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Importance of Instructional Technology

Instructional Technology is to create engaging, effective learning experiences, that cater to the needs of different individuals. It is the precise procedure of outlining, creating, assessing and dealing with the whole instructional procedure to guarantee successful and proficient learning. Below are the basic elements of Instructional Technology:

  • Analyze learner and organizational needs
  • Determine instructional goals and objectives
  • Construct a method for evaluating learner achievement
  • Design and select instructional strategies
  • Implement the training
  • Evaluate the training

In simpler words, it is the method or style of delivering information to a student or audience. To determine the effectiveness of the delivery process, the delivery technique and audience are closely monitored. This feedback data then gives the course designers a way to measure the effectiveness of the process and a chance to improve upon it.

However, is instructional technology necessary? With the abundance of information available on the internet, anyone can learn just about anything on their own terms and customize learning according to their needs. Even as a course designer, you can use the endless repository of information to churn out any number of courses. Some people even consider instructional design models to be inflexible and outdated. But the truth is that, instructional design technology is very crucial in delivering a good learning experience. Even though we have access to unlimited content, instructional design gives it a much needed direction and purpose. It guides the learners to achieve learning objectives and frames the entire learning experience for effective utilization of those learning objectives.

Listed below are some of the key steps on which the instructional design technology is based:

Understanding User Requirements

Integral to the design process is analyzing the learners, learning contexts and the purpose for the instruction. In order to gain an overview of the learners’ skill level, cultural background, attitudes and motivations for learning, it is mandatory to do the learners’ analysis. Another consideration is how learners access content and instruction, for e.g., what is the medium to be used for learning. In the final step of instructional analysis, identifying the learning objectives and the purpose of the instruction like credit, certificate or personal interest, etc., are to be done.

Creating Strategies and Content

This is the most time-consuming phase, wherein goals for the course are identified and communicated. These can be specific or general, depending on results from the analysis. This phase includes identifying and selecting content sources on the web or developing new content, as well as developing an instructional strategy. Another major phase in instructional strategy is – selecting delivery methods or platforms for interaction, developing instructional materials, selecting the applications and methods to support group collaborations, selecting or developing tools or methods for learner assessments and course evaluation.

A critical activity in this phase is developing thorough and detailed instructions for learners, while also providing a user-friendly platform, with content and information that are presented in a logical and instinctive format.

Forming Evaluation and Feedback Methods

In this phase, the course is put into practice with learners. Gathering feedback from learners is critical to revising and updating the initial design of the course. Conducting formative and summative evaluation is necessary to modify the course’s interface, materials, content and instruction, to better meet the needs of learners. Though revisions and updating to online courses is an ongoing process, learning and teaching are dynamic, always changing and evolving.

With the rise of the millennial-generation in workforce, learning methods are changing drastically. Super-fast internet and the ever-changing technological landscape have created new trends in instructional technology. The increase in the prominence of mobile learning has urged developers to adapt to new strategies suitable for the smaller screen sizes. Instructional designers are getting more creative and adapting more gaming elements in the learning process. Instructional technologies are increasingly taking the storytelling approach to make learning more engaging. As our ways to grasp and retain information changes, instructional technologies are becoming more and more sophisticated too.

Instructional Design Strategies to Design Engaging eLearning Courses