We’re sharing some of our favorite instructional design techniques here in this toolkit to support new instructional designers or “old” ones who want to sharpen their saw (pun completely intended).
Why a toolkit? Just like a carpenter’s toolbox, you probably won’t use all of these techniques on every project, but these are tried-and-true favorites you’ll want within easy reach. After a few uses, you’ll be comfortable grabbing for them, you probably will have made your own modifications, and they’ll be a regular part of your work. There’s nothing like the right tool for the job.
Align with business goals
Shape scope and design with learner personas
Design for 9 moments of learning need
Conrad Gottfredson and Bob Mosher provided us with a really useful framework for performance support in their 5 Moments of Learning Need. We usually don’t use all of them on every project, but we’ve identified 9 moments to consider when designing.
Develop & release in iterations
Rather than following a mostly linear ADDIE path through a project, we use Agile project management and an iterative approach. This gives you early insight to the effectiveness of the instructional design and provides a regular process for incorporating change into the project.
Evaluate program & learner success
Many instructional designers are familiar with Kirkpatrick’s Levels of Evaluation and that’s a great start. Will Thalheimer offers some great insights for getting more out of your Level 1 evaluations. In our work, we’ve identified at least 4 other opportunities for a well-rounded program evaluation.