Welcome to today’s blog post. Most of the articles, blogs and eLearning companies today portray an impression that the working domain of instructional designers is limited to eLearning. This is not true. The instructional design concept came into existence even before the invention of personal computers. E-learning or the educational technology uses the instructional design principles to enable superior understanding and enhanced learning experiences. Now that most of the training institutions have moved on to digital classrooms globally, I would like share some ideas on instructional designing for technology-enabled classroom training. These ideas will be applicable even in a traditional Instructor-led Training (ILT) program except that the supporting documents will be hard copies and not digital.
The instructional design approach for a digital classroom will vary from that of the eLearning territory. The process involves development of three key documents as shown here.
- Facilitator’s Presentation
- Facilitator Guide
- Learner Guide (Digital Handout)
In eLearning, we develop a storyboard that consists of all the elements to be used in the course such as on-screen text, narration and visualization for the course. Similarly here, we develop a presentation with the content that needs to be displayed on the screen (projector screen). The difference to note here is that unlike an eLearning storyboard, the presentation will not contain indicative images/media but the polished final ones. That is, you got to first prepare a draft storyboard and then work along with your visual designers to transform it into a fully equipped learning document. Please note thathere you need not write audio script/narration as in an eLearning storyboard. It will only include the elements that need to be shown, to the learners, on the screen.
This document is exclusive to ILTs. This is a guide we develop for the facilitator in order to conduct the session effectively. In this document, we write step by step instructions for the facilitator on the explanation to be given for each screen in the presentation. This is similar to the narration/audio script we write for an eLearning storyboard except that here you have a facilitator reading it out for the learners in a live session. Please note that along with the explanation for the on-screen content, you should also provide any additional information that would be required by the facilitator in cases that are specific to classroom training. For example, in an eLearning course, the learner will be asked questions with limited options to select, and according to his selection, an immediate feedback is displayed. But, this is not the case in a classroom training program. The possibilities to answers, given the learners, are many. Therefore, you need to provide the facilitator, the possible responses to be expected from the learners and the feedback to be given for each. This would help him deliver the learning smoothly.
Learner Guide/Digital Handout:
This is a simple document prepared to enable the learner record his learning from the sessions. In this document, you will provide any information that will help the learner better understand the training during the session. You will also provide space in the document for recording his learning (key points) for every topic. Also, any activities or tests to be performed by the learner are to be recorded in this document and at the end of the session be forwarded to the facilitator for evaluation.
With the evolution of technology, the way people learn things is changing. It is important to remember that educational technology is only a supporting medium to enhance learning experiences, but the learning theories and instructional principles stand as the foundation pillars to effective learning even today.
What are your views on this?
What are your ideas for using instructional design in digital classrooms? Please share your views in the comments section below. Thanks for reading. Happy eLearning!!