The Future of Instructional Design

The Future of Instructional Design

Home Forums Survey of Instructional Design (ID) Models seminar The Future of Instructional Design

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  • Nicola


    Thank you to Tonia and Rob for a deeply philosophical and thought-provoking online seminar – I really enjoyed it!
    Just a recap of the objectives:

    (1) Distinguish between the process of instructional design and specific models
    (2) Describe the different ways in which instruction is systematically designed
    (3) Identify other philosophical approaches to designing instruction; cyclical, layered, etc.Visualize the processes commonly used to design instruction
    (4) Discuss future implications for instructional design

    Let’s continue discussing some of these points, especially the fourth which is future implications.

    During the seminar we spoke quite a bit about language and perceptions around things like ‘instructional design’ and ‘learning design’. What is common to both is the word ‘design’. Lecturers I work with often don’t consider themselves to be designers. So to enable this shift, I have to get them to recognise their agency. I think the future depends on whether we recognise ourselves among others in the field, agreeing on particular principles like the importance of context etc. which surfaced surfaced during the seminar. Did you find yourself agreeing to some of these and which really connected with you?

    After my PhD I did a Higher Education Studies diploma. ‘Instruction’ as a word is looked down upon as having a particular history, where people thought about teaching and learning in ways very different to now (transmissive, didactic). But even today, not everyone is thinking in learner-centred ways about learning and teaching (social constructivist and constructivist or even connectivist). I was taught (both through by studies and what I was perceiving as being ‘in fashion’ among other scholars on Twitter etc) to dislike ‘instruction’ and to talk about things like ‘learning design’ instead. But after today I understand that ‘instruction’ is part of the root of the field and has probably been unfairly demonised as a term. Gagne and Merrill are still gurus and there’s much we can learn from their ideas such as events of instruction, dynamic support, etc. Please share your thoughts:)



    What struck me during the webinar was the repeated references by Rob in particular to the difference between good and bad ID. This could imply that the differences between ID models and the range of ways that they are applied are not only contextual but could also result from ideological choices relating to the perceived knowledge differentials and power dynamics between educators and students as well as between students.

    I’m curious about what happens to ID
    – as the scope of intentional learning expands to include unintentional learning driven by students
    – in peer learning contexts
    – in the MOOC space where a very low percentage of students are expected to finish a course



    How can we improve on ID to have better completion numbers for MOOCs?

    Alas, I missed the live seminar.

    My sense about instructional and learning design is based on the premise that its important to design for both process and content. That is, we should create learning opportunities that allow students to acquire skills as well as to grasp key concepts. For example, Bloom’s Taxonomy, that classic tool, helps us think about ways to infuse higher orders of thinking into learning activities. The same lesson content looks very different if we design activities that aim for comprehension versus synthesis, analysis or evaluation.

    In this era, with information overload and blurred lines between fact, opinion, and outright lies, I think its important to design activities that build in critical reading and thinking skills. I dug out my old college textbook on Models of Learning (and ordered the current edition) in order to revisit the concept of inquiry learning (Weil, Joyce, & Calhoun, 2015). I’ve written a few blog posts on SAGE Methodspace (see Creating a Culture of Inquiry in the Classroom, Research to Learn with Class Projects, and Using Inquiry Models to Learn How to Ask Questions.)

    What do these ideas mean for the tech side of instructional design? From my view, more approaches for discussion beyond Q & A, small group wiki-type spaces, ease of students to chat or text if they are online at the same time, and capability for using visuals, sound, and media.

    Weil, M., Joyce, B., & Calhoun, E. (2015). Models of teaching (9th ed.). Boston Pearson.

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