A word about instructional design
What usually defines instructional design is (1) the available technology,
(2) necessity—the number of trainees and their geographic dispersal, and
(3) tradition—what people have done in the past. Any consideration of how people
learn is exceptionally rare. An important perspective we bring to clients
is the ability to integrate an appropriate learning model into the organization's
Three learning models
may be readily adapted to e-Learning:
Tutorial: presentation of new material,
interlaced with guided practice, correction & feedback. It ought to
include independent practice and periodic review. Highly scalable.
Cognitive: simulation, exploration, experimentation
and other methods that encourage learners to discover generalizations
and relationships. Usually requires some prerequisite knowledge and
Collaborative / apprenticeship: modeling,
coaching, and other guided experiences, usually organized around a
project which encourages reflection and articulation of the issues. This is not
as scalable as the other two instructional strategies, but highly appropriate
when you'd like to build a community of practice.
designer ought to make a conscious choice of which model to follow, based
on a careful analysis of the organization's objectives, the nature of
the topic (some models are much more appropriate to some outcomes than
to others), the organization's culture, cost and other constraints.