What is instructional design? 

What is instructional design?

Experts in online instructional design will tell you it takes between 50 and 700 hours to create one hour of learning. It’s not something that can be churned out in a weekend.

So, why does it take up to 700 hours to create just one hour of elearning? The main reason is the breadth and depth of skills that are required to create a fully functioning, interactive, engaging, sequential, digital course that improves learning outcomes.

The effectiveness of online learning often comes back to what’s called ‘instructional design’ in the trade – the skill that lies behind the selection and sequencing of the content you see on the screen. It’s the choice of content and the implementation of effective instructional methods and strategies.

It depends on the skill and intuitive knowledge professionals gain about how people learn not just what they learn. That often comes from spending years in a classroom, thinking and reflecting on what impact you’re having on the individuals in front of you.

Watching a really effective teacher should be like watching an elite sportsperson make a complex skill look simple and effortless. It should also be engaging. You learn better if you’re having fun.

Online learning needs to do the same. It needs to exploit technology and where possible, use gaming techniques to achieve the same kind of immersive experience and level of engagement that games achieve.

Instructional design experts are at the heart of Klik2learn online course design team. They are responsible for setting student learning outcomes, selecting teaching methods (pedagogy) for online environments and digitising course content to increase engagement and embed learning.

Best practice not platforms

Getting instructional design right results in an online learning course which is not driven by whatever an e-authoring platform provides. An online course may deploy some of the more hi-tec gadgets and technologies that are available like AR and VR headsets but it shouldn’t depend on them. It can involve AI but not for its own sake.

Even the world’s most popular language learning app, Duolingo, admits ‘there is very little research on leveraging AI for education at any real scale..’ Duolingo’s desire to ‘humanize’ learning is a recognition that for the time being, humans work better than algorithms and bots. No matter how sophisticated your spaced recognition algorithms are, they’re of limited value if they teach you , and I quote, ‘ Where do I posit my flowerpot?’

Klik2learn’s courses are designed and made by humans and hand-coded based on these principles. Klik2learn has the freedom to use a variety of tools: to develop its own games: to decide which interactive functions to use, to develop its own approach to adaptive learning and to devise its own revision and consolidation tools.

At Klik2learn, we never stop learning and asking ourselves how we can improve. We hope that the same will be true for our students. The reward comes when you design something that results in learning ‘by default.’ As one of our intermediate students recently commented,

‘To me, it was like watching a good Netflix series, but I learned English.’

Would you like to speak to an instructional design expert? Contact Klik2learn here.