Massey University (Learning Design IDbasics)

From WikiEducator
Jump to: navigation, search

Module One: Instructional Design Basics

At the outset, we are confronted by questions which are fundamental to the rest of our work in this paper:

  1. What is instructional design (ID)?
  2. What is the relationship between ‘instructional design’ and more contemporary labels such as ‘learning design’?
  3. How do we understand ID in terms of the language of ID? the practice of ID ? the relationship between ID and other professional practices such as teaching, learner support and media development? more ‘philosophical’ issues related to teaching, learning and education?
  4. What does an ID process look like? Within the process, what does each phase look like?
  5. What models of ID exist and how are they used by instructional designers?

Beyond that:

  1. What is the point of instructional (or learning) design? Why study it?
  2. What theories inform instructional design?
  3. How do we understand instructional (or learning) design at different levels, e.g., for whole curricula, for individual courses, within a module or other unit of work, or for a single learning task?
  4. How do we measure ‘quality’ in ID? What makes a ‘good’ design?
  5. How do we set about designing for learning?
  6.  What are instructional technologies and what is the relationship between instructional technologies and ID?

This module, more than any of the others in this course, involves a great deal of reading for understanding, discussion and synthesis of ideas to help you build a foundation for the practical work which follows. Covered over 5-6 weeks, this module should involve about 60-70 hours of learners’ time. Check the course calendar tool for information on pacing and timelines for completion of learning tasks.

A beginning: What is Instructional Design?

For most teachers with little design experience, developing and delivering instruction involves identifying and selecting content, presenting it in a coherent way and then asking learners to do something as practice or for assessment. This approach has served teachers for centuries. However, it is important to note that with experience the strategies nested within these activities become more sophisticated and the results much more impressive.
In this course we will be making a systematic study of how to approach the conceptualisation, design and development of programmes for learning.
A starter: What is instructional design? A useful start is provided by Wikipedia: [n]
Key aspects of this page are: -The references to the ADDIE model, which is included in your course readings (see Gagne, Briggs and Walker, 1992, the first reading in your book of readings); -The work of Dick and Carey (see Dick, Carey and Carey, 1999, part of which is the second reading in your book) on systematising approaches to design, development and teaching; -Mention of cognitive load theory (you may want to dig up a bit more on this if you’re interested); -Brief reference to ‘learning design’, which is a related term that we’ll be dealing with through out the course. More on this below.

There is a pretty good page on eduwiki at:
The section which describes ‘major instructional design methods’ will be useful
There is a good overview by George Seimens at:
Pay particular attention to the various models identified by Seimens. These are generally compatible with one another and can be viewed as similar (overall) processes.
There is an interactive concept map which links to all sorts of information on ID/ISD here:

Information Search Task 1.1
Familiarise yourself with the basics of Instructional Design
Your role: Curious Inquirer, Critical Consumer of Information
Procedure: 1. Use your favourite search engine (Google, Yahoo, etc) to find basic information about instructional design. To assist in your search, consider the following questions: a. What is instructional design? b. Who does ID? c. What models, systems or processes are involved in ID? d. Whose names appear to be associated with the common theories/models of ID? 2. After doing a basic search, go to the Massey Library’s online portal and do a literature search in the online databases. Recommended databases include EBSCO host and the Web of Science. Tip: Search for ‘full text’ articles, which will have the full written version of the piece, not just the abstract. 3. Use the following search terms to assist with your search: • Instructional Design • Instructional Systems Design • Learning Design • Design for Learning 4. Keep a list of new/unfamiliar terms you find in your basic search. These will be added to the course glossary in Task 1.4 below. 5. Add the URLs of any particularly helpful sites to the ‘Web Resources’ forum in the Module 1 section of the course. You may add resources at anytime throughout the course and all members of the course cohort are expected to contribute to this ‘pool’ of resources. Some articles from the database cannot be linked, but many can via the ezproxy link provided in the entry. For example: Outcomes: Practice with search techniques Familiarity with basic ID terms and ideas. Reading task 1.2 Task: Read Gagne, Briggs and Walker, 1992, the first reading in your book of readings
Your role: Critical reader, reflective learner
Pre-reading questions: 1. What is Instructional Systems Design (ISD)? 2. Broadly, what phases are involved in ISD? 3. What are the steps involved in the ADDIE model?
Suggested Procedure 1. Consider the pre-reading questions briefly. As you read Gagne et al, look out for the answers to those questions. Can you answer them all? (STOP) 2. After reading, skim the article again to identify new/unfamiliar terms and any definitions (even if they are tentative). Add these terms to the course Glossary called ‘ID terms’. (STOP) 3. After reading, reflect on the currency of this reading. The idea it contains are more than 20 years old. How do they hold up in the context of 21st century education? …in your educational institution? Are these ideas appropriate for your teaching? 4. If necessary, post any questions about this reading to the Module One QnA forum. 5. You may wish to compose a personal reflection on these ideas and add it to the blog in your eportfolio. These sorts of reflections can be added to your final portfolio assessment. Outcomes Basic familiarity with the ID process Beginnings of links between the course content and your professional activity, in context. An important aside: Instruction vs. Learning One of the things we’re immediately confronted with in this course is the relationship between ‘instruction’ and ‘learning’ in the context of instructional design and learning design. There are a couple of different ways to think about this: One is in the distinction between what teachers do and what learners do. Another is in the distinction between the design of broad educational initiatives, such as programme design and development, intermediate level initiatives such as individual courses or modules within a course and more specific activities like individual projects or learning tasks which might be completed in weeks, days, hours or minutes. In ‘traditional’ instructional design models, like the one suggested in Gagne et al (1992), the first reading in your course materials book, focus on moving from the most general level (the Systems Level) to the intermediate (Course Level) to the more specific (Lesson Level) See the table on p. 12 of your readings book for an overview of the sequential process. Note the progression from broad to narrow OR from general to specific. This process of elaborating general ideas into increasingly specific parts is a common tool of traditional instructional design approaches and a useful way to keep track of complex processes.
Much of the historical basis for the topic of this course is in ‘instruction’ (a la ‘instructional design’), which is related to formal education and teaching. ‘Instruction’ has many variants: it can be as simple as ‘teaching’, but may be described as tutoring, mentoring, facilitation, moderation, guidance, coaching, training, or even indoctrination. In each of these activities, the emphasis (to some degree) is on what the instructor/teacher/tutor does to produce some change in the student or learner. This is appropriate when we are considering teacher education (which is what this course is). It is also appropriate for some of the broader educational activities: curriculum design, programme development, institutional systems, etc. In these situations, we need to have an understanding of what teachers do as part of a wider study of education, including the purposes of education, the operation of educational institutions and all of the social and political factors which swirl around education.
Notably, the focus in ‘instruction’ is on transfer of knowledge and the idea that what an instructor knows can be transferred to a student. However, more contemporary views of learning, particularly constructivist and situated views, suggest that learning is personal, idiosyncratic and context dependent. These arguments call the notion of ‘instruction’ and therefore instructional design into question. One of the results is a re-focusing not on ‘instruction’ but on ‘learning’.
It is important not to view ‘instruction’ and ‘learning’ in opposition. Rather, they are related, complementary process. Learning Design can (and does!) happen within instructional design processes.
This view is consistent with trends in educational trends (particularly in western countries) which focus on learner experience. The focus on ‘instructional’ design has shifted from what the teacher does (i.e. teaching or instruction) to what the learner does including learning processes, learner activity, cognitive processes, knowing and doing, the progression from novice to expert, and performance based measures. In short, we’re more concerned with ‘learning’ than ‘teaching’. Learning requires a learner, but does not require a teacher. Moreover, ‘teaching’ as an activity has come to be understood in new ways, some of which are radically different from traditional notions of teaching in classrooms. Open learning, flexible learning, distance education and e-learning have all emphasised that learning takes place in a variety of situations, whether there is a teacher present or not. Our focus is one creating those situations in which learning occurs.
Rod Sims (2006, no page), a well known instructional design expert in Australia, has addressed this issue in his paper ‘Beyond Instructional Design: Making Learning Design a Reality’:
When we consider practitioner understandings of Instructional Design, the methods and processes often reduce to the components of Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation (ADDIE), where one stage follows another in a linear sequence. Within this context, the following quotes highlight the designer-centred aspect of both instruction and design: Instruction … an instruction is a form of communicated information … for how an action, behavior, method, or task is to be begun, completed, conducted, or executed (Wikipedia, 2006a) Design … the process of originating and developing a plan for aesthetic and functional objects … requiring considerable research, thought, modelling, iterative adjustment and re-design … (Wikipedia, 2006b) Instructional Design … the analysis of learning needs and systematic development of instruction … that if followed, will facilitate the transfer of knowledge, skills and attitude to the recipient or acquirer of the instruction … (Wikipedia, 2006c)
Using these descriptors, and to emphasise the position taken in this paper, there is a sense that Instructional Design focuses on following pre-determined pathways that, if undertaken rigorously, will ensure a transfer of knowledge. But is education about the transfer of knowledge, or does it involve more complex processes between teachers, learners and the content domain? Those with an interpretivist epistemology (Driscoll, 2005) would argue that knowledge is constructed by the individual and therefore goes beyond an information transmission model. Based on over 25 years of working with and researching the use of computers in a learning and performance context, it is my contention that computers should preferably be used for course participants to deconstruct, construct or reconstruct their mental models and that information transmission (delivery) strategies do not make effective use of computer technology. The computer, whether being used independently or for online communications, is ideal for supporting a constructivist approach to education. With these considerations in mind I would therefore propose a conditional statement: if instruction represents a form of delivery, and if we are beyond delivery, then we have reached a stage where we are beyond instruction.
Consequently we need to address different models of teaching and learning that build upon the foundations of instructional design and yet transcend its epistemological foundations, that are often based on objectivist (knowledge is external) principals (Driscoll, 2005).
Other resources: The University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey has a collection of links on ‘Instructional Design’, which they label part of ‘traditional’ teaching, here:
For comparison, have a look at these two sources:
Also from The University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, but under the heading ‘Active learning’: (some of these resources may be useful later in the course)
From The University of Oklahoma: That page highlights an approach to design which emphasises learner experience and the designs that emphasise doing and learning from the experience. Discussion Task 1.3 Task: Consider the introduction to this course in the context of your own work. At your workplace, is it ‘instructional design’ or ‘learning design?
Role: Critically reflective learner Suggested procedure: 1. After reading the first reading and browsing the web resources identified above, consider the question: In your job (at your workplace) does the type of design described above fall more into the category of ‘instructional design’ or ‘learning design’? 2. Compose a discussion board posting of not more than 250 words which (a) clearly answer the question (b) justifies that position with reference to your work, the sorts of students you work with, particular views of teaching and learning OR any other factors which you think are important. 3. Post your discussion contribution to the forum titled ‘Instructional design vs. learning design’. Use a meaningful subject line in your posting which includes your surname + your response to the question (For example: Kehrwald- Learning design) 4. After posting your response to the question, read the postings of your peers. Respond with positive feedback to at least two of your peers whose postings you found useful. In your feedback, tell them specifically what you liked about their contributions. 5. Choose at least one posting that you have a question about, don’t understand or you are unsure about. Pose a question to the author which helps clarify your understanding of their position. 6. Respond to any discussion which follows your posting. 7. After about 2 weeks of discussion (or after the formal reflection task is due), the facilitator will refocus the discussion with an eye toward summarising the pros and cons of each view and drawing the distinction between them. Outcomes: Personalisation of the introductory content of the course Situation of abstract ideas in the context of your work Community development through purposeful online discussion
Notes: This posting will become the basis of a formal reflection in the early part of the course. You will be asked to develop your posting into a 500 word reflection which the course teaching team will provide feedback on.
Learning Task 1.4: ID Glossary Task: contribute to a glossary of instructional design (and related) terminology. Build the glossary throughout the course and use it whenever you find a new term.
Your role: contributing author, glossary ‘builder’
Notes on the task: The glossary tool in Stream allows users to create shared glossaries which are referenced by many of the activity tools in Stream. After you enter a term in the glossary, the definition will be linked to instances of that term in course discussions and Stream pages.
Suggested procedure: 1. Identify new terms in your reading and study 2. Develop your own definitions for these based on a combination of (a) authoritative definitions, (b) use in context and (c) your own experience. Remember, there are several kinds of definitions, such as defining things by content, by operation, by existence or by example. Feel free to get creative with your definitions. 3. Record the terms and definitions in the glossary called ‘757 ID Terms’: a. Click on the link to the Glossary in Module One b. Click on the button that says ‘Add a new entry’ c. Add your term in the space for ‘Concept’ and your definition below in the big box d. Remember to tick the box below for auto-linking e. Save your work! 4. Return frequently to tidy up definitions, add definitions for terms that have none and help maintain the glossary. Outcomes: Better knowledge of ID terminology and a shared resource to help us all develop a common language within the course. A closer look at the ID process It is necessary to get a broad sense of the ID process by looking at different models and synthesising them in to a series of similar broad steps.
Gagne, Briggs and Wagner identify 3 broad steps in the ID process: 1. Identifying the outcomes of the instruction 2. Developing the instruction process 3. Evaluating the effectiveness of the instruction process
We can also consider the ADDIE model: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation. (see, e.g., or
Also, the University of Oklahoma site ( outlines a similar process: 1. Gather information on any important Situational Factors; 2. Formulate the learning Goals for the course; 3. Select the Teaching/Learning Activities needed for the goals; and 4. Formulate the kinds of Feedback and Assessment needed. Generally, we can map a variety of ID models onto these and break the activity down into three main phases: the front end of scoping the design project, the ‘guts’ of design and development and the backend of evaluation and continuous improvement. The diagram below shows the breakdown, including the addition of a fourth model (the Kemp model: You may wish to try to identify other ID Models and map them onto this three-part process.
The front end: understanding the design brief This first broad step involves understanding the various components of the learning process: the learners, the context, the available resources and the needs of the various stakeholders. In other words: Who are the learners? What will they learn? How will we know when that learning has taken place? The answers to these questions come from a combination of (a) knowledge about the intent of the educational programme or learning experience (b) understanding of the learners and their backgrounds; (c) understanding of the context in which those who complete the programme will work and (d) knowledge of the subject domains that learners are expected to work in as part of the programme (i.e., what is being studied).
Dick, Carey and Carey (2001) highlight that if the analysis and goal setting are not done properly, “even the most elegant instruction may not serve the designer’s real purpose” (p. 17). A well developed understanding of who the learners are, what they are trying to achieve and the conditions they are working in provides background to the entire ID process.
This process of identifying the outcomes of the programme or course you are designing is where you define the scope and direction of your design project. The scope of the design project is often defined in terms a performance gap, i.e., the difference between what learners can currently do and an ‘ideal’ of what they should be able to do at the completion of the programme. An understanding of the performance gap will help define not only the scope of the programme you’re designing, but the amount of work that you’ll be doing in design, development and implementation.
The direction of your project is defined by setting a clear goal (or set of goals) for the programme. It is much like setting a destination for a journey or an endpoint for a process. If you have your goals in mind, you always have a reference point in your design process that will allow you to concentrate on content, tasks and assessment that help learners reach the goal.
For an overview of this step, have a look at the following resources: - this page links to a series of pages which provide a rather ‘traditional’ overview of analysis and links to pages with more detail on how to conduct those analyses. - return to this page from the University of Oklahoma. Have a look at the descriptions of ‘situational factors’ and ‘goals’. These should be considered as complementary to the ideas from the other resources.
There are different ways to go about defining the outcomes, but they all involve gathering certain types of information and making a few key decisions. Information is gathered using different types of analysis. Decisions are made based on (a) the information gathered in the analysis (b) the general goals of the programme and (c) the views that the designers have about how to facilitate learning. We’ll look at analysis more closely in the sections to follow.
Analysis Depending on the needs of your particular design project, there are several types of analysis that can be done. Gagne et al (1992) refer to needs analysis to identify the performance gap(s), instructional analysis to determine the skills involved in bridging the performance gap and a learner analysis to appropriately identify what learners bring to the learning situation. Together, these are often referred to as ‘front end analysis’ and different models have them being done in different orders or simultaneously. The important thing to note is that they are done before the design and development work starts as they provide a foundation for the design. Also, as you peruse different sites about front end analysis, you’ll note that the different types of analysis often overlap.
Each of these analyses involves a set of other activities which help the designer consider the design at multiple levels: at a broad level (e.g. system, programme or whole course); at an intermediate level (e.g. course, module or unit) and at a specific/focused level (e.g. lesson, individual task or project). As you will know from your reading, there are different ways to conduct the analyses. A brief sketch is provided in the following sections.
Needs Assessment: What is the difference between what learners can do (now) and they should be able to do at the completion of the learning programme? This is often considered at a very broad level (e.g. systems, programme) but the particular needs assessment you do will depend on the scope of your design project. For example, if you are working on an individual module within a course, you can do a needs assessment for the course or for that individual module.
There are a number of other questions which support understanding of the performance gap, the identification of needs and the setting of instructional goals: What is involved in ideal performance? What do learners lack in terms of being able to do particular jobs or tasks? What conditions are learners working in? Is the situation stable or changing? How so? What opportunities exist for improvement or change? What are the priorities in the learning situation? What other considerations are there? (e.g. health and safety, legal, access and equity?)
There is an informative page on needs analysis here:
There is an easy-to-follow page with links to unpack front end analysis at:
A decent (but dated) bibliography re needs assessment at:
Instructional analysis: What knowledge, skills, abilities, attitudes, beliefs (etc) are required for learners to be able to meet the instructional goals? How can the learning of those things be facilitated and supported? How do people learn to do the required tasks? How do we teach them to do the required tasks? This step involves elaborating the broad goals into their constituent objectives (and sub-objectives) and understanding what is involved for learners to achieve the goals. In this step, designers use the information collected in the needs assessment and front end analysis to understand the instructional/learning process better.
Task analysis: What is the best way to complete the task? What component skills will be necessary at each step of the instructional/learning process? The goal is to understand the tasks that learners are being asked to perform.
Views on task analysis for different situations:
Good links from the GMU site:
Worksheets for Job, Task and Content Analyses:
Learning task analysis: How will learners complete the learning tasks? How will they learn to do what is being asked of them? What sub-tasks will they have to complete as part of the larger task? What skills will they need to have to complete the sub-tasks and tasks? A thorough learning task analysis helps designers (a) understand what is involved in completing the learning tasks (b) link learning activity to intended performance and (c) organise learning tasks. An instructional curriculum map (ICM) may be produced (example on p5 of your reading book from Gagne et al)
Information processing Analysis: What are the mental operations of an expert/skilled performer of the task? There is a whole field of research in information processing. You may wish to explore this further below when we consider views of learning and their effects on our design decisions.
Web Search Task 1.5: Find resources for front end analysis Task: Find existing tools to assist with needs analysis, task analysis and learner/contextual analysis
Your role: web bloodhound
Procedure: 1. Use your favourite search engine and good search skills to find resources to assist with front-end analysis. 2. After you have found at least 2 resources, compose a discussion board posting which (a) links to the resource (b) describes how it is useful in the front end analysis and (c) critiques the resource OR identifies ways in which it might be improved. 3. You may not duplicate entries to resources your peers have found UNLESS your description and/or critique are significantly different from the other entry.
Outcomes: Practice with web searching A collection of resources to use in future ID projects Development of a sense of critique with ‘free’ resources.
Learner and contextual analysis: Who are the learners? Where are they working? What contextual factors impact on their learning? This step seems like a ‘no brainer’ but it sometimes gets overlooked by teachers who are designing for their own classes. In those situations, the teacher-designers have considerable tacit knowledge of their learners and the context and so the analysis seems unnecessary. On the other hand, in many situations, the analysis provides a useful explication of the particular conditions learners are working in and provides a record for new staff to understand the operation of learning programmes in particular contexts.
A useful set of questions and considerations is here:
Writing learning objectives Once the analysis is completed, it is possible to break down the broad instructional goals into more specific objectives and sub-objectives. The aims of a programme are often described as a hierarchy of (a) broad goals (b) underlying objectives and (c) sub-objectives. You can have as many or as few levels of goals as you need.
This process of breaking down goals into increasingly specific objectives is sometimes referred to as elaboration, in which broad goal or general processes are elaborated into sets of more specific goals or tasks. Elaboration helps us understand the relationships between discrete, specific pieces of information or micro-tasks and more general concepts or principles. Gagne et al (1992) note that this progression from broad to narrow help provide a way to communicate the goals to different groups of stakeholders (e.g. parents vs. designers) and helps link the overall goals to very specific and detailed plans and materials for learning.
There is a good resource from the University of Washington on writing learning objectives at Penn State University has a useful online resource which helps explain the basics:
It is important to note that the objectives of a programme are not just cognitive. Affective (feelings, attitudes, values/beliefs) and psychomotor (action, physical skills) are also important to many learning situations, especially in professional programmes. Consider cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains of activity when writing objectives. When writing objectives, there are a number of decent web resources which help link each of these domains to appropriate actions verbs:
Reflection Task 1.6: Linking Goals, Analysis and Objectives
Task: Reflect on the following – What is the relationship between the broad goals, the questions asked in the analysis, the information collected in the analysis and the development of elaborated performance objectives?
Your role: Critically reflective learner
Procedure: 1. Consider the question. 2. Compose a short response to the question and add it to your learning blog. Use the reflective question as the title of your blog entry. You may wish to consider the following focusing questions as well: -Why is the analysis necessary? What happens if it is not completed? -Why is it necessary to elaborate the broad instructional goals? 3. Return to the entry later in the course. You may wish to include the reflection in your final portfolio submission.
Outcomes: Engagement with the Module One content Contributions to you eportfolio Preparation for future design work.

Considering Assessment As you will know from reading Gagne et al (1992) assessment is considered very early on in the design process. It is linked explicitly to the outcomes and the indicators of performance which are derived from them. Following Gagne, it is important to consider both formative assessment, which provides learners with feedback on performance and informs ongoing development and summative assessment, which frequently used to make determinations of success (or otherwise) at the conclusion of learning programmes or units of study.
The Gagne reading has a strong emphasis on performance and, in particular observable performance with ‘measurable’ standards of achievement. While those ideas remain valid, it is important to note more contemporary views of assessment which accommodate performance, but emphasise the links between assessment and learning. The University of Oklahoma resource mentioned above emphasises the contemporary view of educative assessment, including the use of peer and self assessment, the role of feedback and a forward-orientation (i.e. preparing for ongoing learning) rather than a backward-orientation (i.e. looking at what has been done and approving or disapproving of it).
Important questions to consider regarding assessment will likely include: • What is the relationship between assessment and learning? • Which objectives will be assessed? When? How? • How will performance be measured? • What types of feedback will be provided and when? What is the relationship between feedback and formal assessment? • What standards will be used to evaluate performance? Will these be available to students? • How much assessment is ‘enough’? How much is too much? • What is the rationale for the timing of assessment? • What is the relationship between formative and summative assessment tasks?
The list of questions above is by no means exhaustive. Different institutions have different approaches to assessment and many institutions are spending considerable effort to develop guidelines for assessment.
Some links from: Flinders University: The University of South Australia: The NZQA: The Australian Universities Teaching Committee: Massey’s Assessment policy (somewhat less useful):
And a list of useful links here:
Reflection task 1.7: The role of assessment Task: Reflect on the following – What is the role of assessment in your professional activity? What stakeholders does the assessment serve? Does current assessment practice support learning or serve other ends?
Your role: Critically reflective learner
Procedure: 1. Consider the questions above. 2. Compose a short response to the question and add it to your learning blog. There are several different angles to the consideration of assessment in your professional context. You may wish to reflection on more than one of these in separate blog postings. 3. Return to the entry later in the course. You may wish to include the reflection in your final portfolio submission
Outcomes: Engagement with the Module One content Links between course content and your professional practice Contributions to you eportfolio
The guts: Developing the learning process This is the ‘design and development’ part of the process in which the information gathered in the analysis phase is put to use. Of the three main steps in the process, this is the step that usually gets the most attention. Broadly, this involves ideas about how learners will meet the instructional objectives. More particularly, this involves: 1. Developing an instructional strategy, including: a. Understanding how people learn. b. Understanding how learning is promoted and facilitated with a combination of materials and activity. 2. Translating understanding into the a design 3. Developing the design into a functional system.
Dick, Carey and Carey (1999) describe this development in terms of ‘Instructional Strategy’ and ‘Instructional Materials’. This (once again) emphasises the progression from more general abstract ideas (learning theory, broad pedagogical approaches) to more specific, situated ideas (operational pedagogy, teaching activity, materials development). We will consider this step in terms of the three main activities of (a) developing an instructional strategy (b) designing a learning process and (c) developing the design into a functional system.
What is involved? This step involves a number of activities which will vary from one design project to another: • Conceptualising a learning process which is consistent with and will produce the outcomes identified in the analysis • Breaking down the learning process into ‘doable’ pieces • Elaborating each part of the process • Considering pedagogy: What view of learning do the design and/or teacher take? How is that manifest in the design? The intended learning activity? The teaching? • Translating pedagogical commitments to materials which support those pedagogical commitments • Identifying an appropriate quantity and quality of content. • Considering learner activity: What do we expect learners to do ‘overall’, in each module or unit and within each task? Does this match our intended outcomes? Where will they do it? How will they do it? How much time will it take? • Considering teaching activity: What do we expect teachers to do? What roles will they play? Will there be a teaching role for learners to play? • Considering presentation: How do we cater to different learning styles? Different learning preferences? What media will be used? • Considering learning environments: Where do learners learn? • Considering access and equity issues • Considering learning support • Considering teaching support • Developing unique content packages: integrating rich media, writing and editing text, considering delivery media • How will the course be implemented? What are the implications of moving from the ‘theory’ of a course to its operation? How does the course fit within the institutional context?
We’ll look at these issues more closely in the sections below.
Developing an instructional strategy Developing an instructional strategy is the core of an instructional design. Dick, Carey and Carey (1999) point out that: The term instructional strategy suggests a huge variety of teaching/learning activities, such as group discussions, independent reading, case studies, lectures, computer simulations, worksheets, cooperative group projects, and so on. These are essentially micro-strategies. Before the designer can make these kinds of decisions, it is necessary to develop a macro-strategy (i.e., a total strategy that begins with introducing learners to a topic and ends with learners’ mastery of the objectives). The macro strategy that Dick et al refer to can be thought of as a broad plan for the learning in the course or programme. This plan addresses a number of broad issues including how the course will be delivered, what process learners will be expected to go through to complete the course, how the course will be taught, and what content will be covered. Within each of these broad issues, there are a range of other considerations.
As a beginning, consider the development of an instructional strategy in terms of two main points posited above: • How do people learn (generally)? And how will they be expected to learn in this course • How is learning supported by the structures within the course, including learning materials, learning environment, teaching activity, peer interaction or any other structure which may facilitate learning?
How do people learn? This is a question that philosophers, including great teachers, have grappled with for centuries. While we’re not here to do a philosophical study of learning, as professional educators (with graduate qualifications!) it is useful to get a grounding in the basics. There are a few key questions which lead us into a stud of learning theory:
What is knowledge? The study of knowledge and knowing is epistemology. (see Wikipedia: Take some time to read through and explore the links from the wiki article if you wish, there is much to learn about this particular area.
A few key points are relevant to our work in this course. First is the contrast between empiricism and rationalism. Empiricism emphasises link between experience and knowing. Rationalism emphasises the possibility of knowing before experience and knowing through reasoning. These views influence how we view learning and to what extent experience is integrated into our learning designs.
Second is the internal/external problem. Does knowledge exist independent of the psychology of the knower? Is it ‘out there’ waiting to be learning and known? Or does knowledge exist in the mind of the knower only, as a product of his/her mind. This distinction is often reduced to a contrast between objectivism and subjectivism. An objectivist view of learning is that knowledge structures exist and can be internalised (learned) by those who study them OR that they exist, waiting to be discovered. A subjectivist view posits that the knowledge structures are built within the learner’s mind and so are unique/idiosyncratic. They only exist insofar as they are created/constructed/used by the knower/learner.
A further extension of these ideas leads to the ideas of objective and subjective knowledge. We often hear about ‘objective truths’ or ‘universal truths’ which are (seemingly) always true. These are contrasted with subjective positions which seem to be true in certain circumstances or to certain people. These views are often seen as incompatible due to their philosophical roots, but in contemporary learning theory, there is often accommodation for both views.
Views of learning. Taken together, the empiricism/rationalism debate and the internal/external problem have contributed to three main views of learning. Mayes and de Freitas (2004) (reading 7 in your study materials) have synthesised these: • The associationist/empiricist perspective focuses on the accumulation knowledge and skill derived from experience. • The cognitive perspective emphasises psychological processes such as attention, memory and structuring and processing of information. There are many cognitive learning theory and this label covers a broad range of views. • The situative perspective follows from recent attention to the contextualised nature of knowledge and the way meaning is made based on particular settings. This view also accommodates the idea of knowledge as shared or held jointly within a social structure or group.
Previous versions of this framework (i.e., in other readings) referred to (a) behaviourist (b) cognitivist and (c) constructivist views of learning respetively, but that frame has evolved into the labels used by Mayes and de Freitas.
Reading Task 1.8: Mays and de Freitas Task: Read Mays and de Freitas (2004), the seventh reading in your book of readings
Your role: Critical reader, reflective learner
Pre-reading questions: 1. What is the alignment principle? How is it relevant to instructional design? 2. What are the relationships between the three perspectives on learning and the philosophical problems of empiricism vs. rationalism and internal vs. external knowledge?
Suggested Procedure 1. Consider the pre-reading questions briefly. As you read Mayes and de Freitas, look out for the answers to those questions. Can you answer them all? (STOP) 2. After reading, skim the article again to identify new/unfamiliar terms and any definitions (even if they are tentative). Add these terms to the course Glossary called ‘ID terms’. (STOP) 3. After reading, reflect on the content of this reading as it relates to your own work. Do these ideas hold up in the context of your teaching/professional activity? What problems to you foresee? What useful information can you use in your own practice. Compose a personal reflection on these ideas and add it to the blog in your eportfolio. Outcomes Clearer understanding of 3 main views of learning Links between the course content in your professional practice

Notes on the three broad views of learning Behaviourism dominated western education in the latter half of the twentieth century. A few references for general reading… …on behaviourism: …and associationist views:, including highlighting contrasts in the history:
Cognitivism gained great momentum from the 1970s onward as interest behaviourism and behavioural psychology expanded to include ideals for emerging fields such as mental processes (cognitive psychology), artificial intelligence (computer science) and neuroscience. Resources: has this useful overview: Some ideas from JoAnn Gonzales-Major: A useful site with links to all three of these views of learning:
Situated approaches to learning have arisen from two perspectives. Cognitive science has recognised the effects of context on cognitive processes. The result is a view of situated cognition. Other social sciences such as sociology and anthropology have contributed to a view of learning in social situations which is referred to a situated learning. Wilson and Meyers (2000) (reading 10 in your study materials) provided a very good historical perspective on situativity. Work through that reading for a very authoritative summary of situated cognition and ID. Constructivism is often associated with this view of learning and some have suggested that ‘constructivism’ has evolved into ‘situativity’. Constructivism emerged as a formal idea in the 1960s and 1970s and has gained considerable attention with the increasing use of educational technologies through the 1980s and 1990s. Prawat (1996) (reading 8 in your study materials) provides a useful overview of the different varieties of constructivism. This may be useful for your learning theories assignment.
Other resources on situated approaches: …a basic presentation: A wiki-type overview: …and legitimate peripheral participation (a la Lave and Wenger, the gurus!): …and links to ID from Herrington and Oliver: Reading task 1.X: Prawat (1996) Task: Read Prawat (1996), the eighth reading in your study materials.
Your role: Critical reader, reflective learner
Pre-reading questions: 1. What is the distinction between the ‘modern’ and ‘postmodern’ constructivist theories that Prawat identifies? Suggested Procedure 1. Consider the pre-reading question briefly. As you read Prawat, look out for the answer/s to that question. (STOP) 2. After reading, skim the article again to identify new/unfamiliar terms and any definitions (even if they are tentative). Add these terms to the course Glossary called ‘ID terms’. (STOP) 3. This is a relatively ‘dense’ article. Re-read it as necessary to break down the key parts. 4. After reading, reflect on these issues: a. Where do you place ‘constructivism’ in the framework provided by Mayes and de Freitas? b. If we consider ‘constructivism’ a theory or ‘view’ of learning, what are the associated pedagogies? (and what do we mean by ‘pedagogy’?
Outcomes Understanding the history and theory of ‘constructivism’ Links between ‘constructivism’ as a view of learning and ‘constructivist approaches to learning’ which inform ID
Reading task 1.X: Wilson and Meyers (2000) Task: Read Wilson and Myers (2000), the tenth reading in your study materials.
Your role: Critical reader, reflective learner
Pre-reading questions: 2. What does the ‘situated’ in situated cognition mean? Suggested Procedure 5. Consider the pre-reading question briefly. As you read Wilson and Meyers, look out for the answer/s to that question. (STOP) 6. After reading, skim the article again to identify new/unfamiliar terms and any definitions (even if they are tentative). Add these terms to the course Glossary called ‘ID terms’. (STOP) 7. This is a relatively ‘dense’ article. Re-read it as necessary to break down the key parts. 8. After reading, reflect on these issues: What is the relationship between situated cognition and the other ‘foundational’ learning theories as described by Wilson and Meyers? What are the practical differences between situated cognition and situated learning? How do the notions of situated cognition and situated learning apply in your professional practice? Outcomes Understanding of situated views of learning Links between situated cognition and your professional practice Linking to pedagogy Each of these three views (associationist, cognitivist, situated) encompasses many individual theories of learning and related pedagogical approaches. Rather than discuss present them all here, I refer you to the Theory in Practice database maintained by Greg Kearsley, a well known academic in distance education, educational technologies and instructional design ( The database contains a wealth of useful information about particular learning theories and will be useful in an upcoming learning task.
Another useful resource for learners in this area is the paper by Brenda Mergel, when she was a student at the University of Saskatchewan: Pedagogical approaches specify a move from the abstract of learning theory toward operational/practical aspects of learning (and teaching). There is a general progression from philosophical positions (e.g. knowing as internal, empirical) to theoretical positions (e.g. situated learning) to particular pedagogical approaches (e.g. social constructivism) to strategic positions (a community of inquiry model) to particular materials and activities which have carefully selected content in particular sequences. Wiki Task 1.X: Categorising pedagogies Task: Use the organiser below to categorise each of the pedagogical approaches identified in the Theories in Practice Site according to the three broad views of learning identified by Mayes and de Freitas: associationist/empiricist, cognitivist and situative
Your role: wiki author student of learning theory, pedagogy
Notes on the task: Wiki technologies were created for collaborative writing/publication tasks. In this learning task, you will use a wiki to contribute to an organiser that will be produced by the group. Each participant will be expected to make a contribution. All contributions will be recorded by the wiki software.
You should note that wikis have some very convenient and powerful features: they record each saved version of a document, you can see who is contributing what and you can revert to previous versions if the group finds it has taken a ‘wrong turn’ somewhere.
You should also note that cutting/pasting into a wiki from a word document can be tricky as Microsoft Word adds formatting and extra code. It is often better to transfer your text to a notepad or simple text editor (or save it as a plain text file) before transferring to the wiki. Also, add your formatting in the wiki, NOT before you copy the text.
Finally, it is anticipated that this task will help you prepare for the first assignment.
Procedure: 1. Know who is in your group 2. Divide up the pedagogies from the TIP site with each group member responsible for (more or less) the same number. 3. Read up on/research the pedagogies you are responsible for 4. Use the organiser to categorise the pedagogies you are responsible for 5. When all group members have contributed to the wiki, the group needs to establish consensus that the answers are ‘correct’. 6. Mail the course leader for feedback.
The organiser: Associationist/empiricist Cognitive Situative
(this will be in the wiki environment for you)
Outcomes: Familiarity with wikis in the learning environment Improved familiarity with a group of pedagogies, including their relationship with the broad views of learning.
Learning Theories Assignment Task: Develop a cognitive tool which helps organise your understanding of the three main views of learning and the associated pedagogies.
Your role: Student of learning theory, active ‘constructor’ of knowledge
Notes: The assignment has two parts: a conceptual organiser/cognitive tool and a narrative section.
The organiser: An organiser which looks like this will be provided as a MS Word file:
View of Learning Defining characteristics Key Theorists Related Pedagogies Situation or context for application Associationist/ Empiricist Cognitivist Situative
Suggested procedure: 1. Use the template provided to develop a cognitive tool which illustrates the relationships between the three views of learning and between the respective views and the associated pedagogies. a. Use short, informative statements or phrases (a la bullet points or other notations). b. Include reference to authoritative sources in the completed template c. Include at least 4 defining characteristics. You may wish to reference the philosophical ideas mentioned in Module One d. Include at least 3 key theorists. Ideally, you will include reference to their work in the organiser. e. Identify at least 4 related pedagogies f. You may identify a single situation or context for application, but you should provide enough detail so that a casual reader will understand the application you have in mind. Reference to the goals or instructional objectives in that context will be useful. 2. Complete the narrative part of the assignment with a 1500 word response which compares/contrasts your preferred view of learning as a learner and as a teacher/education professional. a. Your response should conform to APA style guidelines as per the instructions in the course Admin Guide. There are a number of APA guideline sites on the web. The only deviation from the suggested style is single spacing. You should format for 12pt Time New Roman (or similar serif fonts), single spaced text. Follow the APA guidelines for other formatting and style conventions. b. Your response should be situated in context c. Your response should include explicit reference to both authoritative sources and your personal experience. Marking Criteria This assignment contributes 20% of your overall grade. The two parts of this assignment have equal weighting, so each contributes 10% of your overall grade.
The organiser will be marked (out of 10) according to the following criteria: D C-/C C+/B- B+/A A+
No evidence of reading Incorrect referencing conventions Limited references No/Few extra references included OR numerous errors which affect the quality of the support Support (30%) An appropriate number and quality of references are used and cited correctly. Some errors in presentation An appropriate number and quality of references are used and cited correctly The references are correctly formatted. Sophisticated integration of authoritative sources. Referencing conventions are virtually perfect
Confused/confusing informatoin Apparent inaccuracies which indicate lack of understanding Major points missing Poor progression of idea from on point to the next General Accuracy (60%) Main points are accurate, some supporting information is lacking Logical progression of ideas Structure is evident through format/headings and well elaborated in the texts Some use of rhetorical devices
Structure is apparent at all levels Concepts fit well together and progress logically Rhetorical devices are used to good effect
The responses are not contextualised Context is vague or general Context (10%) Context is mentioned, but not well developed Links to a particular educational context are present Explicit linking between a particular educational context and the learning theory. The context aids meaning making for the casual reader
The narrative will be marked (out of 10) according to the following criteria: D C-/C C+/B- B+/A A+
Major flaws, ignored style conventions Noticeable errors Presentation (20%) Mostly conforms to style guidelines Few noticeable flaws Virtually flawless presentation
Personal opinion Unreflective comment Copied work Misinterpretation of topic Topic not full covered Overuse of quotations Insufficient support from literature Scope (30%) Balanced discussion Acceptable interpretations of topic Some support from literature Relatively full exploration of the topic Good critical comment Regular support from authoritative sources Comprehensive coverage of the topic Sound analysis Sophisticated integration of authoritative and personal viewpoints
No evidence of reading Incorrect referencing conventions Limited references No/Few extra references included Support (20%) An appropriate number and quality of references are used and cited correctly An appropriate number and quality of references are used and cited correctly
Sophisticated integration of authoritative sources. Referencing conventions are virtually perfect
Confused/confusing structure No structure evident Major points missing Poor progression of idea from on point to the next Better rhetorical structure needed Structure (20%) Main arguments are evident in the introduction and followed through in the body Logical progression of ideas Structure is evident through format/headings and well elaborated in the texts Some use of rhetorical devices
Structure is apparent at all levels Concepts fit well together and progress logically Rhetorical devices are used to good effect
The description and guidelines are not contextualised Context is vague or general Context (10%) Context is mentioned, but not well developed Links to a particular educational context are present Explicit linking between a particular educational context and the decisions which informed the development of the guidelines

How is learning supported by the structures within a course? Learning theory and pedagogy feed the design process. As part of design, it is essential for instructional designers to understand the relationship between learning theory and learning practice in context. This includes understanding the relationships between various components of the instructional system.
Steeples, Jones and Goodyear (2002) (see reading 9 in your course materials) have provided a framework for the ‘architecture’ of a learning system that helps us understand and respond to these questions by developing a general sense of the structure of a course. Their framework is intended for networked learning, a particular sort of online course, but it also provides a useful starting point for recognising and considering various supporting structures within a particular context.

Figure 1 - Adapted from Steeples, Jones and Goodyear, 2002.
The pedagogical framework on the left side of the diagram informs and embodies the design commitments we make based on learning theory, philosophies of learning and education and abstract ideas about pedagogy. You may recognise the place of philosophical commitments such as views of learning at the top of the pedagogical framework. These influence choices of broad-brush high level pedagogies which inform strategic pedagogical commitments and the tactical decisions designers (and teachers) make as part of learning design. The commitments made as part of the pedagogical framework are embodied in the learning materials, the way the learning environment is structured and in the activity of teachers and learners in the learning environment.
There is a reciprocal influence between what happens within the pedagogical framework (left side) and what happens in the educational setting (right side). On the right side of the diagram, you can see that learning tasks (and the related learning activity) and teaching activity in a learning environment lead to outcomes. In terms of developing an instructional strategy, we are most concerned with the left side of this diagram. In terms of design and development we are concerned with aligning what happens on the left with what happens on the right to produce the intended outcomes.
One important distinction that Steeples et al make is between tasks and activity: Tasks are what we ask learners to do. Activity is what they actually do. Ideally the intent of the task and the learning activity will be a close match but all teachers know that this is not necessarily the case! Learners find unanticipated ways of completing the tasks or following their own paths. One of the indicators of a robust design is that it works as intended and that learners see correspondence between the suggested tasks and the intended outcomes.
Following the task/activity distinction, a key question that all instructional designers must answer is: What are we asking learners to do? The answer to that question should follow from our work in the front end to determine what learners need to do to meet the learning objectives and goals for the course/programme. The concept of ‘alignment’ mentioned in Mayes and de Freitas (2004) is relevant here. Designers must align the learning tasks with the intended learning activity with the objectives of the learning process. The development of an instructional strategy feeds this alignment by linking aligning the pedagogical commitments (the left side of the diagram) with the learning tasks, intended learner activity and instructional objectives. This alignment also provides a rationale for decision making in the design and development process to follow. A designer can question every design decision: How does this aspect help learners reach the objectives?
Next, it is important to consider the learning environment. What environment(s) will your learners be working and learning in? Similarly, what environments will they be asked to perform work in? Particular considerations include delivery mechanisms and media: Will learners be physically co-located with one another? …with the teacher? Will traditional distance education be used? Online delivery? What media will be used: print, audio, video, face-to-face contact? Will learners work in multiple environments and multiple media? Other considerations include the notion of authenticity and whether learners learn to perform particular skills in authentic conditions. What is the relationship between the learning environment and future working conditions?
Finally, we return to the notion of alignment: do the pieces fit together? Is the combination of pedagogy, task, environment and activity (in context) likely to lead to the intended outcomes? Reading Task 1.X: Steeples, Jones and Goodyear (2002) Task: Read Steeples, Jones and Goodyear (2002), the ninth reading in your study materials.
Your role: Critical reader, reflective learner
Pre-reading questions: 3. What is a learning environment as referred to by Steeples et al? 4. Why do the authors use the term ‘networked learning’? What is implied by ‘network’? Suggested Procedure 9. Consider the pre-reading questions briefly. As you read Steeples et al, look out for the answers to those questions. Can you answer them all? (STOP) 10. After reading, skim the article again to identify new/unfamiliar terms and any definitions (even if they are tentative). Add these terms to the course Glossary called ‘ID terms’. (STOP) 11. After reading, reflect on the these issues: Does the networked learning approach assume particular view of learning? Where can we locate ‘networked learning’ in terms of our associationist/cognitivist/situated views of learning? What are the implications of that for the applications of these ideas? Do they work in all/many/most contexts? What are the implications of the framework identified above (alos 193 in your reading book) on ID? Notes: There is much to be teased out of this reading. We will revisit it later in the course, so don’t worry if some of it is unclear at this stage. Outcomes Conceptualisation of links between learning theory and pedagogy, between pegagogy and learner activity and a broad view of the design framework.
Summary re: Instructional Strategy Taken together, the sections above support the development of an instructional strategy. This strategy will include: • Identification and adoption of a particular theoretical view of learning (i.e., a learning theory). • Adoption of a particular pedagogical approach related to the learning theory. • The development of pedagogical strategies which operationalise the learning theory. • Intentions regarding learning activity • Intentions regarding teaching activity, including intentions regarding the selection and sequencing of content • General considerations of delivery and the creation of and support for a learning environment The instructional strategy must be aligned with the instructional objectives. It must also account for the information gathered in the front end regarding learner characteristics, the context for learning and the other relevant considerations.
The instructional strategy supports the design and development processes by providing a rationale for design decisions which is aligned with the instructional objectives.
Design A practical aspect of the ID process in the ‘design’ phase is conceptualising the learning process, including representations of the process which serve as roadmaps for development. This aspect of the overall process often begins as the instructional strategy emerges. Then the design becomes more concrete as decisions are made and the overall process takes shape. Normally, there is back-and-forth between the development of an instructional strategy and the formative design process which includes using the information gathered in the front end analysis as a basis for decisions on creating and supporting a learning process. The end result should be an overall design which is well aligned with the instructional strategy.
In this section, we will look at a few simple ways to do this and a few tools which you are free to explore on your own between now and the time you undertake a design project in the second half of the course.
Conceptualising the learning process. Focussing on practical ID work, we must consider how to conceptualise the intended learning process. There is no one ‘right’ way to go about this and different ID models make different suggestions as to how to go about design. One of the simplest ways to conceptualise the learning process is to map a linear process which begins when learners enter the course/programme and ends with the completion of the course. A couple of these representations can be found in the ‘Getting Started’ information for this course:

In this representation, the learning process is represented as a timeline. This particular diagram lacks detail, so it isn’t useful from a design point of view, but you can imagine expanding this to include topics, milestones, learning tasks and other information which defines and structures a learning process. It is common to produce a set of representations with varying degrees of detail, much like an architect produces multiple drawings of a building including various sets of plans, blueprints and other specifications.
Another representation is a conceptual outline, which breaks the content of a learning programme down into is constituent parts:

You will note that there is a time element implied in the identification of breaks. In that sense, this is an outline combined with a timeline. In this case, there are only two levels of detail in the outline, but this can easily be expanded to provide a detailed view of the content within the course.
Once a broad view of the learning process is established, there are a variety of other tools which can be used to expand these plans and add detail. Examples include content organisers (like the weekly breakdowns of this course found in the admin guide), outlines, mindmaps, and flow charts.
One example which is used here in the College of Education here at Massey is the student workload template (see the file provided in the learning environment by the course teaching team) which allows a design team to breaks a course down on a weekly basis to identify contact teaching time, directed study time and independent study time related to the course activities. This tool indicates (a) the content of the course (b) the sequence of topics (c) the intended learning activity and (d) the suggested study time. It can also be used to audit particular aspects of a course design, including assessment, correspondence with learning objectives or alignment amongst the various aspects of the design.
In addition to these self-created representations, there are a few newer tools which can assist with the visualisation and development of instructional/learning processes. These packages vary in complexity, but most require some time to master. Also, most of these blur the lines between ‘design’ and ‘development’, by using templates or particular structures to help you short-cut some of the design work. Rather than focus on the particulars of using these tools in this module, the links to a couple of these resources are included below for you to browse on your own time.
Free tools Compendium LD: LAMS: (this is a new )product, I haven’t used it myself yet, may not be ready, user beware - this is an authoring tool more than a design tool, but it is a NZ product that has won some award. I used it to make this course
An overview of other (sometimes costly) authoring tools:
Developing Instructional Events and Learning Tasks An overall learning process is usually broken down into a series of learning tasks or instructional events which develop the desired knowledge and skills in learners and build cumulatively to produce the desired outcomes.
A traditional view of instructional sequences which is informed by behavioural and cognitive psychology includes a set of events which are meant to trigger learning. These events are: • Gaining attention • Informing the learning of the objective • Stimulating recall of prerequisite knowledge • Presenting stimulus material • Providing learning guidance or scaffolding • Eliciting performance • Providing feedback on the performance • Assessing the performance • Enhancing retention and transfer (Gagne et al, 1992) It is anticipated that this sequence of events aids learners with a related sequence of cognitive process from reception of information, short term memory, semantic encoding, long term memory, activating a response mechanism, recall, reinforcement and retrieval.
Supporting the learning process Once the process is conceptualised and, as designers, you have begun to consider what learners will be doing at each phase of the process and within each task, it is necessary to put consider how the learning process will be supported. This section is organised according to some key questions that you’ll need to address.
What are we asking learners to do? It is useful to return to this question at every stage of the design process as we consider elaborating the broad instructional strategy into a set of increasingly specific tasks which support the learning process. This question must be answered at a general level in terms of the whole process, for units of study within the whole process, at the level of individual learning tasks and even for sub-tasks which constituted larger tasks.
Where will learners study/learn/work? Particularly for e-learning, learners work in a variety of settings. They get online at work, at home and on the go to access learning materials and tasks. The work both online and offline to complete tasks. They interact with one another face-to-face, online and offline to share ideas and get feedback.
How can content structures support learning? Much of traditional emphasises the careful selection and sequencing of content to reduce cognitive load on learners and promote productive learning activity. However, in more contemporary learning design, content is often generated by the learners themselves as they take in information, process it and produce artefacts which embody acquired knowledge or understanding. Consider content structures broadly in your designs.
What structures support learning activity? Roles, Rules and Tools Following ideas from Activity Theory, consider learning environments as activity systems. The roles participants take one, the rules they use to structure their work and the tools they use to assist with productivity are all important to supporting activity (in this case learning activity)
What roles will the participants play? Consider learners, teachers, support staff, subject matter experts and others who may be actively involved in learning or supporting the learning process.
What rules guide and structure learning activity? Consider ‘rules’ broadly: processes, procedures, protocols, guidelines, norms for behaviour and criteria statements are all forms of rules which promote productive activity, help learners choose what to spend their time on and avoid common pitfalls.
What tools are available to help learners stay productive? Tools take a variety of forms. Organisers, templates, diagrams, heuristics, concept maps and other tools can be very beneficial for learners who are novices in particular subject areas.
Development and Implementation: Bringing the process to life Once there is sketch of the design and particular commitments to pedagogy, the learning environment, a learning process, learning tasks and learner support are made, then it is time to formalise these commitments through the development of a set of materials which embody the learning process.
This phase of the process is highly practical and many of the issues that arise are related to specific learning activity in context. Dick, Carey and Carey highlight key issues: (a) the delivery system (b) media selection (c) access and availability issues (c) practical production issues such as cost in either time or money (d) the roles of participants, especially the teacher/facilitator and (e) scalability issues. Have a closer look at Dick, Carey and Carey (1999) for an overview of this area.
We will revisit this topic in more detail in Module 2 when we look at technologies and Module 3 when we consider the particulars of ID for e-learning. Reading Task 1.X: Dick, Carey and Carey (1999) Task: Read Dick, Carey and Carey (1999), the second reading in your study materials.
Your role: Critical reader, reflective learner
Pre-reading questions:
Suggested Procedure 1. Consider the pre-reading questions briefly. As you read Steeples et al, look out for the answers to those questions. Can you answer them all? (STOP) 2. After reading, skim the article again to identify new/unfamiliar terms and any definitions (even if they are tentative). Add these terms to the course Glossary called ‘ID terms’. (STOP) 3. After reading, reflect on the these issues: Where can we locate ‘networked learning’ in terms of our associationist/cognitivist/situated views of learning? What are the implications of that for the applications of these ideas? Do they work in all/many/most contexts? What are the implications of the framework identified above (also 193 in your reading book) on ID? Notes: There is much to be teased out of this reading. We will revisit it later in the course, so don’t worry if some of it is unclear at this stage. Outcomes Conceptualisation of links between learning theory and pedagogy, between pegagogy and learner activity and a broad view of the design framework.
The back end: Evaluating effectiveness, continuous improvement Evaluation is probably the most often overlooked part of the ID process. Many institutions do not budget time or other resources for a robust evaluation and some ID models do not include it. However, evaluation is an important step in terms of ensuring the ongoing improvement of education programme. The results of evaluations inform ongoing development and provide key information at the process returns to the design and development phases for ongoing improvement.
Evaluation of ID draws from wider notions of educational evaluation. Evaluation may be formative, in the case that it is used to inform development early in the life of a programme, or summative, in the case that it is used on a whole programme after the programme is ‘stable’ and has been running for some time. Evaluation can be conducted formally in the case of field trails, testing and surveys, but it is also common for it to be conducted informally with feedback gathered from student or teachers during or after their participation in the course.
Scriven (1974) identifies a set of ‘assessments of worth’ which are relevant when considering the evaluation of ID:
1. Need: Establishing that the proposed programme (or process) will contribute to overall quality or improvement of a system 2. Market: How will the programme be used and by whom? 3. Performance in field trials: Does the programme work under normal operating conditions? 4. Consumer performance: Is the programme appropriate for the intended audience? Will it be used by them? 5. Performance – Comparison: How does the programme compare with similar/competing programmes? 6. Performance – Long term: How does the programme perform over time? 7. Performance – Side effects: Are their unintended side effects of the programme? Are they beneficial, harmful or neutral? 8. Performance – Process: Does the (actual) process produce the (intended) product? 9. Performance –Causation: Is it the process that is responsible for the product? Or it is something else? 10. Performance – Statistical significance: What is the effect of the programme in statistical terms? 11. Performance – Educational significance: Considering the items above, what is the net significance to learners in the programme? 12. Costs and cost effectiveness: What are the cost of the programme in terms of (a) money, (b) time, (c) person power and (d) other resources? How does this cost compare to other (competing) programmes? 13. Extended Support: How is the programme monitored and updated?
As you might expect there are a number of ways to approach these questions and a number of tools to assist with evaluation. We will not deal with evaluation in depth as this is an area of specialisation in its own right, but a few resources are included here:
Basic questions:
A useful mindmap of evaluation processes:
The Don Clark site has an extensive page on evaluation for training:
Tools for evaluation in general:
Summary and Conclusion Module One We’ve packed quite a lot into this module. As a reminder, here are the intended outcomes for Module One: At the conclusion of Module One, you should be able to: • Demonstrate understanding of the back ground of instructional design, including basic ID models • Apply broad ID frameworks to instructional design tasks in context • Describe the relationships between historical views on ID and more contemporary notions of learning design • Use the internet to find authoritative supporting material on instructional design and learning design • Identify broad categories of learning theory and link learning theory to design practice
At the outset, we consider a definition for instructional design and the issue of comparing instructional design with learning design. We will return to these ideas in the latter half of the course.
This module conceptualises ID in three broad phases, each of which includes a number of sub-phases: The Front End Analysis Needs assessment Instructional analysis Task Analysis Information processing analysis Development of learning objectives Consideration of assessment The Design/Development Phase Development of an instructional strategy Views of learning Pedagogy Supportive structures for learning Design considerations Conceptualising the learning process Developing instructional events Supporting the learning process Development Evaluation
In particular, there has been quite a lot of reading in Module one. As Module two is much more ‘hands on’, you may wish to continue to refer to the Module one content form time to time as we being to link the ‘theory’ of ID with practical aspects of design, development and implementation.
Dalziel Presentation for CoCo