Next Gen: Instructional design

Next Gen: Instructional design

The spotlight is no more only on the ‘teacher’ or the ‘presenter’, but is on the learner too. This translates into the need for effectiveness of delivery, its capacity to keep the learner engaged and the outcome the training has on improving margins.

A skilled instructional designer (ID) should have the ability to engineer this. With a good understanding of the learning patterns of people, with  broad knowledge of the strengths and limitations of the various mediums that can be exploited, and a solid grounding in methodologies, a trained and experienced ID can deliver just what a company needs.

Instructional design is the systematic process of designing education and training courses from start to finish. Instruction may be delivered as pre-service education classes, in-service training courses, on-the-job training, computer-assisted learning or by means of distance or open learning.

The most effective training courses are not isolated events but are part of a larger training framework. To ensure that a course is designed to meet the needs of those to be trained and support the overall training framework, a process referred to as instructional design is used.

Instructional design (also known as instructional systems design or ISD) is the systematic development of instruction using adult learning and design theories and techniques. While many trainers and instructors focus on the delivery of content, instructional design is concerned with what occurs before, during and after the actual learning event. This systematic approach ensures that there is need for training, the learning events are well-designed, quality training materials are developed, learning events are implemented using appropriate strategies or approaches and learning events are evaluated.

There are numerous instructional design models used in pre-service education and in-service training. Most models contain five essential phases such as analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation. Following this process, the instructional designer incorporates the principles of adult learning and clinical training to develop highly interactive, participant-centered learning events.

Instructional design requires the development of learning material using learning theories and instructional strategies to ensure quality of design, delivery and effectiveness of learning to intended outcomes. The power of the internet has opened up ID’s potential to a large extent and the technology can now be used to develop computer-based content. Corporate training has now become a powerful tool to impact the bottom line, with improved business performance.

Graduates with good communication and analytical skills can take up this job. It is a job that pays well and has a very high growth potential as this is an emerging career option in India.

Some of the essential software tools that is required in this field are Captivate, Articulate and Flash, besides MS Word and MS Powerpoint.

(The author is Director of TechnoPoint)   

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