Instructional Design In Training And Development Process

Instructional Design And Development Process
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Summary: In this interconnected world, the only way to make online learning engaging and interactive by infusing digital tools is through effective instructional design models.

Instructional Design Models Of Learning

Instructional design is one of the most fundamental ways of building and learning experience delivery. Today it's hard to imagine creating an online course without interacting with instructional designers since there are more than 64,000 instructional designers. However, what is instructional design in the training and development process? We will analyze this in our article.

What Is Instructional Design?

Instructional design is a process that assists in the design, creation, and delivery of instructional resources, experiences, and courses. This discipline, also known as Instructional Systems Design (ISD), follows a multi-step approach to create various successful online courses effectively. In simpler terms, instructional design is about using our knowledge of how people learn to guide our instructional sequences and strategies to meet students' needs and desired learning outcomes.

The implementation of instructional design is carried out by specialists called instructional designers. They are involved in developing educational material, namely the formation of units, materials presentation, support materials, and much more. However, the list of responsibilities of instructional designers also includes the following items:

  • Conducting a needs analysis to identify what precisely the study group wants
  • An analysis of the needs that can be met through training and how these needs can be met
  • Determination of learning goals that in the future will be a measure of success of the educational process
  • Collection of initial information about the target group of students (motivational factors, behavior patterns, background knowledge, and much more)
  • Development of an educational strategy, curriculum, and teaching methods
  • Monitoring learning outcomes to assess the success of the entire learning process

One of the traits of instructional designers is material neutrality, which means they can work with any topic. This makes them very flexible and indispensable professionals.

Instructional Design Models

Instructional design is a rather extensive process that includes various design models with specific characteristics which are worth discussing separately. We have collected three of the most popular models that you can come across when developing online courses.

1. ADDIE Model

Let's start our analysis with one of the most popular instructional design models, which is considered the unspoken standard for developing learning experiences. ADDIE stands for Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation.


This is the first stage without which further development of educational material is impossible. Instructional designers work in partnership with SMEs to define your requirements, the main objectives of your course, its purpose, and more. In addition, this stage includes an analysis of the target audience of future students, their age, gender, existing education, work, and other facts that affect the formation of future content.


The second step is to outline your course, its concept if you wish. This helps to outline an abstract idea and roughly understand the look and feel of the course. Besides that, specific practical learning goals are written during the design process and a storyboard for the future course is created.


Once the concept for the course is ready, it's time to start developing the content. This stage includes the entire creative process: writing educational material, structuring it, creating pictures, writing scripts for video, shooting, editing, developing practical assignments, and much more.


All materials are ready and now the main task is to pack all this into a full-fledged online course and implement it into the educational platform. This process can be handled by both the course owner and a hired professional team of specialists.


If you thought that the work on the course was completed at this stage, then this is not entirely true. The main work is over but now a persistent assessment of the effectiveness of your efforts comes along. You collect feedback from students, monitor learning outcomes, monitor assessments, and based on all this information, you form a report that will clearly show whether your learning goals have been achieved.

2. Merrill’s Principles Of Instruction (MPI)

MPI is a pioneer and the first instructional design model which was created in 2002. This model was proposed by David Merrill and consists of 5 key principles that aim to extract the maximum amount of knowledge from the course.

  1. Task-centered principle
    The first principle is that students should relate to problems and tasks they can handle. Beyond that, learning always starts with real problems.
  2. Activation principle
    The second principle is that the course must activate the already existing knowledge of the student. This makes it easier to connect the students’ existing knowledge base and the new knowledge that the course provides.
  3. Demonstration principle
    The third principle obliges the course to demonstrate knowledge using various means (text, audio, video, and much more). This helps to assimilate knowledge faster and more efficiently.
  4. Application principle
    The fourth principle aims to encourage students to apply the acquired knowledge themselves. This will allow them to feel the benefits of the knowledge gained and also learn from their mistakes.
  5. Integration principle
    The fifth and final principle obliges the course to offer the students opportunities to integrate knowledge into their world through discussion, reflection, and presentation of new knowledge.

3. Gagne’s Nine Events Of Instruction

This instructional design model was proposed by Robert Gagne and it is based on a systematic learning development process. The sequence of steps helps to create a flexible model in which events can be adapted to different learning situations.

  1. Gaining attention
    The first step is to get the attention of students through various stimuli (new ideas, different reflections, and much more).
  2. Informing students
    At this stage, you educate students about the learning objectives and expected results.
  3. Stimulating recall
    Before giving new knowledge, you must enable the existing knowledge.
  4. Presenting the content
    Any educational content should be presented in the form of easily consumed chunks.
  5. Providing learner guidance
    The teacher should provide support and various subject materials that complement the teaching material.
  6. Eliciting performance
    The teacher engages students in various activities that stimulate the use of the knowledge gained.
  7. Providing feedback
    All student success must be backed up by extensive feedback.
  8. Assessing performance
    Knowledge should be tested using various transparent criteria and in multiple ways.
  9. Enhancing retention
    Learning must continuously improve, increasing student retention.

Instructional Design Benefits

Now is the time to talk about the benefits that instructional design brings to the online learning space.

Instructional Design Raises Learning Efficiency

Even though the information is often in the public domain, there is a huge difference between information openness and understanding.

When students learn independently with little or no instruction, they spend a lot of time analyzing extraneous information. Training effectiveness increases significantly if the information analysis is done before starting training. Instructional design helps students jump straight to the most important information that instructional designers have already structured properly.

Instructional Design Enhances Learning Engagement

If your training aims to teach students how to make a shelf with their own hands, you can simply list all the necessary steps. However, the engagement of this approach is very dubious. In addition, it is not a fact that students will adequately assimilate all the information.

It will be more fun to turn these steps into an activity that will allow students to go through the whole process independently and study each step in detail. That's what instructional design is for; it focuses on the learner's experience and how to make it stimulating, memorable, and realistic.

Instructional Design Impacts The Bottom Line

Instructional design is crucial to online course developers as it helps to avoid dull clicks next to courses that are not interactive or memorable. Design models help create interactive courses that students crave and that spark interest and learning.

In addition, cursors created with instructional design models bring all vital information to the fore, dramatically reducing training time. Combining these factors ensures that people pay attention and retain new knowledge or skills they have learned, making learning a worthwhile investment.


As you can see, the importance of instructional models and instructional design is hard to overestimate. Instructional design helps improve the quality of teaching by making it more effective, engaging, and attractive. And if you are going to create your online course, having an instructional designer on your team is a must.

However, if the development of your course requires a more professional approach, we recommend turning to a professional company with extensive experience in creating courses based on instructional design.