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What is Instructional Design?

The main goal of instructional design (ID) or instruction system design (ISD) is to construct a learning environment  that provides learners with conditions supporting desired learning processes. Reiser and Dempsey (2007) define instructional design as a systematic process employed to develop education and training programs in a consistent and reliable fashion. The application of ID models enables the creation of authentic, well-organized, and engaging materials. The types of strategies used to development instruction include: (1) organizational strategies, (2) delivery strategies on how information is carried to the student, (3) management strategies to help the learners interact with learning activities (Gordan, 2011). 


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NOTE: Please click on Thumbnail to view the Instructional System Design Concept Map


The Applied Research Laboratory at Penn State University provides additional insight into instructional design. Instructional Design is a:

    • Process of the systematic development of instructional specifications using learning and
      instructional theory to ensure the quality of education.
    • Discipline that is a branch of knowledge concerned with research and theory about
      instructional strategies and the process for developing and implementing those
    • Science of creating detailed specifications for the development, implementation,
      evaluation, and maintenance of situation that facilitate the learning of both large
      and small units of subject matter at all levels of complexity. 
    • Reality in that it can start at any point in the design process. 
    • Instructional System that is an arrangement of resources and procedures to
      promote learning.
    • Instructional Technology that is systemic and systematic application of
      strategies and techniques derived from behavioral, cognitive, and constructivist
      theories to the solution of instructional problems (Berger & Kam, 1996).


The role of an instructional design specialist at Samford University includes such thing as: provide training for faculty and staff, conduct research and synthesize information, help create deliverables that are learner-centered, use ID/ISD models, write objectives, suggest approaches to feedback, apply theory to practice, engage in cross-disciplinary knowledge, help design instruction, suggest various instructional strategies, and basically assist faculty and staff in topics related to instruction and the learning management system. 


Please select this link to explore available instructional design tips and information.
Instructional Design Resources  







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