potential gaps.

Having the right course plan is the first right step towards creating the right course. Teaching or imparting knowledge with a strikingly designed course makes it a remarkable experience for both the learner and the instructor. Designing a piece of information results in a clear and more meaningful learning. So don’t be skeptical about investing your time in scheming the right ID, as it is quintessential for any course. It’s not a secret but it certainly has magical powers to galvanize a course, exploit the hidden potential of ID and enrich the learning experience you offer!

With CloodOn LMS you can create engaging learning content and track your learner’s progress.

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