Instructional Design 101, Part 2


In Instructional Design 101, Part 1, you were introduced to ADDIE:


ADDIE is a simple way to conceptualize the ID process. Let’s delve into the first two phases of this process – Analysis and Design.


During the Analysis phase, we want to evaluate the learners and the learning context. We can’t really begin to design an educational initiative until we know our audience. Who are our learners? Are they traditional college students? Are they working adults who need to learn how to perform a specific job function? How many students are involved?

Next, consider how the learning will be applied. Will students need this information to proceed to the next course? Are we teaching adults who will need to apply what they’ve just learned to complete specific job tasks? Knowing how your learners will apply that learning is critical to success.

Finally, what instructional strategies will be used? Knowing our learners and their motivations will help as we develop effective instruction. Another thing to consider is the availability of educational technology and other supports for delivery of instruction strategies.

Now that our Analysis is done, on to the Design phase.


During the Design phase, our focus will be on learning goals and objectives. What do we want students to know and/or do at the end of the learning initiative? Will they need to demonstrate their knowledge by demonstrating the skills they have learned or will they only need to complete a test to demonstrate knowledge and understanding? It’s important to establish what they will need to be able to achieve before we develop actual learning content. In addition, we will create our assessment plan during this phase. How are we going to measure whether the students have learned what they need to?

While we are on the subject, let’s take a short detour to briefly discuss Assessment. Learning goals are closely linked to assessments. Learning goals are the concepts, facts, and principles that you want your students to learn. Assessment is the process of figuring out whether or not your students are achieving these learning goals. The purpose of assessment isn’t to determine a grade; it is to determine whether or not students are achieving the learning goals that you have set for the course.

As teachers, we know what content we want our students to learn. We know the important ideas that will help students build a scaffold for adding more information. But our students will not automatically understand these learning goals – we must ensure that our students know why they are learning something by making our learning goals explicit, and explicitly connecting course content to the learning goals.

With this information at hand and with the learner in mind, we can create more meaningful activities that have a real impact and tap into the learner’s motivations. We will discuss more about creating these activities in the next part of this series when we discuss the second D – Development.

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