Instructional Design

Practice of creating “instructional experiences which make the acquisition of knowledge and skill more efficient, effective, and appealing” -from Reclaiming Instructional Design (Merrill et. al.)

What does modern instructional design look like? How does a teacher facilitate an optimal learning environment for all students in their class? How can a teacher design a skills-based learning environment that both challenges and supports?  To begin with, it is important to understand, there is no one way to accomplish curricular goals. Each instructor brings a different set of talents, pedagogical strategies, and outlooks to the endeavor.  However, with a few key axioms, one can work from an instructional playbook that ensures creating a successful learning environment.

  1. Positive and safe place where learning can occur
  2. Active participant environment (hands-on and fun)
  3. Objectives clearly defined
  4. Sound strategies employed
  5. Enrichment activities that promote deeper understanding
  6. Modeling and practice of skillful behavior
  7. Assessment and feedback
  8. Portfolios that showcase learned skills
More and more, course development relies on the ever-changing formats of the LMS.

For adult instruction and professional development, a more practical approach to planning instruction is the ADDIE model, which includes the stages of : analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation.  Each of these elements exists in the secondary classroom as well.  Unlike the days of old, the teacher planner is now the Learning Management System (LMS).  The LMS has completely transformed the teacher’s workflow allowing more freedom, flexibility, and the ability to cull more resources in a smaller window of time.

Using a database, the modern LMS offers instructors a variety of ways to present content to participants, to assess their progress and understanding of the content, to communicate both synchronously and asynchronously, and more. With dynamic calendars that share information with social media and online calendars, the LMS offers a suite of tools that is a one-stop-shop for the twenty-first century instructor.