During the past 19+ years I have discovered that the key to being a successful instructional designer is applying adult learning theories to various classroom or online learning formats. It is this knowledge that helps the learner to achieve the objectives of a course. Whether you develop an elearning program or classroom training concept, mastering these principles will help you create fun, engaging, and informative topics that exceed the learner's expectations.
One of the first principles to master is audience analysis. Professionals who create training understand that audience analysis is critical to building a successful program. Knowing your audience will help you to add exercises or various activities to help the learner grasp the knowledge that you are presenting. This first step is so vital, that if it is overlooked from the start, the program will surely fail. Years ago, I remember a professional trying to develop a computer-based training (cbt) program for a large corporation. This professional had a great cbt but his audience did not have the technical understanding of using the cbt. Unfortunately, this professional had to re-think his design concepts which cost him valuable time and money. You can learn more about audience analysis by clicking on the link from the menu.
Another principle that professionals understand is the skill to apply educational games to learning. In today's society, information is coming at us at lightning speed. Our brains have been accustomed to absorbing mass amounts of information in a short amount of time over the years. This ability is not the result of memorizing encyclopedias, but rather through creative and entertaining presentations. Advertisers spend millions of dollars on a funny commercial or jingle. They do this because they understand that you and I will retain the information better and longer. This same concept applies to learning. Educational games offer an active learning environment that helps the learner to gain and retain the knowledge presented. While games are a great way to instruct adults, it does have challenges that the professional should know. You can learn more about educational games by clicking the GAMES link from the menu.
Mastering the principles of instructional design requires knowledge, skill, and creative thinking. My hope is to present information that you can use to help you build sound programs that achieve your instructional objectives. As you explore this site, you will discover that instructional design is not limited by certain rules or processes. You are only limited by your own imagination. By learning the basic concepts and then applying your imagination, your audience will exceed your expectations of the courses that you design.