Instructional design is one of the most pivotal learning and development methodologies used by organisations. Here in this article, we are going to clarify 4 myths about instructional design:
• Introduce an objectives screen in an instructional design course:
This is important as an instructional designer would say because one of the objectives of Gagne’s instructional design theory is “inform learners of the objectives”. But do you think, showing the learners objectives of the course as bulleted points, gets their attention? No, it does not. So, the learners must be informed about the objectives in another way. It’s important that the learners are presented a situation and asked for a solution. This way, they will get to know whether they need to go through the rest of the slides because they will talk about the solution which is the objective. This way, they get more excited and interested in learning about the objectives.
• Necessity of Narration: Instructional designers believe that narration is an important part of an elearning course. Now, this is true that narration is necessary for those who can’t read the captions on the screen. Most of the learners however can read the captions on the screen faster than they hear the narration. Sometimes, learners have already gone through the text on the screen and they are waiting for the narration to finish for the slide to move forward. So, there is no use of having word-by-word narration, but there should be contextual audio in the module. There can be audio to announce what a certain character is saying.
• Necessity of animations: Certain companies stress the importance of animation in courses. It’s because they believe that such animation gets the user to focus. But that is not true. When you have whiteboard animation on the screen, there is no learning happening for the user. An instructional design must be interactive. This implies that it must be interactive as per the learning rate of the user. There should be interactions with difficult scenarios for the user preceded by interactions with easier scenarios. Having a true and false quiz in the name of interaction is not enough.
Including meaningful interactivities implies that the course is interactive with good interactions rather than useless animation.
Studies have been done on behavioural change which show, that animation on its own can’t get the wanted outcome from the course.
• Having an assessment when the instructional designing course ends: It’s important to have an assessment at the end of the course. Although writing assessments is not so tough and you can include some multiple-choice questions, the trouble arises when these assessments are used for making valid career-related decisions about the employees. This is wrong. For example, an organization can use data such as assessment scores and attempts in an assessment to gauge the learning level of an employee.
The gist of this is that an instructional design course just helps employees to do better in their jobs, it imparts all the practical training to them. Rather than asking questions to them through a test, it’s better to make them do a task. So, through a task, we get to know whether they are good at doing something rather than just asking them questions. Therefore to impart practical training, there should be instruction manuals included in the course. The course should not be about theory, but how to use this content in the real world, to do tasks error-free and within a time frame.
So, these are 4 myths clarified about how to design an instructional design course.