Instructional Designing – In Layman’s terms

Posted on : October 17th, 2007

How many of us understand what it is? Most of us who are going to read this forum would probably be from the content development division. So, the answer would probably be ‘Of Course, I know that theory!’.

The terminology says that it is the way of imparting knowledge in a systematic way. Now the next question that could be asked here is what is this systematic way? Who has set the rules to define ‘Systematic’? Whenever we do ID, what are the primary things we keep in our mind?

What I think is that there are no hardcore rules that govern ID theories. I have read almost all the theories and I find them to be almost the same. They all talk about what we do while planning anything. Most of us are familiar with the terms “Audience profile”, “Blooms level”, “Content analysis”, “ADDIE model”, “and “Content development”.

Try to compare these theories with any task. For example making a cup of tea or planning for a birthday party hmm… anything! Let me put it in layman’s terms so that people who from other streams can also understand.

Let us try and apply an important model of Instructional design to a fictional birthday party.

ADDIE applied to a Birthday party

A: Analysis
D: Design
D: Development
I: Implement
E: Evaluate

So, let’s start to plan a birthday party. The very first thought that comes to mind is for whom are we going to plan this party, the age group of the participants. Here the concept of Audience analysis fits the best. We assume that our audience is a teenager. Now we analyse their tastes and moods. A majority of this age group likes music and dance, this is what most teenagers like but this is again not mandatory. Again we need to check the lifestyle. Now we need to again analyse that our audience likes what kind of music and similarly we need to analyse the kind of food and other time pass activities that can be done for this party. Basically, what would this Audience like and what will they not?

The next step is designing, whatever we have analysed in our previous step. We need to organise them so that things can move smoothly during the party! Imagine what if you had your complete meal first then someone asks you to have the starters? Most probably you would refuse to have it. And if you do then I would be very curious to know why?  😕

Let’s move ahead to the next step according to our model and that is development. Things should be developed in a manner as we have design otherwise the party goes bump, which of course you won’t like.

Implementation is the fourth step that is when you actually serve. Now when do you think should the evaluation part come? This is when people call you up and ask you to soon schedule a next party. This means they like the way you organised the last party. This is the only positive side of the evaluation but if we don’t do the things in a systematic manner then may be they don’t ask for another party and ask you to come to their place instead , which is not a bad option! You would know what I mean if you had to clean up after the party is over.

I would like your opinion on whether this convinces you to allow a content development person handle the next party?

(Jyoti Sabharwal is an Instructional Designer at G-Cube)'

Jyoti Sabharwal

Jyoti Sabharwal heads the Presales division in G-Cube Solutions. She is a highly proficient with the design principle, project management and learning solution skills.

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