Instructional design is the process by which instruction is improved through the analysis of learning needs and systematic development of learning materials. At Smeal we can provide a variety of instructional design needs, from Course Analysis to course Design, from online course development to standardized assessment for a program.
Our approach to Instructional Design, while rooted in theoretical models, is structured to adjust needs based on course content, learning models, and faculty requirements.
Technology plays a major role in our process but is not the driving force behind our methods. Our primary goal is to develop instructionally sound content with a faculty member and using technology to enhance the learning or administrative pieces of a particular course.
Instructional Design Framework
Analysis: During analysis, the designer will work with the faculty member to identify the learning problem, goals, and objectives. They will also identify the audience, existing knowledge/prerequisites, and any other relevant characteristics required for the course. During this stage we will also considers the learning environment, constraints, technologies, delivery options, and the timeline for the project.
Design: This is the process of specifying learning objectives. Detailed storyboards and prototypes are often made, and the look and feel, graphic design, user-interface and content are determined.
Development: The actual creation (production) of the content and learning materials based on the Design phase. Depending on strategies and technologies faculty may work with the instructional designer to educate themselves on various technology implementations.
Implementation: During implementation, the plan is put into action it is recommended that a smaller Pilot section be run before a full live session is conducted. Materials are delivered or distributed to the student group.
Evaluation: This phase consists of (1) summative and (2) formative evaluation. Summative evaluation consists of tests designed for criterion-related referenced items and providing opportunities for feedback from the users. Revisions are made as necessary. Formative evaluations are conducted through-out the entire instructional design process.
Development Process for Online Courses
The main goal of the development process is to ensure that every course we create is of the highest quality and that the course contains rigorous academic material. This process will guide all parties involved creating a robust experience that will ensure student and faculty satisfaction. A RIIT Group Instructional Designer will lead the development process as was the case for the successful development and implementation of the online Supply Chain Masters Program and ACCTG211 . This process is adapted from the eLearning Institute, College of Arts and Architecture.
Phase 1: Design Specification
Creation of a course design specification document outlining course delivery expectations. Deliverable = Specification Document
Phase 2: Instructional Design
Creation of an instructional design document detailing the course pedagogical structure. . Deliverable = Design Document
Phase 3: Prototype Development
Design and development of a fully functional sample lesson. Deliverable = Unit Prototype
Phase 4: Production
Creation of the course based on prototype and the instruction design document. Deliverable = Fully Functional Course
Phase 5: Quality Assurance Review
Review of the course to ensure it meets specific design, development, and delivery quality standards. Deliverable = Acceptance Testing Document
The benefits of an established design model are:
- Results in instruction that is effective, efficient, and consistently repeatable.
- Establishes a framework, which subsequent courses can follow, contributing to sustained effectiveness and quality.
- Provides a greater return on investment for significant development costs – faculty and staff are working to develop a course related to a program not an individual faculty member.
- Ensures that courses are developed in a timely manner.
- Provides a mechanism of checks and balances.
- Ensures that courses can be offered through a variety of initiatives.
Find Out More
For more information about the latest Learning Design happenings at Penn State and around the world, as well as practical ideas for implementing Instructional Design principles in your course, visit our blog 'Doing it RIIT.' And, as always, feel free to contact the RIIT Group to learn more about our Instructional Design services.