In my earlier post, we looked at the first step in creating a customized eLearning course -‘The Action Plan’. In this post, I will be taking you through step 2 – ’Instructional Design Process’.
Instructional Design is one of the key aspects of any eLearning course; most people think instructional design is putting information in front of learners, by breaking the information into lessons and units.
There is much more to instructional design. Ideally, instructional design sets clear goals or objectives to make sure your learner focuses on the right things. It provides context and perspective, while compressing the learning process and saving time. The main aim of instructional design is to engage learners with clear content.
All these are achievable, only when the process of instructional design is followed in the right way; let’s take a look at what an instructional design process consists of.
The first and the most crucial step in this process is analyzing the content. Once you have received the content or inputs from the client, the very first task is to go through the content and get the big picture of what the subject is all about, and check if there is is anything in the subject that needs further explanation. By doing so, you gain complete understanding of the content and will be able to identify gaps in the content that need to be addressed.
Content analysis helps in getting an overall understanding of the subject matter at hand.
The outline sets the tone and order of your course. Creating an outline can at times simultaneously take place, when you’re analyzing your content. An outline mainly lists out the contents of your course. Usually, the outline breaks your content into different sections such as course>module>lessons>units>topic. This makes it easier for both the learner and the designer to segregate learning screen by screen.
An outline is a rough draft, on the basis of which an entire course is created.
Detailed Content Outline:
Once your outline is set, the next step in the process is to create a detailed outline that describes screen to screen representation. Here, you mention the screen title and the presentation pattern would best suit the topic. This is usually done to make storyboarding easier. The detailed content outline is typically sent to the client or the SME in order give them a vague picture of how the eLearning course will look. Here is an example of what a detailed content outline looks like:
A detailed content outline aims at covering every step that will be presented in a storyboard.
Last, but definitely not the least, comes the creation of the storyboard. This is the part, where all the action comes alive and everything that has been done so far is shown in a concrete manner.
A lot goes on at the storyboarding level. Based on the outline created, a suitable instructional approach is decided upon. This is also known as the instructional strategy.
There are multiple elements that are added at this level, such as onscreen text that needs powerful writing skills to catch the learner’s attention, narrative audio that’s not too over bearing, stories and scenarios to keep the learner hooked and finally the quiz or assessment to test the learner at the end of the e-learning course. Below is an example of a storyboard that is based on the detailed content outline mentioned above:
Storyboarding helps create a visual sample of what the course will look like.
An instructional design process helps create an elearning course that is a visual treat with an impactful learning strategy that elevates the learning experience. The last and final step, that is step 3 – Creating the Course will be dealt in my next post, so keep watching this space for more.