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The Importance of Instructional Design in Learning

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At its core, the principal referred to as “instructional design” (or often as ISD, for Instructional System Design) can be thought of as the creation of “teachable moments.” Those educators skilled in the techniques of instructional design will be more effective than their peers not necessarily because they are inherently more skilled at teaching, but because they are better equipped to use their skills and to apply a purposeful methodology to a myriad of lessons.

The best teachers of instructional design techniques and strategies are always those who have had the best instruction themselvesAn instructional design degree can revolutionize everything from classroom management to pure information transfer. Once you truly grasp the principles of instructional design, you will find yourself not more constrained as an educator — a common misconception — but rather liberated: using the skills you can learn from an instructional design masters degree will transform every lesson into an opportunity to create connections between material, to teach not only about information, but to teach critical thinking and analytical skills, and to overall empower you as an educator to take a more holistic approach to your teaching.

Not only does good use of instructional design strategy make your individual lessons more easily approached and digested by your students, but it should also make the entire educational experience more enjoyable for all involved. Good lessons are those that not only transfer the knowledge in question, but that also make the students want to learn more beyond the specific parameters of that lesson, that make them want to make connections between various points both within and outside of the subject at hand. With solid instructional design planning in place, a history lesson can contain rigorous mathematics instruction as well, or a math lesson can be created around an historical incident, for example.

Language training offers perhaps the greatest opportunity for cross-subject instruction, as you can create a lesson meant to teach language arts skills about most any topic, from science to social studies to literature itself. 

Today, the prevalence of technology in both the “traditional” classroom and in other areas where instruction may be merited, from a company’s training process to an adult education center, allows the best opportunity for excellent instructional design implementation we have ever seen. An educator (or even an HR professional, in the corporate setting) with proper ID skills can create a “lesson” ranging from math instruction for school children to the use of a new Accounts Payable software for a business. Using the skills they learned with their instructional design masters degree online, the instructor can create a lesson that will be disseminated in real time in a class, or that can be used anywhere and and anytime via computer. Technology allows students to be meaningfully engaged with a lesson even if it is not being actively taught, and it is educational engagement that leads to successful learning and knowledge retention. 

About the author:

Denielle is responsible for a wide variety of tasks at her company. She is always willing to take on extra tasks and does so with a smile. She enjoys spending time with her family as much as possible and loves hosting BBQ’s for everyone to get together.  

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