What is instructional design?

If you have been involved in learning and development, you may have heard the term “instructional design”.  But what is it and why is it important?

Instructional design is the creation of learning experiences and materials in a manner that results in the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills. The discipline follows a system of assessing needs, designing a process, developing materials and evaluating their effectiveness.

What this means is that instructional design is the skill of being able to design the training so that it works.  So the learner actually learns what you are trying to teach them.  Good instructional design can be seen in a good flow of information, using the right training tools in the course and testing and modifying courses to get the best results.

Instructional design is often extremely underrated as everyone thinks that they can put a course together but it is always painfully obvious when good instructional design principles have not been used.

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