I’ll give you an overview of what I do for a living. For the past 8 years, I’ve been involved with integrating technology inside the classroom, and then designing digital learning materials that learners, particularly grade school and high school, will consume their entire school life. So at most, I have an idea of how Instructional Design is applied in the K-12 setting.
For starters, Instructional design (ID) is a process of designing learning experiences for your learners. This could mean that an instructional designer takes the information at hand and puts a structure in it in such a way that the learners get the important stuff and digest it in an easier way. This is why ID theories and models are the backbones of such learning experiences. One particular model, the ADDIE model, is commonly used. ADDIE stands for its five (5) phases, namely: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation.
Let’s do a visual role-playing. Assume you are an instructional designer assigned to create a Science e-learning module for grade 3 students. What are you supposed to do?
Using the ADDIE model, you can create the module by following the steps below:
Analysis: In this phase, you identify the key elements you need for your Science e-learning module. What particular Science topic will you tackle? What are the different learning styles of your grade 3 students? What do they need to learn now? In this phase, you gather information about your learners, identify their needs and prepare your learning objectives to meet those needs.
Design: Let’s say you have identified your topic about Properties of Matter. Now, it’s time to plan the content and put a structure to the information you’ve gathered in the analysis phase. As an instructional designer, you’ll use a storyboard to give an overview of the module and its details such as its visual design (how the module will look), interface design (how the module will be interactive), and learning design (what will be discussed, what learning activities, exercises and assessments will be included). Basically, a storyboard is the blueprint of the whole learning module you’ll create.
Development: You’re now happy with your storyboard and you’re ready to develop your e-learning module. How do you start? In this phase, you take your storyboard as reference and start using an authoring tool to create the interactive activities, exercises and graphics. In e-learning, an authoring tool is a software to create engaging and interactive learning objects and content. Some instructional designers I know usually use a particular authoring tool depending on the requirements needed.
Implementation: For several hours or days, you have been developing and testing your e-learning module. Now, you’re ready to distribute it to your learners. If your school has an LMS (learning management system), you can upload it there so the students can access it. Normally, these e-learning modules are accessed via an LMS so teachers can track how these modules are used.
Evaluation: This is now the phase where the teachers and students use the e-learning module you’ve created for a particular topic. Your module can be used by teachers as presentation modules during discussion or recitation. Students can also answer the module you’ve created as a review since it includes activities, exercises and assessments. Once in the field, both teachers and students will be evaluating your content based on the learning objectives. Once you received the feedback, you’ll have to create an updated version of the module. In creating an updated version, that’s when you start over again with ADDIE model. 🙂
So there. You’ve now created your own K-12 material using Addie. With the above ADDIE model, you have an idea how instructional design is applied in creating K-12 learning materials. There are other ID models that can be used in several K-12 settings. It will just be a matter of exploring what you need to use for your projects. I’ll be posting more about instructional design and e-learning in my next set of posts so watch out. 🙂