What Is Instructional Design? (You May Be Surprised!)

The last contract I accepted from a university ended over a year ago – and I still have a strong aversion to ever being in that situation again.

It was then I discovered they had actually wanted a web developer but HR had forced the Instructional Designer job description on them. Having met the other ‘Instructional Designer’s on the campus, I realized none of them had any training in the field, just multimedia developers and teachers who had staked a claim.

Instructional design involves doing far more than designing instruction. In that sense, it is really a misnomer. Instructional design is designing a system that enables employees to not only learn, but to do. Here are the components of this system:

  1. Creating a suitable environment;
  2. Devining the goals;
  3. Preparing pre-training events and activities;
  4. Designing the course materials;
  5. Creating post-training support;
  6. Evaluation of the course; and
  7. Devising remedial action.

So, you can see, instructional design is much, much more than designing instruction – more than preparing for a class, more than Flash development, more than being a web monkey.