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Synthesis Reflection Paper
Learning used to be simply a process of memorizing facts, applying formulas, andachieving a correct result. As more research was given into the way people learn, several theoriesof how humans acquire and retain knowledge were developed. Instructional design became animportant component of education as instructors tried to incorporate these new theories into thepresentation of their lessons. It is a systematic planning of instruction which takes place throughthree major phases of
(Smith &Ragan, 2005). Lesson plans, exercises, and assessments are all designed around these underlyinglearning theories so that, no matter the subject, everything fits into that framework.Instructional design, however, is not restricted to only being a framework that takes intoaccount an individual learner’s style, or that only considers the audience. Another majorcomponent is the consideration of the material to be taught. Just as we evaluate a learner whenwe design an instruction, we also have to evaluate the subject matter that we will teach, includingthe levels of complexity and foundational position. For example, architecture requires drawingblue prints and plans in a standard way which uses many standard references and formats. Thelearners in an architecture course remain the same for every class and if viewed from only thataspect the instructional design should remain the same for each course to accommodate thelearner. This is obviously not the case, as some aspects, like drawing the plans and buildings,require different abilities like following geometric and mathematical formulas to determineengineering factors. An instructional design that includes computer aided drafting software withits emphasis on an artistic final product would not be appropriate for an engineering course onstructural stability. Even though the learners are the same, the material now plays a moreimportant role in deciding the important parts of the instructional design.