Skip to main content

And we’re back after the Bank Holiday Weekend! How was it for you?

Mine was very house-centric. We moved into a newly-built house just under 1 year ago and are still decorating and putting it together! This weekend saw us locate a sofa & fireplace (thank you Gumtree) as well as a new mattress (not Gumtree – there are limits).

Let's Get Into the EdTech!

I find myself back in the throws of course design and so it makes sense to put out some of what I’m researching so that anyone who is interested can find it and read it! At the minute, I am designing a Level 5 course on Digital Teaching for teachers. I am primarily doing this inhouse, but I might put it out there to see if anyone is interested!?

The first part of the course is going to be focused on pedagogy. I am a firm believer and advocate that educational technology can only be useful in class teaching when we understand what we are doing; when we know how the technology can enhance what is being taught and that there is an enhancement in learning for the learner.

Simply put, instructional design is the process used to create instructional materials. However, this area goes beyond simply creating teaching materials, it also considers how students learn and what materials and methods will most effectively help individuals achieve their academic goals. The principles of instructional design consider how educational tools should be designed, created and delivered to any group of learners, from school pupils to adult employees across all industry sectors.

Instructional Design theory is theory that gives explicit direction on how we can better help people to learn and develop. This kind of learning and development will include cognitive, emotional, social, physical and spiritual learning. There are two major aspects of any instructional situation: the conditions under which the instruction will take place and the desired outcomes of those instructions.

Instructional design incorporates known and verified learning strategies into instructional experiences which make the acquisition of knowledge and skill more efficient, effective, and appealing. It is intentional teaching with a specific focus on how to make learning easier.
Instructional Design (ID) is the art and science of creating an instructional environment and materials that will bring the learner from the state of not being able to accomplish certain tasks to the state of being able to accomplish those tasks. ID is based on theoretical and practical research in the areas of cognition, educational psychology, and problem solving.

Sara McNeil defines the Instructional Design as a:
Process: ID is the systematic development of instructional specifications using learning and instructional theory to ensure a high quality level 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 will include development of instructional materials and activities; and try out and evaluation of all instruction and learner activities.

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.

Science: Instructional Design is the science of creating detailed specifications for the development, implementation, evaluation, and maintenance of situations that facilitate the learning of both large and small units of subject matter at all levels of complexity.

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 she or he 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.

The systematic process of translating a plan of instruction into a set of activities, materials, information and/or assessment procedures.
A systematic process that is employed to develop education and training programs in a consistent and reliable fashion.
The term instructional design refers to the systematic and reflective process of translating the principles of learning and instruction into plans for instructional materials, activities, information resources, and evaluation.
The instructional design process incorporates the theoretical considerations presented above into a practice-based framework that bridges the gaps between learner needs, learning objectives, delivery of instruction, and evaluation.
(A) systematic process, based on educational theories, on the development of instructional strategies, and specifications to promote quality learning experience.
The development of instruction for specified goals and objectives in which (1) the organized sequential selection of components is made on the basis of information, data, and theoretical principles at every stage and (2) the product is tested in real-world situations both during development and at the end of the development process.

Instructional Design is a system of procedures for developing education and training curricula in a consistent and reliable fashion.

Instructional Design is a complex process that is creative, active and iterative.


instructional design stages

ADDIE is an acronym for Analyse, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate. The ADDIE model is one of the best-known models for instructional design. Instructional design is the process of designing, developing, and delivering learning content.

The best advantage of the ADDIE model is that it provides us with a structured framework that will help to ensure that we create an effective learning product. This learning product can be online or offline, a coaching session, a lecture, an information brochure, or any other product aimed at transferring knowledge from a subject matter expert to any number of people.

Using the ADDIE model has other advantages. The model helps to identify the learning need in a structured way. Secondly, it ensures that all learning activities serve that goal. In other words, it gives us an integrated approach to learning. Thirdly, it helps us to determine learning effectiveness because the relevant job behaviours and their required knowledge and skills are clearly defined in the ADDIE framework. This helps in measuring learning effectiveness.


  • Identify the problem
  • Identify the top-level learning goal
  • Identify stakeholder needs
  • Training needs analysis
  • Idenitfy target audience
  • Map required resources


  • Learning objectives
  • Alignment with stakeholders
  • Mapping of evaluation methods
  • Create a learning intervention outline
  • Develop a communication strategy
  • High-level mapping of learning intervention


  • Determine the instructional strategies, media and methods
  • Development and evaluation of assessment & tooling
  • Development of a communication strategy
  • Deployment of a learning technology
  • Production of the learning product
  • Determine the delivery method
  • Quality evaluation


  • Implementation of communication plan
  • Changes in the physical environment
  • Training delivery & participation
  • Execution of formal evaluation
  • Participation in side-programmes


  • Evaluation
  • Continuous learning
  • Integral part of each step
  • Evaluation of the business case
  • Propose points of improvement

Characteristics of Instructional Design Models

According to Branch and Merrill (2002),  there are several characteristics that should be present in all instructional design models:

  1. Instructional design is learner-centered: the learner and their performance are the focal points.
  2. Instructional design is goal-oriented: Well-defined goals are crucial for success.
  3. Instructional design focuses on real-world performance. Help learners master the behaviours that will be expected of them in the real world.
  4. Instructional design focuses on outcomes that can be measured in a reliable and valid way. Creating valid and reliable measurement instruments is essential.
  5. Instructional design is empirical. Data is the heart of the process.
  6. Instructional design typically is a team effort. This process usually involves collaboration and teamwork.


Instructional Design is and has been a very useful tool for me. It isn’t a new tool on the educational landscape, but as a learning model, it helps to bring clarity to what the learner needs to do in order to achieve; helps clarify what the learner needs to learn; and then lastly, clarifies the content that needs to be taught.

I’m looking forward to using it again to design the Digital Teaching course and will report back on how it progresses! If you’re interested in completing the online Certificate in Digital Teaching, then reach out and I’ll get it set up for you!

In my next post I’m going to go through the process step-by-step to show how the ADDIE model can be used to analyse the problem; design the course pathway; development of the content; implementation and delivery of the course; and finally the evaluation (leading to improvement) of the course (for/by both learner and teacher).


Have you used/do you use instructional design? Share your experience in the comments!

It's Your Turn.

Sign up to the monthly EdTechist Newsletter. No spam. All ham.

Sign me up!

Discover more from EdTechist

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Discover more from EdTechist

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading