Instructional Design | Definitions and Principles
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Section 1 – My Definition of Instructional Design
According to the Internet Wikipedia, “Instructional Design, also called Instructional Systems Design is the practice of maximizing the effectiveness, efficiency and appeal of instruction and other learning experiences.” The course of action to be undertaken is made up in a broad sense of deciding the state in which the learner is in as we see it, stating the end purpose of the teaching, and cause the existence of some light at the end of the tunnel so as to make the transition smooth.
Andragogical and pedagogical theories of learning inform the instructional design process which may transpire in three settings; teacher-led, community-based and student-only. Instructional design may be measured scientifically, observable directly or hidden completely and assumed. As much as there may be so many models of Instruction design, most of them are based on the ADDIE model in which the different phases are analyzed; design phase, development phase, implementation phase and evaluation phase.
Training is everything. The peach was once a biter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education (Mayer et al, 1996). In addition, Nadler (1984) postulates that training is defined as learning that is provided in order to improve performance on the present job. “Instructional Design is the systematic process of translating general principles of learning and instruction into plans for instructional materials and learning” (Alessi & Trollip, 1991).
Most authors have looked at Instructional Design as a Discipline, a Science, and a Process and also as a Reality. “Instructional Design is the systematic development of instructional specifications using learning and instructional theory to ensure the quality of instruction. It is the entire process of analysis of learning needs and goals and the development of a delivery system to meet those needs. It includes development of instructional materials and activities; and tryout and evaluation of all instruction and learner activities” (Gentry, 1994).
Instruction Design can also be explained as a Discipline. “Instructional Design is that branch of knowledge concerned with research and theory about instructional strategies and the process for developing and implementing those strategies” (Anglin, 1991). It can also be explained as reality. “Instructional Design can start at any point in the design process. Often a glimmer of an idea is developed to give the core of an instruction situation. By the time the entire process is done the designer looks back and her or him checks to see that all parts of the “science” have been taken into account. Then the entire process is written up as if it occurred in a systematic fashion” (Venezky, R. & Osin, L., 1991).
Instructional design is the systematic development of instruction by using learning and instructional research and theories, as well as established best practices, to ensure the quality of classroom/course materials (Learner, 1986). The entire process of analysis of what a group of learner's needs, objective identification and development of learning objects constitutes instructional design. Instructional design cannot come to a standstill at some point then pick up again. It is an ongoing process. When instruction comes to a completion, there is evaluation and after this the instruction design starts all over again.
From the many authors, I can say instruction design is a process in which instruction is followed up to its completion and also the means and ways the same could be achieved. In education, instruction is part and parcel of the system. It is therefore important that means to follow instructions by students is looked into. Research and observations has it that most students do not fail because there is anything wrong with them but they fail because everything is right with them but cannot follow instructions!
Section2 – The principles of Instructional Design
Before looking at the key principles of Instructional design, we need to list the most important of the principles and elements of the instruction design. They include; objectives, evaluation, the learner and methods. We are going to look at the most important elements of the four principles of instruction design and see how they fit in the instruction design models that exist.
Under the elements of the instruction, for one to develop a good instruction design then we need to identify the people the instruction is being developed for. This gives us a starting point. It becomes clear immediately when we have the target audience. In this way, we can profile the targeted audience and out of the profiling, we may get a rough idea of how to design the instruction.
It is also important to come up with a list of things that the people for whom the instruction is being developed for should be able to accomplish after going through the instruction. This also adds some meat to the skeleton of the design of the instruction we have from the profiling we did above after identifying the people the instruction is being designed for. This is like starting from the end in order to design the instruction.
Once we have an idea of what a learner should have achieved by the end of the instruction then we can come up with the best ways in which to achieve the same for the learner. Some of the things we need to think about are the teaching methods or learning methods that could be employed so as to have the objectives achieved in the best way possible (Mayer, 2001). Activities to be included in the design and resources to be used are also very important factors that we should also look into. The way to look at them is to have an established plan of how to use the resources and the activities in order to achieve the objectives of the instruction design.
Another element that needs to be looked at is a way of knowing whether the learner has been able to do the things the learner should be able to do once the instruction is complete. This is some kind of the examination of the design of the instruction. One wise man once said that an unexamined life is a wasted life. Examination in whatever we do is very crucial and so it is also very important in the design of an instruction (Newby et al., 1996). It is the examination that reveals whether something is working or not. It is also good for us to put measures in place so as to determine whether the design of the instruction has made the learner learn something.
Evaluation of the learning characteristics, objectives of the instruction and the methods of instruction needs to happen before taking on the actual instruction design.
Learner characteristics are one of the factors to put into consideration before designing an instruction. It is very important to run a background check on the level of exposure the learner has on the topic, the grades of the learner and also how the learner has been performing academically in the past not necessary in the instruction topic but in general. The social characteristics o rather personal characteristics have to be looked at. The learners work experience, age, the relation of the content of the instruction to the leaner's life and the attitude as well. It is also good to put non-conventional learners into consideration. These may include the learners who have disabilities, learners from different cultures and also primary language learners. The style of the learner is also put into consideration. This means looking at the conditions the learner has to be in when learning. Lastly, we all know that when one is motivated, the motivation quickly serves as an ingredient for success (Sweller, 1988). The motivation of a leaner is also a point to look at. Some of the pointers are the student's grade, a person's credit, the self improvement of a person, the salary one earns and also the advancement of one's status.
Section 3- Models of Instructional Design
The ADDIE model is the most common of all models. The acronym ADDIE stands for five words which make up the five phases of the ADDIE model. The “A” stands for analyze. The analysis is of things like the characteristics of the learner, the tasks that the learner should learn. The “D” stands for design where the learning objectives are developed and also an approach that is instructional in nature is chosen in this phase. The second “D” stands for develop where the training or the instructional materials are brought to existence. The “I” stands for a big word and the word is the “I” stands for is implement. Implementation in a nutshell involves the distribution of the materials containing the instructions. Lastly, the “E” stands for evaluate. In the evaluation phase, checking of how the materials distributed in the implementation phase affected the learner takes place (Saettler, 1990). It is in this phase that we are able to know whether the goals for designing the instruction were achieved. Most models of instruction design have been modified from the ADDIE model.
Rapid prototyping is a model that was adopted from the ADDIE model. It is considered a simpler version of the ADDIE model b y many instruction designers. The heart of Instruction design is the analysis phase. This phase comes first. It is the doorway to the other four phases of instruction design (Seels & Glasgow, 1990). It is after the analysis stage that we are in a position to choose the instruction design model that is most suited for the design of the instruction. This is because it is only after understanding exactly what we are dealing with is one able to pick the right bus to take him or her to the right destination.
Analysis should be done thoroughly. Most instruction designers do not do a thorough job when it comes to analysis. The result of this is pretty much obvious. This is synonymous to expecting a very strong house to be sustained by a very weak foundation (Smith & Ragan, 1993). The analysis is the foundation of the house called instructional design. It is therefore encouraged that at the analysis stage, a lot of time and keenness should be put into the analysis so as to gather as much information as possible.
The Dick and Carey Systems Approach Model
In the book entitled The Systematic Design of Instruction, which was published in 1978, Walter Dick and Lou Carey came up with The Dick and Carey Systems Approach Model. In this model, the instruction is not viewed as a breakdown of parts isolated but as a system. Its main focus is on the interrelationship between content, instruction, context and learning. “Components such as the instructor, learners, materials, instructional activities, delivery system, and learning and performance environments interact with each other and work together to bring about desired student learning outcomes” (Clark et al, 2006). The components to this model include instructional goal identification, instructional analysis conduction, learners and contexts analyzing, writing of performance objectives, developing of assessment instruments, developing of instructional strategy, developing and selecting of instructional materials, designing and conducting formative evaluation of instruction, revision of instruction and lastly, designing and conducting of summative evaluation. In the Dick and Carey Systems Approach Model, the execution of components is done in an iterative, parallel manner and not in a linear manner as in the Rapid prototyping. Apart from the above mentioned models, there exists the Instructional Development Learning System (IDLS), the Smith/Ragan Model and the Morrison/Ross/Kemp Model.
Section 4- Relationships Between the Principles and the Models
In this section we are going to look at the way the models have applied the key principles of instruction design. As we had seen in section two, the key principles of instruction design include; objective, evaluation, the learner and methods. Our goal in this section is to see how the models of instruction design have taken the principles of instruction design and blended than in the models of instruction design.
We had also seen that the ADDIE model was broken down into five phases and these were analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation phase. At the analysis, all the blind spots to the problem are removed and this is where the goals and objectives are established. It is at this stage that the identification of the skills the learner needs is identified and the learning environment determined.
The analysis stage in the ADDIE model goes hand in hand with the principle of objectivity. This shows that the ADDIE instruction model has used one of the principles of objectivity as per the analysis above. At the design level, the objectives determines in the analysis level are learnt. At the design phase, the instruments to be used to asses are determined, the content of the exercises to be done are also determined. Planning of the lessons as well as the selection of media is done here. This is consistent with the principle of methods. Under the methods principle, all the items looked at are more or less similar to the ones put into consideration under the design phase in the ADDIE model.
Under the evaluation phase in the ADDIE model, there exist two sides to the coin; summative and formative. Formative has been there in each and every phase in the ADDIE model. However, Summative evaluation is specific to an identified area of problem from the learners. Under the lists of principles used in the design of an instruction, there is the principle of evaluation. This goes to show that the ADDIE is consistent with the key principles of Instructional design.
If we were to look at Rapid prototyping, we can say that it is also consistent with the principles of instructional design. We can say this because it is a simpler version of the ADDIE model meaning it is very similar to the ADDIE model and since the ADDIE is compliant with the principles of Instructional design, Rapid prototyping also is consistent with the key principles of instructional design.
So far, we have looked at ADDIE model and also Rapid prototyping in relation to the key principles of instruction design. The Dick and Carey Systems Approach Model is seen to have quite a number of components of which we are going to look at each and every component to see of it is consistent with the key principles of instruction design or not (Paas et al., 2004). This is the model that looks at instruction as a system and not a sum of isolated parts.
The identification of a goal is consistent with the objectives principle. The conducting of the analysis of the instruction is rather on its own there. There seems to be no principle in tandem with the analysis of the instruction. The principle of objectivity is in line with the analysis of learners and contexts. Writing of performance objectives can be put under the objective principle. The developing of the instruments to be used in the assessment can fit quite well under the methods principle (Clark & Mayer, 2002 Cooper & Sweller, 1987). The development of the instructional strategy to be used when distributing the instructions can be out under methods. The evaluation of the instruction, revision of the instruction and the summative evaluation will all fall under the evaluation principle. We can safely say therefore that all the components of the Dick and Carey Systems Approach model all follow the principles of the key principles of the design of instruction. Most models adhere to the simple key principles of instruction design.
Section 5-My Lesson Plan
Subject Matter and Grade Level
The subject matter I choose for my lesson plan is geometry for the 6th graders. The reason behind this choice is firstly because when I was in the 6th grade, geometry was not a smooth ride but when I moved to higher grades, I felt so stupid for not being able to understand the simple geometry the teacher always taught. I would tail the class in geometry and this was not a good feeling as it interfered with my ability to grasp other subjects confidently.
I can easily identify with kids whom their teachers would clearly, loudly and publically say that they have given up on them. This is because they never get above a certain grade in some subjects. This is what my teacher used to say and I would feel so inadequate. I have narrowed down to geometry because most kids at this stage feel that geometry or anything mathematical such as college algebra is hard and is beyond their capabilities (Chandler & Sweller, 1991). The truth is with the principles and models of instructional design, there is nothing that cannot be learnt!
The lesson I want to design is the simple formula on how to get the circumference of a circle. This was also an area I used to be confused at. Firstly, the confusion came when choosing the figure to put as diameter and the figure to put as radius. There may be students who have no problem with this but my target is the students who have time and time again gotten this geometric question wrong.
The model I choose to work it is the Dick and Carey Systems Approach Model. I chose this model because I want to have a system approach to the instruction and not as a sum of little instruction bits and pieces. The goal of the instruction is to prompt the learner to give the circumference of a circle whether operating from the radius or the diameter. The instruction can either be wordy or delivered using the mathematical language.
The sixth graders analyzed cannot tell the difference between the radius and the diameter and this may be the reason as to why the question is failed so many times. The performance objectives are to see a bigger percentage of the sixth graders getting questions related to the circumference of a circle correct. In school, every single mark is important just the same way as in life, every small thing done to enhance your life counts. The assessment instrument to be used is a geometry test. The strategy in getting the objectives met is to make the learning process as interesting as possible. For example, instead of drawing boring shapes using chalk on the board, we use colorful shapes and abstract shapes so as to make learning less formal for the students to relate with the interesting shapes (Kemp et al., 1996). These will be the interesting instructing materials. The formative way of checking if the instruction did work is by looking at the marks to the geometry test. If the grades are higher than what they were then the instruction design process was a success.
The model is consistent with my theory of learning because of the components. B following the components of the Dick and Carey Systems Approach Model, I already could feel how easy the learning process has been broken down. This is exactly what I believe learning is all about. It is about taking the “complex” stuff and simplifying it further into step by step basic components which can easily be digested by the learners whom you have already profiled. The model also allows for evaluation (Mayer, 1997). Whenever there is learning, the learnt information has to be examined for the instructor to know whether their way of instruction design helps or not.
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