Instructional Design in Practice 1 Preparation 2 Implementation 3 Wrap-up Imprint Instructional Design in Practice

What is Instructional Design (ID)?
ID comprises the entire conception of a course or learning package. Therefore, an instructional designer is a connecting node between authors, tutors and trainers amongst each other, but also their link to management or contractors. Instructional designers see their task primarily in perceiving an order for an educational package in its entirety and to describe the learning product as specifically as possible.

Instructional Design in Practice Design

Preparation Ask questions: Which content? Which learning objective? Which target group? Which methods? Which didactic elements? Which resources?

Implementation Be creative: Choose a method Work out and change curricula Define learning activities Be specific: Work out a course concept for content developers Work out a course concept for tutors and trainers Be exact: Formative evaluation



Course management: Draft a schedule Put tutors and trainers on it

Evaluation: Evaluation of the course

The information that goes to the instructional designer will be presented in the part "preparation;" the products resulting from this information are part of the chapter "implementation." "Wrap-up" will tell you about the information management and evaluation activities of instructional designers. Next » 1 Preparation Ask questions! An instructional designer needs to start his work by asking a lot of questions. Each answer he gets will make his mental image of the learning package he's working on a little more concrete. The best source for answers to your questions is the contractor or manager - he should have the necessary information!

On the following screens, you will learn more about the kind of questions that should be asked.

Learning Objectives


After working through this chapter, you'll be able to... ... list the most important questions an instructional designer has to ask. ... understand content and scope of these questions.

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Content and Objective Which content should be taught with which objective? Not each problem can be solved with more education! As an instructional designer, you have to keep this in mind. Make a very close assessment whether an educational program is the solution to the problem and whether the content will help the learners reach their objectives.

Learning content formal knowledge defined special field found in textbooks take you closer to your objective Curriculum

Learning objectives describe skills can be tested found in curricula show you the way

A curriculum describes the relation between content and objective. If you already decided on a curriculum for your course, use it to answer the question about content and objective. In the chapter "implementation," we'll deal with this topic once more. « Previous | Next » Target Group

Who am I planning for? Education programs should be focused on the learner. Only if you know your target group, you can tailor your learning program to their individual needs. The better the learning program fits, the easier it will be accepted.



Susanne, 25, student Michael, 55, worker - doesn't requires flexible learning know how to work with a times since a lot of her time computer and needs a lot of is spent on her university time to study studies

Julia, 38, manager - uses the computer to handle her e-mail and travels a lot

Click on the people in these pictures and learn more about your target groups and their needs. The following points can be relevant for the definition of your target group:

• • • • • •

Age or age groups Prior knowledge of the target group Infrastructure the target group live in (e.g., traffic, internet access...) Homogeneity of the target group (Is it easy to define the target group, or is it necessary to deal with widely differing, maybe even opposing, needs?) Study habits (Are members of the target group used to studying? How do they study?) ...

Please note A clear defined target group is the key to an efficient learning opportunity. « Previous | Next » Resources Instructional designers also have to think about the resources they have at their disposal, since they set limits to the learning program. You should be especially clear about the following four main resources. You'll get this information from your contractor or manager. To get a better overview, we suggest you put it all into a resource plan (e.g., on an excel spreadsheet).

Human Resources How many staff do you have for this project?


How much time can the participants spare for the project? What are their qualifications? Crate a table to illustrate the human resources planning. Don't forget to put yourself on the table!

Employee Allotted time Alex K. Michaela F. 13 h/week 7 h/week

Qalification author, specialist, trainer programmer, IT, multi-media expert

Financial Resources How much money can be spent on the project?

• •

Staff / material / production budget Total

Do you have a financial cushion?

Reallocation (e.g., less expenses for staff, more for production)

What do I need to calculate?

• • •

Overhead cost Rent for rooms ...

Real Estate Resources What kind of rooms do you have at your disposal? What is their equipment and infrastructure like? At what times can they be used? Space can be allocated very differently, please have a look at the examples below:


Time Resources When is the course supposed to start? How long can it take? Are there any deadlines? « Previous | Next » Methods and Learning Activities What methods are there?

Pure seminar / classroom training

partial eLearning (Blended Learning)

pure eLearning


What learning activities are there? Learning activities are part of a course program, the smallest unit of learning, so to speak. They can occur in any form. Below, you can see some learning activities from different training situations:


Face-to-face training:

eLearning: If you want to integrate eLearning elements in your course program, you need to be aware of the following, eLearning-specific learning activities:

Communication Chat Forum Mail Voice over IP Video over IP

Resources HTML-Content PDF Wikis Glossary

Checking Tests Tasks

Which of those can I use? Try to start by excluding the methods and elements that either don't fit your target group or can't be implemented due to a lack of resources. Some possible reasons to exclude activities:


Method / Learning activity Reason: Target Group Reason: Resources Face-to-face teaching eLearning intricate online - simulations Instructional Design in Practice 1 Preparation Content and Objective Target Group Resources Methods and Learning Activities Self-Assessment 2 Implementation 3 Wrap-up Imprint Self-Assessment scattered participants, can't travel no computer access no internet access no classrooms no IT infrastructure production budget too low « Previous | Next »

Checklist Instructional Design 1 Here, you can download and print a checklist on the content of this chapter:

Checklist Instructional Design (doc, 32 kB)

Who can answer the questions of the instructional designer? Only someone who has a good overview over the whole project can give answers like this. the contractor / manager the content designer the tutor the trainer Yes, that's right! Sorry, that's wrong, it's the content designers themselves who need these answers. Sorry, that's not correct, the tutors needs some of these answers themselves. Sorry, that's incorrect, trainers need some of these answers themselves.

What questions does the instructional designer need to ask? Which content is to be taught?


What is the learning objective?

Who is the target group?

Which resources are at my disposal?

Which learning activities and methods can be used?

True/false questions Please rate the following statement true or false:

Every problem of an organization can be solved with a customized and well-planned education package.



Think about whether more education can solve everything... A lack of knowledge isn't always the reason for problems within and organization. Therefore, some problems can't be solved by providing more knowledge. A lack of knowledge isn't always the reason for problems within and organization. Therefore, some problems can't be solved by providing more knowledge. « Previous | Next » 2 Implementation The tasks of the implementation phase can be illustrated nicely in a diagram:


The tasks will be described in detail on the next screens.

Learning Objectives After working through this chapter, you'll be able to... ... list the main tasks of an instructional designer. ... explain the basics of these tasks.

« Previous | Next » Be Creative This image shows you what the following page is about. Click to zoom.

Selecting Methods You learned about some methods in the preliminary chapter. Relying on resources and target group, you might have excluded some of the methods to start with. As instructional designer, you need to be creative now, mentally playing through some options and finally selecting an option. To start with, you can stick to the three options you already heard about:

Pure seminar / face-to-face training Advantages: - Personal interaction - No IT

Blended Learning (with eLearning stages) Advantages: - Personal interaction - Multimedia aided - somewhat independent of time and place

pure eLearning Advantages: - Multimedia rendering - independent of time and place

Working out and Changing a Curriculum If you already have a curriculum for your course, you simply take it and check whether it fits the learning content, objectives and methods you selected. You probably will have to effect minor changes. If your curriculum is still in the making, you need contents, objectives and the method you just picked. With these basic pieces of information, you can work out your curriculum. A complete curriculum should comprise the following elements:




Learning activities


This field describes the average time frame of an easily definable content.

This field describes which defined content we are talking about.

Objectives need to be clearly defined for each learning content. They have to be verifiable and reflect the skills the learner is supposed to have acquired during the course. Examples of such objectives can be found in this course, too, at the beginning of each chapter.

In this field, you'll find the clues to which instructional elements are fitting for the instructional design of this content. The more specific you are here, the less authors, content developers, trainers and tutors need to interpret (and possibly err) themselves.

Here is a curriculum for a first aid course:

Curriculum First Aid (.doc, 28 kB)

Defining Learning Activities In the curriculum, learning activities are already planned down to the details. You can find examples of such learning activities on the following images:

Presentations: Give learners input, present content

Chat: Foster communication in the online phase; tutoring

Group tasks: Self-discovery content, exchange with other participants

After working out the curriculum in this way, you have to think of a chronological order of the contents. This order can be displayed graphically (e.g., as a time line) and gives you an image of the entire course. This image will show you very clearly: where are the face-to-face phases, where does eLearning take place, where are practical tasks... The graphic rendering of the First Aid Course looks like this:

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Be Specific This image shows you what the following page is about. Click to zoom. Course Concept for Content Developers The course concept for content developers is a document that needs to contain the following information:

• • • • • • •

Curriculum Kind of instructional design Guidelines for the writing of text Guidelines for the creation of media Timetable Members of the content developing team (specialists, trainers, programmers ...) Content resources (e.g., books or textbooks)

This document should enable the content developer to create content for the respective course. If more than one person are involved in this phase, the contents need to fit together, and each content developer has to be clear about which part they are responsible for. Have a look at the course concept for content developers of a first aid course:

Course Concept Content Developer (.doc, 32 kB)

Course handbook for tutors and trainers The course handbook for tutors and trainers is a document that needs to contain the following information:

• • • • •

Curriculum Schedule Order of learning content Special instructions, e.g., welcome mail (optional) Course books (classic and eLearning)

Trainers and tutors need to be able to teach a course on the basis of this document. Why don't you have a look at the course concept for tutors and trainers of a first aid course:

Handbook for Tutors (.doc, 84 kB)

Please note


Even though it is your responsibility to create a course concept and a course handbook, you should include authors, content developers, trainers and tutors in this process. Thereby, you can ensure that the handbook will contain all relevant information. « Previous | Next » Be Exact This image shows you what the following page is about. Click to zoom. Formative Evaluation of the Content When the content developers are done with their work, they have to check the developed content. This is called formative evaluation, since the creative process is not yet finished and the evaluation shows a temporary situation. In your case, text, media and all other produced content should fit the objectives chosen in the curriculum and the course concept. If this isn't the case, it's back to the planning table for content developers.

Please Note Check whether the created content fits the

• • •

objectives, concept and target group

of the course! « Previous | Next » Course Management This image shows you what the following page is about. Click to zoom. Creating a Schedule Can you still remember the graphic illustration of the course on the "be creative" screen? Here it is once more to refresh your memory:


This image is the basis for our schedule. Put a time grid (days and time) on each of the sections and divide them according to the trainers and tutors you have at hand. The complete schedule could look like this:

Time 22.10.07 9.00-9.25


Trainer / Tutor

mouth-to-mouth Alexander Kurucz

23.10.07 cardiac massage Alexander Kurucz 9.35-10.00 24.10.07 10.10-11.00 25.10.0730.10.07 reanimation cardiac standstill Alexander Kurucz Julia Jäger

Allocating Tutors and Trainers Once the schedule is worked out, it will be put in the course manual for trainers and tutors. Inform your teaching staff about this step and give them the course concept. Don't forget to also pass on the content created by the content developers. The tutors and trainers need to prepare for eLearning content as conscientiously as they would for a face-to-face course with a textbook. After this step, you, the instructional designer, are done with your main tasks. Lean back and let the trainers and tutors teach the course. « Previous | Next » Instructional Design in Practice 1 Preparation 2 Implementation Be Creative Be Specific Be Exact Course Management Self-assessment 3 Wrap-up Imprint Self-assessment

Checklist Instructional Design 2 Here, you can download and print a checklist for the content of this chapter:

Checklist Instructional Design (.doc, 40 kB)

Multiple Choice Which three methods of carrying out a course did this chapter tell you about? pure face-to-face

pure eLearning


university studies

blended learning

Multiple Choice What does the curriculum contain? content and time frame of a course

resources and price of a course

objectives and learning activities of a course

tutors and trainers of a course

Multiple Choice What does the instructional designer need to evaluate in the implementation phase? It has to do with the work of the content developer! the content created by the content developer whether the course remains within the budget This is correct! No, the budget is the manager's business. « Previous | Next » 3 Wrap-up

Learning Objectives After studying this chapter, you'll be able to... ... name the tasks of an instructional designer during the wrap-up phase. ... name reason and objective of the evaluation.


Evaluation The course is completed now. This is the right time to conduct a so-called summative evaluation. You can collect information from:

• • •

Participants (feedback and test results) Trainers Tutors

At a later point in time, you can check whether all objectives were reached - in other words, whether the knowledge that was conveyed got applied correctly (transfer evaluation). This evaluation will give you a good idea where you can improve your courses. Forward the results from the evaluation to your manager or contractor. There are standardized feedbacks for eLearning. One of them is: COLLES - Constructivist On-Line Learning Environment Survey Colles contains 24 statements, broken down in 6 categories. Each of these helps us gauge the quality of an online learning environment:


How important is online learning for the professional practice of the learner? Does online learning stimulate critical-reflective thinking? To what extent do learners engage in educational dialogues? To what extent do trainers facilitate the learning?


Interactivity Trainers, facilitating

Do other participants give Group support tactful and inspiring support? Do participants have a good feeling for how to communicate with each other online?
Feedbacktool von InWent


Please note After implementing a course, always ask for feedback from your participants, trainers and tutors. This is the only way to improve your courses! « Previous | Next » Instructional Design in Practice 1 Preparation 2 Implementation


3 Wrap-up Self-assessment Imprint Self-assessment

Checklist Insructional Design 3 Here, you can download and print a checklist for the content of this chapter:

Checklist Instructional Design (.doc, 36 kB)

Multiple Choice Which tasks should the instructional designer realize during the wrap-up phase of a course?

tidy up the classroom

evaluate the course

delete the content

Multiple Choice Why does it make sense to do an evaluation? The evaluation of a course helps improve and adapt your education program.

The evaluation tells you a lot about the learning time of the participants.

The only reason for evaluation is to let participants feel empowered.

« Previous | Next »


Imprint This course was developed by common sense - eLearning & training consultants Riesgasse 5/14, A-1030 Wien E-Mail: | on behalf of InWEnt, Capacity Building International, Germany ( ) organising and funding the course program on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office. © InWEnt 2007 About the Author: The author of this module, Alexander Kurucz, has been working as a trainer since 2001. He has participated in the creation of a number of projects that included eLearning, usually assuming responsibility for the eLearning part. Since 2007, he has been working as project manager and consultant for common sense|eLearning & training consultants GmbH in Vienna, Austria. « Previous


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