Instructional Design and Online Standards

Instructional Design and Online Standards

Lesley S. J. Farmer (California State University, Long Beach, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1622-5.ch007

Abstract

Online education has a foundation so that beneficial practices can leverage online environments effectively. Besides generic instructional design principles, models of good online instructional design are emerging. These practices and models are codified into online instructional design standards that provide research-based criteria that can be used to measure the degree to which such instructional designs meet those standards and can serve as guidelines of factors to consider when designing online instruction. This chapter provides an overview of instructional design as it applies to online teaching and learning. It also discusses how standards can help improve such instructional design in order to optimize student learning and achievement.
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Background

Instructional Design

Instructional design may be defined as a systematic process used to develop educational programs in a consistent, reliable manner. This reflective and iterative process generally involves aligned and congruent analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation (Reiser & Dempsey, 2014). More broadly, instructional design includes “a collection of activities to plan, implement, evaluate, and manage events and environments that are intended to facilitate learning and performance” (Spector & Ohrazda, 2004, p. 687).

Instructional design emerged from general systems theory, the intent of which was to apply the concept of interdependent system elements to efficiently train military and aerospace personnel. Education is conceptualized as a set of organized and regulated systems that need to deal with change: of students, academic disciplines, and contextual environments. To this construct, learners bring their past experiences, which reflect a complex network of concepts, and interact with the education system learner to process information that impacts their own existing networks. This instructional approach is now used in many higher education institutions and fits particularly well in online education. Using a systematic instructional design model has several benefits for instructors: it focuses on the learner, it supports effective instruction, it provides a systematic way to address learning problems, it fosters coordination among all the instructional components and stakeholders, and it facilitates diffusion and adaptation (Smith & Ragan, 2004).

Newer instruction design practices focus more on learner experiences to the point that learners co-construct knowledge. Reigeluth, Beatty, and Myers (2016) synthesized these practices into principles of learner-centered instructional design: attainment-based instruction rather than time-based, task-centered rather than content-centered, and personalized rather than standardized. These principles change the roles of learners, teachers and technology. Furthermore, it changes the nature of curriculum to focus more and relationships, critical thinking and action, and accomplishment.

Reigeluth and Dempsey (2018) asserted that almost all instructional design processes displayed the following characteristics: student-centered, goal-oriented, creative, focused on meaningful performance, assumed measurable outcomes that are reliable and valid, processes that are empirical and self-correcting iteratively, and collaborative.

Key Terms in this Chapter

ADDIE: A conceptual and iterative application model for instructional systems design; the components include analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation.

Outcome: The desired and measurable goal, specifying what student should accomplish.

Hybrid (course): Description of courses in which some face-to-face “seat time” is replaced by online learning activities.

Online Learning: A term used to describe distance learning conducted via the Internet.

Needs Assessment: A tool used to identify “the gap” between what is already known and what needs to be learned in order to address particular organizational or personal needs. Needs assessment uses questionnaires, surveys, interviews, observation, etc. to collect data.

Standard: A level of quality or attainment used as a model by which to measure acceptable or desirable behavior or product.

Learning Management System (LMS): A software (web) application used to plan, implement, and assess learning processes. An LMS provides instructors with a way to create and deliver content, monitor learner participation, and assess performance. An LMS provide interactive features such as threaded discussions, video conferencing, and discussion forums, etc.

Alignment: Critical course elements working together to ensure that learners achieve the desired outcomes.

Instructional Design: The name given to the process of creating instruction in order to close a performance gap that is due to a lack of knowledge and skills.

Accessibility: The extent to which a product or service is available to all people.

Indicator: Measurable specific criteria that demonstrate that one has met a standard or satisfied an outcome.

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