MET:Instructional Design

From UBC Wiki

This page was originally authored by Christina Gandila and Linda Stollings (2007).
This page has been revised by David Campbell (2008) and Laurie Trepanier (2008).
WiKi Stop Motion Created By Daniel Wilson (2018)


The Design is essentially a rational, logical, sequential process intended to solve problems. The process begins with the identification and analysis of a problem or need and proceeds through a structured sequence in which information is researched and ideas explored and evaluated until the optimum solution to the problem or need is devised. (Original Content)

What is instructional design?


“Instructional Design in the systematic development of instructional specifications using learning and instructional theory to ensure the quality of instruction.  It is the entire process of analysis of learning needs and goals and the development of a delivery system to meet those needs.  It includes development of instructional materials and activities; and tryout and evaluation of all instruction and learner activities.”  (Brown & Green, 2006, p. 7)


“Simply speaking, Instructional Design can be defined as a systematic process of analyzing a principle,idea or job, designing the associated learning and performance objectives, developing the required materials and activities, conducting the instruction, then evaluating the instruction and revising as required. This process is also associated with Instructional Systems Design (ISD) and Systems Approach to Training (SAT).

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Instructional Design is categorized as a process, a discipline, and/or a science:


1.  Process

              sequence of steps that are derived from the ADDIE model (Analysis, Design, Development, Implement, and Evaluate)   

2.  Discipline

              a field of study that is concerned with the improvement of instructional improvement    

3.  Science

              system of knowledge with uses a methodology to create and maintain instructional programs. This system and the associated body of knowledge is continuously augmented with research concerning all aspects of instructional design.    

Brent Wilson identifies four pillars which support Instructional Design Practice:


1.  Principles of Learning, Cognition, and Message Design

              the relationship between the instructor, the learner and the external world.    


2.  Connecting to the Practice Environment

              the relationship between the learner and the external world. Learning must be relevant to the learner and transcend the learning environment.    


3.  The Larger Context of Values and Political Concerns

              the relationship between the content and the delivery mechanism to the learner with regards to morals, values and political considerations. Questions posed by the designer could focus on who is the target population, who is omitted and who is in control?    


4.  Aesthetics as the Immediate Experience of Learning

              the relationship between the content and the experience of the learner. The progressive move from the realm of instructional design as a science to instructional design as a “form of art”.    



The three most common steps followed when designing instruction:


1.  Examine the situation


  • Do a needs analysis

              The purpose of instructional design is to bring about a particular change.  In needs analysis the following   

              questions are asked:  What is the change being requested?  Who is requesting this change?  Where will

              this change take place?  Is instruction the most appropriate means for bringing about the desired change?


  • Task analysis

        Task analysis is a “process of analyzing and articulating the kind of learning that you expect the learners to 

         know how to perform.”


        In a task analysis the following steps are undertaken: 

              1.  Inventorying tasks:  Make a list of tasks that need to be developed for instruction. 

              2.  Describing tasks:  Elaborate on tasks identified in the inventory. 

              3.  Selecting tasks:  Choose which tasks are to be focused on. 

              4.  Sequencing of tasks:  Choose the sequence of tasks that will facilitate learning. 

              5.  Analyze tasks:  Describe the responses that the tasks require.


  • Analyze the learners

        In this step the characteristics of the learners are considered in the design process.  Factors such as age,

        sex, reading ability, interests, education etc.


2.  Create the instruction


  • Develop instructional goals and objectives

        The end result of the instruction needs to be clearly defined at the beginning of the design process.  A

        specific statement such as “The participants will be able to construct and FM transmitter”


  • Organize instruction

         The scope and sequence of the material is laid out next.  The designers need to choose the order of

         presentation of material that will best facilitate student learning.


  • Create the learning environment

               Two primary types of learning environments are directed and open ended.  In directed learning  

               environments the designer determines the learning objectives.  In open ended learning environments the

               learners deal with a problem to complete or explore.


3.  Evaluate learner success and the instructional design

  •  Learner Achievement 

        In any educational program assessment has to be included in the design.  There are three main types of

        evaluation:  Learner, formative, and summative.  Learner evaluation is used to determine the success level

        of a learner due to the instruction and is measured by their ability to meet the goals and objectives. 

        Formative assessment is basically quality control of the instructional material during the course.  Summative

        assessment is done at the end of instruction to give a summary of what occurred.


  • Success of the instructional design product and process


           The designers examine student performance compared to the expected outcomes of the program.  They      

           then look for ways that they can improve on their current instructional design to allow for increased student

           learning in the future.



Image from

Stop Motion Animation

Stop Motion Animation By Daniel Wilson - ETEC 510 65D


1. Brown, A. & Green, T. (2006). The Essentials of Instructional Design. Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Prentice Hall.

1. Wilson, B. G. (2005). Broadening our foundation for instructional design: Four pillars of practice. Educational Technology, 45 (2), 10-15.

External Links:






Minor edit. Dave Campbell Jan 23, 2008

Rationale for Wiki edit

This particular page on the ETEC 510 Wiki was lacking in detail. There was a brief explanation of what Instructional Design is and some of the general steps that one should take while working in Instructional Design (I left the original text on the page at the top in a red.) I added the steps that are generally thought to be the best to follow in Instructional Design. I also thought that it would be a good addition to the page to describe what is done in each of the steps. The original page also did not have any images on it so I added a flow chart that shows the steps in Instructional Design. Originally the page did not have any references on it so I added a reasonably current book as well as a few good Instructional Design weblinks.

Minor Edit. Laurie Trepanier Jan 27, 2008 Rationale for Wiki edit - See discussion for comments