Designing Instruction means the designer applies intention to as many effective aspects of instruction as appropriate. Designing instruction means focusing on what is taught, how it is taught and why the instruction exists. Designing Instruction means less wasted time for the instructor and for the learners because there is a structure that provides the underlying framework that is necessary to create and implement effective instruction. You start with the first things first!
“It’s the analysis, stupid…”
Freud – Exploring the Unconscious Mind. (2006, August 30). Retrieved May 9, 2017, from https://www.flickr.com/photos/onefromrome/228705707
How many times does everyone just start doing something, anything, just to feel productive rather than taking a moment and defining the problem? How many instances in life is some piece of communication aimed at the wrong audience? How often are the needs of those involved, not just the guest but also the employees or the bystanders or those in the future not taken into the slightest consideration? It seems so intuitive to begin at the beginning, when the best place to begin is the end. Knowing where you want to go lets you see how to get there and having an inkling of the workings of Instructional Design makes that journey smoother and the chance of getting to the destination.
Instructional Design requires empathy on the part of the designer. They need to be able to see things from many different perspectives, not just the users but also the facilitators. One must understand the audience in order to design for it. They also need an understanding of visual design principles to create products that are appealing to look at as well as cognitive and learning theory. They must be flexible problem solvers because plans will always change due to unforeseen exigencies but the end goal mustn’t be lost. They need to be organized and focused to manage complex projects in a never ending cycle of creation, evaluation and improvement. They can never actually be satisfied because satisfaction is the enemy of innovation and excellence.
The designer is charged with creating a focused product that is attractive looking, appeals to users of diverse abilities and interests who also have different learning preferences and construct it in such a way that makes it more likely to be stored and recalled by the learner. Effective design means engaging usability for intended instructors and the learners who easily gain and retain the information being presented, assess that knowledge in a meaningful way and constantly look for ways to increase feedback and improve the process as simply as possible in as many ways as possible.