Instructional Design, as the words signify means to design a system which can impart instruction. This is a scientific approach to creating a system so that imparting education or instruction to a body of students is easy and effective.
As in any form of learning,Instructional Design needs to evaluate the target audience, their capabilities or intellectual levels, inputs available and the media through which instruction is being imparted. Once the design has been finalized, the same needs to be developed and executed and like all good systems, the efficacy needs to be evaluated as feedback.
Based on the feedback, the effectiveness of the system is gauged and modifications incorporated. To a large extent, instructional system design is governed by tenets of human psychology and in particular human behavior wherein the current needs of the learner are determined and thus end goals set.
The concept of instructional design traces its beginning to the period during World War-II when American Forces fighting in Europe were required to be trained in complex military systems in a short period.
There were a large number of men in the combat zone who had to be imparted training in multiple fields to support wartime activities. The training through formalized instructional design was highly effective and thus naturally was emulated by the corporate world after the war.
In its modern day avatar, the learning is designed and developed using computers and the power of the internet. Though more modern in approach, the instructional systems design of today still follows the time tested process of the ADDIE model.
Here is a brief overview of the ADDIE model:
A – Analysis of learner characteristics.
D – Design of learning objectives and instructional approach.
D – Development of instructional material.
I – Implementation of the system.
E – Evaluation of the effectiveness of the system so as to incorporate improvements.
Personnel involved in instructional design are by nature creative, patient, analytical and have a fair knowledge of human psychology so that they can package the instruction with easy to understand content in appropriate doses to facilitate greater assimilation and enhanced learning quotient.