The Art of Learning Design

‘Employees are key players contributing to the core competencies of the organisation’ –
Hamel and Prahald, 1994

Introduction to Instructional Design

For the management of any organisation, the objective of providing training to its employees is to bring about a change and development that makes them more efficient at their job. Elaborate planning and arrangement of instruction is important for ensuring quality in this education. Instructional design leads the way in accomplishing this goal through better, more effective teaching (Göksu, Özcan, Çakir, & Göktas, 2017).

Instructional design can be defined as a systematic method that (a) covers such stages of the teaching process as analysis, design, development, evaluation, and management; (b) is based on instructional and learning theories; and (c) enhances the uality of teaching (Göksu, Özcan, Çakir, & Göktas, 2017; Dick, Carey, & Carey, 2001; Dooley, 2005). It aims for a learner centered approach rather than the traditional teacher-centered approach to instruction for effective learning. This means that every component of the instruction is governed by the learning outcomes, which have been determined after a thorough analysis of the audience/learners’ needs (McGriff, 2000).

Most instructional design models are built upon the ADDIE model created by the Center for Educational Technology at Florida State University for the U.S. Army (Göksu, Özcan, Çakir, & Göktas, 2017; Branson, et al., 1975; Dooley, 2005; Hoogveld, Paas, Jochems, & Merriënboer, 2002; Zheng & Smaldino, 2003). ADDIE stands for Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation. It is a cyclical model used in design and delivery of trainings/learning modules. ADDIE is linear in nature and as a result its implementation can become comparatively lengthy and costly, however, its dynamic and flexible nature makes it a popular approac for development of instructional material (Welty, 2007). It is often employed for compliance training and other learning events that are not time sensitive. However, there are modified versions of ADDIE that are more dynamic and interactive. Rapid prototyping (continual feedback) has sometimes been cited as a way to improve the generic ADDIE model.

The ADDIE Model

The different phases of the ADDIE process—Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation—provide a roadmap for the entire instructional design process.

Analysis: This stage includes identification of the learning problems, goals, objectives, participant’s needs and their existing knowledge and skills. It is done taking into account the learning environment, delivery options, project timeline and any other relevant constraints. The output of Analysis phase is the input for the Design phase.

Design: The primary goal of this stage is to translate the goals of the course defined in the Analysis phase into performance outcomes and course objectives. This includes specification of learning objectives, development of detailed storyboards, prototypes, content and presentation methods.

Development: The purpose of this phase is to generate lesson plans and lesson materials. This includes the actual creation (production) of the content and based on the output of the Design phase (McGriff, 2000). It involves preparation of draft material and activities, their testing and revision and preparation of training material as per requirement.

Implementation: This is the phase where the actual delivery of the training takes place through a given medium. Purpose of this phase is the effective and efficient delivery of instruction. This phase must promote the audiences’ understanding of material, support their mastery of objectives, ensuring transfer of knowledge from the instructional setting to the job (McGriff, 2000).

Evaluation: This is the phase where the effectiveness and efficiency of the instruction is measured. Evaluation can be of two types: Formative and Summative. Formative Evaluation is conducted during and in between the different phases of the ADDIE model. Its purpose is to improve the learning/training module before the final version is delivered. Summative Evaluation occurs after the final version of learning/training module is delivered. It assesses the overall effectiveness of the module. Data from this phase is used to make decision about the module (McGriff, 2000).

Over years, practitioners have developed customised versions to suit the specific trainings/learning needs. This includes PADDIE + M, where the P stands for planning and M stands for Maintenance, and ADDIE+M, where Μ stands for Maintenance of the Learning Community Network after the end of a course. Today, the influence of the ADDIE can be seen on most Instructional Design models being used. ADDIE’s success is a result of its flexibility, simplicity and efficiency. Its iterative nature allows consistency within the model and opportunity for improvement until the learning needs are met, ensuring a robust training/learning module.