Instructional Scaffolding

Scaffolding — Physical versus Instructional  In the physical world, scaffolding includes structures that help people do tasks that are not possible without some form of support. For example, in order to clean upper level windows on a high rise building, humans need to be physically placed in close proximity with the windows. Instructional scaffolding is […]


Instructional Design — Degree or Not?

This has been one of those weeks that make me wish for more days so I can get some rest! A recently published e-learning blog raised the question about Instructional Design — does a designer need a  Degree or not? If materials from college courses do not transfer to work place practices, the author asks, is […]

Instructional Design –and— Quality Assurance

In order to operationalize (put a handle on) and measure quality assurance, we must first define “quality”. The Merriam Webster online dictionary defines quality three ways: 1) how good or bad something is 2) a characteristic or feature that someone or something has : something that can be noticed as a part of a person or […]

Excellent Academic Writing Resource Book

Becoming an Academic Writer Patricia Goodson’s new book (2013), “Becoming an Academic Write:  50 exercises for paced, productive, and powerful writing” is a great writing resource for anyone who writes for a living. Built on principles of powerful writing—Patricia structured the POWER (Promoting Outstanding Writing for Excellence in Research) model around research-based understandings for productive […]

ID resources about UBD

As a lifetime learner, I am always investigating new resources that may be helpful to anyone interested in the systematic design of instructional materials. In 2005, Wiggins & McTighe published their “Understanding by Design” (UBD) framework for course materials development. This work was a refreshing presentation about instruction design aimed at instructors, and is one […]

Develop, Implement, Assess/Evaluate

Once elements of instruction have been designed (following analysis of the project variables), the design is transformed into physical products for implementation and evaluation. Depending on the learning goals and objectives, the products may be electronic, paper-based or some hybrid combination of both media. Once developed, the products should be tested in the learning environment. […]

Begin Designing!

A good rule of thumb I use with initial designing is to consider variables associated with the targeted audience, the goals, and content, Targeted Audience. Careful consideration of variables associated with the targeted audience is critical to the instructional project success.  A few questions—-not an exhaustive list—-to think about the targeted audience: What do they […]

FIRST—do your homework!

Instructional design is a systematic, goal-oriented process for generating instructional materials aimed at achieving explicit goals. Yet, new flashy technologies often lure instructors into technology selection before systematic design for learning. The end result is much  like a baseball player at bat, so convinced that a home-run is at hand and just fractions of a section […]

Instructional Design–What is it and why is it important for learning?

What is instructional design and what do instructional designers do? How is instructional design related to learning theories and models? Based on my experiences, instructional design is an often misunderstood thing—a curriculum writer is not an instructional designer (although the two have been considered equivalent terms). Instructional design is the systematic process for generating instructional […]