The other day I tried clearing some disk space from my home PC. I checked the web for tips on how to do this because I like to be self-sufficient. Well, not only did I clear some disk space but I also inadvertently deleted critical programs from my computer! I ended up wasting over an hour on the phone with a technical support associate to reinstall key programs back on my PC. Note to self: I will never again try to change things on my PC unless I know exactly what I am doing!
What does my story have to do with using an instructional design model? Let me tell you. Every time I teach our instructional design workshop, clients learn our 12-step model and they ask themselves, “Will I have enough time to apply all of the steps?”
It may seem more time-consuming to apply the steps included in a formal design model but in reality, it will save you time in the long run because the model is designed to keep you focused.
In addition to saving you time, I’d like to give you several additional benefits to using an instructional design model to create your courses:
- Cost Effective – The first step in our design model includes doing a training needs analysis which answers the question, “Do I train or not?” This step, if conducted, should save your company money as it will prevent you from designing training for business problems that require non-training solutions.
- Relevance – Our design model includes two key steps that have you create a task list and then an analysis on both what and how employees do things on the job. This process guarantees that you only include content in your class that is relevant (and beneficial) to someone’s job and nothing else. It will save you time by keeping your course content lean!
- Customized and Current – Another step in our design model requires you to do a learner analysis. By finding out as much as you can about your learners early in the design process, you will keep your courses customized and current based on the people you design for. As your learners change, so will your courses!
- Flexibility – Our model is generic enough to allow for flexibility in many areas. For example, one of the steps involves choosing both teaching and learner practice methods. As technology continues to change how we deliver training, our model allows you freedom to keep your methods and strategies current with the times.
- Evaluation – One of the steps in our design model allows you time to write performance-based objectives. These objectives can then be used as goals both before the course is taught and after the course is taught to measure performance results on the job. You will then be able to show your management team the link between quality training and improved job performance.
So, hopefully I have convinced you to design all of your instruction, regardless of the content and length, with a formal instructional design model. As you become skilled at applying the model with regularity, your speed will increase and the benefits will shine through!
Hello, I’m Lynne Koltookian, a native New Englander. I have lived here all my life and am now the Boston-based instructor for Langevin Learning Services. I started working for Langevin in March of 2007 after working more than twenty years for corporations in eastern Massachusetts.