Instructional design is a multi-disciple domain, involving pedagogy, training, design, systems’ knowledge, mentoring, community building, mediation, leadership, distance, on-the-job and at hand, learning, knowledge elicitation, facilitation  management and channeling, human development, creativity, out-of-the-box mental framework, tools mastering, presentation skills, to name only a few. All these (and some more) are vital and legitimate components of the Instructional Design practice.

Instructional Design as a Discipline

Instructional Design: A Discipline or a Tool?

Instructional Design from an Engineering Point of View

Instructional Design can best be viewed as an engineering approach. It tries to:

  • Assemble all the knowledge elements, activities, actions, tasks, support material, etc that can structure a specific autonomous knowledge (or skill) “unit“,
  • Craft a general strategy that would build these units in a logical and augmented way towards a certain, measurable, learning objective,
  • Produce an on the chosen strategy based, scheme that would direct someone to acquire that knowledge via certain, pre-designed learning paths and activities,
  • Pave a smooth path that would lead someone, in the best possible way (i.e. easily and, if possible, effortless), through the learning path have been chosen for the gaining of the certain (knowledge or other) objective, and
  • Evaluate the chosen course of action (and promoting the necessary corrections if, something, needs to be changed)

Where Can Instructional Design Be Used?

Its range of application in the learning development sector is vast, and its goal is to provide all the necessary resources, in order to support and sustain a learner, towards his/her training objectives (either be the acquirement of a new skill, knowledge, attitude, or something completely different !).

No one learns as much about a subject as one who is forced to teach it. ― Peter F. Drucker

To acquire someone, a certain knowledge, skill or attitude, though, is not the same as learning the specific knowledge, skill, etc.

Training is about behavior change. You cannot learn anything if you don’t have change the way you do certain things. Learning a new thing, is not like piling up new information on top of the existing ones, but rather is the small changes in behavior, ways of perceiving, doing, act, respond, pro-act, integrated throughout your whole YOU [!!!].

What Is Instructional Design?

In a learning process, Instructional Design can help in clear up the difficult edge, pave a pre-destined way and set the learning ecosystem in promoting your learning path, according to your objectives.

In this environment, Instructional Design, can:

  1. Evaluate existing knowledge
  2. Fill in the identified skill or knowledge gaps in a methodologically and pedagogical correct and acceptable way
  3. Lay out the roadmap for the acquirement of the new knowledge
  4. Smoothing the transition and the eventual “transformation”.

In this context, Instructional Design, can both be used as a discipline and as a tool for gaining new knowledge of the world surrounding us.

Do you think, that Instructional Design can support effectively someone to learn more easily certain things or not? Do you think you can use creatively Instructional Design principles, to help you in learning difficult subjects or skills? Please comment, on how you can think that Instructional Design can help you further in your personal and professional life.