Purposes of the Instructional Design Process<br />The purpose of Instructional Design (ID) is to organize a discreet body ...
Precise Instructional Design Guide
Precise Instructional Design Guide
Precise Instructional Design Guide
Precise Instructional Design Guide
Precise Instructional Design Guide
Precise Instructional Design Guide
Precise Instructional Design Guide
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Precise Instructional Design Guide

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Instructional Design guide developed by Content Rules on behalf of its client Precise

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Precise Instructional Design Guide

  1. 1. Purposes of the Instructional Design Process<br />The purpose of Instructional Design (ID) is to organize a discreet body of information so that it is easily assimilated and retained by a student audience. For any topic, a Subject Matter Expert (SME) may hold a vast quantity of information. Transferring that information to another person(s) is best executed when done in a well ordered fashion that follows proven best practices. <br />Instructional Design Best Practices are simple. Once the purposes of applying ID are understood, then following best practices is easy. As a course is assembled the designer should constantly ask themselves whether what they are doing aligns with at least one if not all of the following purposes.<br />The Three Instructional Design Purposes<br />To identify the outcomes of the instruction<br />This means to create a list of what a participant should be able to accomplish and what knowledge they should have after completing the course. A course about how to tie shoes would have the desired outcome of a student being able to tie shoes. Being able to recite the history of shoemaking would NOT be a likely or desired outcome of the course. Typically in ID for a corporate audience it is more important to identify what a student should be able to DO rather than what they should KNOW upon completing the course. So in the case of the course that teaches shoe tying, the ability to tie is the most important outcome.<br />To guide the developing of the instructional content (scope and sequence)<br />Unless it is organized, information by itself can be chaotic. Instructional design helps organize information that will support the desired course outcomes. Following ID principals will help you organize the information logically within reasonably sized units. Well designed courses follow a framework in which information builds upon itself in a volume and at a rate that is suitable for a given topic and audience.<br />To establish how instructional effectiveness will be evaluated.<br />Clearly the purpose of an instructional course is to help a student achieve desired course outcomes. It is important to evaluate whether a course is succeeding at supporting a student’s acquisition of the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve the specified outcomes. ID best practices facilitate such evaluations. Evaluation provides valuable feedback to the course designer, instructor and student regarding whether important information is being efficiently transferred and assimilated as a result of instruction.<br />Keeping these purposes in mind as you develop a course will assist you in making decisions about how to organize and present information. While you may feel confident that you can impart knowledge “off-the-cuff,” applying Instructional Design to your presentation will assure consistency in your presentation time after time. <br />Additionally, using ID best practices to design your course will ensure that you take the time to evaluate the information that you plan to impart. This process will ensure that you decide what is important to emphasize, dispense with the unnecessary, and evaluate the effectiveness of your delivery in meeting the goals you set out to achieve.<br />                                                                                     <br />Stages of Instructional Design<br />Stage 1: Define instructional goals. <br />The first thing to do as you plan your course is to decide the goals of the whole course. A goal may be defined as a general statement of desired accomplishment. It does not specify exactly all of the components or steps or how each step will be achieved on the road to accomplishing the goal.<br />Even if you are thoroughly familiar with your subject matter and goals, going through this process will help you organize and refine your thoughts. The last thing you want is to be making these decisions in front of a class full of students.<br />Start with an overall goal. An overall goal might be something like:<br />Be able to play the game the game of checkers while following all the rules. <br />Sometimes a course might have more than one overall goal. An example might be something like:<br />Be able to install software at client locations<br />Be able to configure software to client specifications<br />Be careful to give ample thought to these goals. Do they cover the entirety of what you want the students to be able to do or know once the course is complete? If not revise them until they match the objectives you have in mind. Once you have established these goals you will use them in the course to repeatedly remind the students what you and they are setting out to accomplish. In the end you will use them to check-point your success. <br />Stage 2: Conduct an instructional analysis <br />Identify what learning steps will be involved in reaching each goal. This process includes several discreet steps as follows.<br />Task analysis: identify each step to achieving a goal and the skills needed in order to complete that step. Ask "what are all of the things the student must be able to do to achieve the goal?" Then list those things in the order that they will need to be executed. <br />Information processing analysis: identify the mental operations the learner needs to employ in performing the newly learned task. Ask: “what are all of the things the student must know to support the execution of the tasks identified in the task analysis?”<br /> <br />Stage 3: Identify entry behaviors/learner characteristics  <br />Having determined which steps the learner must take to acquire the skills needed to accomplish the goals, it is now necessary to identify the knowledge and skill level that the learner possesses already. Generally this is called an audience analysis. It is important to think about what your student audience may or may not know about your topic. Although there may be pronounced differences from learner to learner in knowledge and skill levels, as much as possible the instruction must be targeted to the level of the learners' needs. This may not always be easily estimated. To allow an instructor to be responsive to these conditions on-the-fly you may want to provide topics that can be included or discarded so that an instructor can add remedial or advanced information should they determine that the audience is in need of that level of instruction.<br /> <br />Stage 4:  Develop performance objectives. <br />At this stage, it is necessary to translate the needs and goals into objectives that are sufficiently specific to guide the instructor in teaching and the learner in learning. <br />Examine all the information that will need to be taught to obtain your instructional objectives and break that information into related parts. Identify and name an objective for each part. If your course goal is “Be able to play the game the game of checkers while following all the rules,” then your objectives might be:<br />Understand the checkers board<br />Understand the rules that govern the movement of pieces<br />Understand the rules that govern capturing pieces <br />Be able to identify the objectives of the game<br />Understand when a game is won<br />Often these objectives will become the headings for your course modules. <br />In addition, these objectives can form the blueprint for testing which you can use as a means of evaluating both the instruction and the learning that has occurred. <br />Stage 5:  Assemble instructional material. <br />Once the course goals are established and you are confident that you have identified all the objectives necessary to meet your overall goal then you can begin to assemble the discreet bits of information you will need to impart to the students. <br />Precise Courses will be developed in the Precise Instructional Design PowerPoint Template. Each Course Module will list an objective as the Module heading. Then in abbreviated bullet points under each module you will list the supporting topic information for that objective. In the <br />speaker's notes on the template you will provide a detailed version of the bullet points that the instructor can use to elaborate on the information that the bullet point summarized. <br />For instance, for the module entitled “Understand the Checkers Board” the PowerPoint bullets might be:<br />Opposing squares opposite colors<br />Game starts with pieces in 1st two rows each end<br />Light colored pieces to light colored squares<br />Dark colored pieces to dark colored squares.<br />The speaker’s notes for the first bullets might be as follows:<br />Hold up and show a checkers board.<br />Point out the design of the squares and call attention the opposing colors<br />Speaker’s Notes for the second bullet might be<br />Continue to display the board <br />Point to the first two rows and explain that opposing game pieces are placed on squares in the first two rows<br />Have two students come to the front and place the game pieces in the “game begin” position then invite the other students to gather around and examine the board<br />It may seem that speaker’s notes in this level of detail provide too much information but most instructors appreciate a strong course roadmap and experienced instructors won’t hesitate to improvise if they think the material is too simple or complex. These speaker notes are especially important to Precise to ensure consistent training occurs by partner employees with varied training expertise and skills.<br />Largely, Precise courses will consist of lecture and demonstration. However, current educational theory and research support the use of methods that make students active learners (e.g., labs, small group discussion, simulations, etc.). To whatever extent possible you should try to think of class activities that actively engage the student as a participant in the instructional process. (Note how the speaker’s notes encourage the instructor to have students assemble the game pieces on the board.) <br />One of the simplest forms of this technique involves question and answer session or open discussion facilitated by the instructor. Look for ways to include these techniques in the design of your course and specify that the instructor employ them at times that you perceive they might be successful. Of course if you are aware that lab facilities or other hands-on type instructional options are available then by all-means inject them into your course design.<br />Additionally when designing the course give strong and careful consideration to adding illustrations, photos, charts, graphs, screen shots or even audio or video files to the instructional information pages in the PowerPoint presentation. However, when doing this, make sure that they are actually illustrative of a point of instruction. Always ask yourself “does this element illustrate the point I want to make?” If not don’t use it. <br />When adding graphic elements enter specific instructions to the instructor in the speaker’ notes regarding the explanation he should provide for the graphic as well as how it illustrates a particular point of information.<br />Typically 4-6 bullets per PowerPoint page will provide a reasonable degree of information and allow for pacing that is easy for the student to assimilate. It is important not to overwhelm the page (and the student) with information. As the instructor moves through the instructional material it should be paced in such a way that the student has a bit of time to digest information. It is far better to have too few bullet points or instructional elements per slide than it is to have too many.<br />As you create the pages of the PowerPoint consider using the software’s production features like builds, animations or slide transitions to add visual interest for the student. These “production values” can go a long way toward making a bland presentation seem more professional and interesting. However, if these features are utilized, then provided detailed cues to the instructor in the speaker’s notes for their use.<br />Stage 6:  Plan and conduct formative evaluation. <br />Sometimes the plans that look so good on paper actually fail in practice. Formative evaluation, evaluation that occurs from feedback while the instruction is in progress, provides data for revising and improving the instructional materials. When possible, test instructional materials with one or a small group of students to determine how students use the materials, how much assistance they need, etc. Considering the teaching methods implemented and the course materials provided, are students learning what they should be? <br />Formative evaluations can be formal or informal. They may take the form of specific questions that the instructor asks as a module progresses. If you chose this method formulate questions and include them in the speaker’s notes advising the instructor when they should be asked and what the answers should be.<br />A more formal method for conducting these evaluations is to introduce short quiz questions into the instructional pages of the PowerPoint presentation. These questions would then be answered by all students in writing. Once completed the instructor would supply the answers to the class verbally and ask for discussion of any incorrect answers. Based on the instructor’s evaluation of the class’s success with the quiz, he would either revisit the significant instructional information or move forward to new topics. <br />If the quiz method is used then the Course Designer should provide answers to the quiz questions in the speaker’s notes.<br />Stage 7:  Plan and conduct summative evaluation. <br />Summative evaluation, evaluation that occurs at the end of the instructional effort (unit, course, etc.), provides data on the effectiveness of the instructional effort as a whole. This evaluation can determine whether the whole instructional unit enabled the learner to achieve the goals that were established at the outset. Typically this type of evaluation takes the form of a written test. <br />Add the test questions to a test page on the PowerPoint Presentation and supply the answers to in the speaker’s notes. Determine whether or not you want the instructor to collect written answers or just discuss the correct answers once the students have completed the test.<br />Assembling the Course in the Precise ID PowerPoint Template<br />The tool you will use to actually assemble your course is the Precise Instructional Design PowerPoint Template. What follows is a roadmap for that template along with instructions regarding the information that should be included in the course PowerPoint presentation. <br />Introductions, Classroom Procedures, General Information<br />Each course should begin with some general information about prerequisites: Who the instructors are, who is attending, what will happen, when it will happen, behavior expectations, and important information about the classroom environment. The Precise Instructional Design (ID) Template provides detailed guidance regarding information to include.<br />You may be tempted to skip developing this part of the course. However, it is very important that students be free of as many distractions as possible when they are engaged in the true instructional portion of a course. Consider that participating in training is far from the daily routine of most students. They may have traveled some distance to participate and are in a different building, at a different company, among different people and maybe in a a different country or time zone. Once instruction begins students need to be free from concerns about when they will eat, contact their business associates or family and even whether they are in the right training. When these issues are addressed at the beginning of instruction students are far more likely to give the pertinent training material their full attention.<br />Introducing the Course<br />The course in general should be introduced. This is where the instructor will lay out the goals for the entire course. In this area you will detail the desired outcomes for the students taking the course. These will be the goals of the course. Almost always, course goals are characterized by activities or tasks the student will be able to accomplish after having taken the course. Naming and reiterating these goals throughout the course help the instructor and the student maintain focus for the duration of the class. They need to be well defined, specific, and complete. There may be only one goal or there may be several but keep in mind <br />when preparing this section of the course that these are to be high level and that the following instruction will break them down into digestible parts that will fit together to support the goals. <br />Developing the Instructional Modules<br />Once the course goals are introduced and explained then real instruction begins. Before you move to adding the instructional material to the ID PPT template you should complete the steps in the “Stages of Instructional Design” section on the previous pages of this document. This process will have allowed you to identify the objectives that support the overall course goals and to formulate the instructional units of information that will support them. You will enter the goals and then the instructional information into the ID PowerPoint along with elaborate notes for the instructor. <br />The bullets you enter in the Instructional Information sections of a module should be short and concise. They should constitute a “note” for the student that will remind them of the more complex information imparted by the instructor. In the speaker’s notes enter detailed information for the instructor that supports the idea presented in the bullet.<br />Instructional presentations work best when there is non-text visual information that supports the instructor’s lecture. As you develop the course information look for illustrations, photos, graphs, charts and screen shots that support the lecture and add them to the PowerPoint where appropriate. You might also suggest points at which the instructor might open the class for discussion or interject questions for the class to answer. <br />Additionally, depending on your ability with PowerPoint, use the software’s various production capabilities to add interest to the presentation with animations, slide transitions or even sound and video clips. If you do add these elements make sure to add cues for the instructor in the presenter’s notes.<br />Ideally you will include no more than 4 or 5 instructional elements per slide. Duplicate the instructional information slide as many times as needed to include all the instructional elements that you have designated that support the module objectives.<br />Module Testing<br />If you determine that a test for the information imparted in the module is valuable then use the slide to introduce and/or conduct the test. <br />Keep the following in mind as you develop the test questions or exercises: the purpose of the test is to evaluate whether the student has assimilated the information necessary to achieve the Module objective(s) and ultimately the Course goal(s). While you may include background or ancillary information in the instructive material, the sole purpose of the course is to equip the student to do something that they didn’t already know how to do. Therefore testing should be directed at discovering whether the module is leading the student to achieving that goal rather than attempting to push the student to retain all of the course information.<br />Reiterate Module Objective(s) and Course Goals(s)<br />The final slide of each module should reiterate the module objective(s) and revisit how the module objective(s) support the course goal(s).<br />Enter notes for the instructor providing detailed information about what was to have been accomplished in the module. Provide any talking points that support the significance of the objectives and goals which might now be better understood. Remind the instructor to encourage questions that might allow him to evaluate the success of the module and reveal any deficiencies that should lead him to revisit any of the information from the module. <br />Remind the instructor to conclude the module with the supplied conclusion once he is confident that any remedial instruction has been successfully completed.<br />Reiteration is a training best practice that allows the student to checkpoint whether each unit of training has been successful. While it may seem repetitive to the designer, it reinforces the specific training objectives to the student and provides them with the opportunity to raise questions if they feel that they have not assimilated sufficient knowledge to meet the course and module goals and objectives.<br />Repeat Module Development as Required<br />When going through the initial design stages you should have identified the number of modules necessary to support the course goals. Duplicate the module templates as many times as necessary to accommodate your modules. Modify the template to support any variations in the instructional material<br />Summarize the Course and Reiterate Course Goals<br />Once all the modules have been completed and the instructor is satisfied that the students have acquired knowledge sufficient to meet the Course Goals(s) then he should move to a discussion that summarizes the course and reiterates the Goals. <br />Course Summative Evaluation<br />Should the Course Designer decide one is necessary then this slide should be used to introduce and/or conduct a test that evaluates the student’s ability to execute the tasks outlined as the course goal(s). Again, test questions or exercises should be designed solely to evaluate the student’s ability to meet the goals and should not be a test of general knowledge of the course topics.<br />The results of such testing should be used by the instructor and the course designer to evaluate the effectiveness of the course and to spot any deficiencies in the instruction that might need improvement prior to the next session of the course.<br />If the Course Designer chooses not to include a Summative Evaluation in the form of a test then the instructor should distribute and then collect a course evaluation form (supplied) that allows the students to anonymously provide feedback regarding their impressions of the class and instructor and whether or not the class was effective in achieving the Course Goal(s).<br />###<br />

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