Instructional design approaches

Ahead of the M25 ALT workshop on instructional design in July

Figurines construct a paper house

This week we’re looking at how instructional designers go about creating online courses, particularly:

  1. Is it the same process if you’re creating professional training or academic modules?
  2. Is ‘understanding’ an acceptable learning aim? What about ‘caring’?
  3. Can you decide on learning activities in two hours or does it take two days?

 

Background only

Most instructional design models are ‘backwards’ to some extent. This means they recommend starting by describing the desired outcomes of the course, and using these to decide on appropriate assessments and learning & teaching activities. If you want more detail about this general approach, read Wiggins & McTighe’s Chapter 1 of Understanding by Design (1999) or video?

OR get started on the main reading! Suggest picking one or two of the questions below to focus on.

 

1. Is it the same process if you’re creating professional training or academic modules?

Cathy Moore’s ‘action mapping’ model for creating interactive scenarios is very popular, but she says it won’t work for academic learning. Do you agree? Or are there some situations when it would work?

 

2. Is ‘understanding’ an acceptable learning aim? What about ‘caring’?

Instructional design models often require us to translate all learning aims into observable, measurable objectives, expressed in ‘doing’ words such as Bloom’s cognitive taxonomy. This can be a challenge when academics’ core aims are for students to understand the key concepts in their field. Dee Fink’s ‘Signifant Learning’ model offers a taxonomy of learning aims that also encourages emotional aims such as caring and excitement. How possible is it to set effective objectives for understanding and caring?

It’s fine just to dip into a couple of the following links:

 

3. Can you decide on learning activities in two hours or does it take two days?

You may have heard of UCL’s ABC workshops and/or Northampton’s CAIeRO framework (based on Carpe Diem) – both aim to help academics design blended courses, but one takes 90 minutes and the other takes 2 days! Why such a big difference? Which is right?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.