8 Tips To Choose The Best Instructional Design Model For Your Next eLearning Course
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How To Choose The Best Instructional Design Model For Your Next eLearning Course

Instructional Design models serve as a framework for your entire eLearning course. They dictate the activities you choose, how you assess online learners, and the level of peer interaction. For this reason, it's essential to take your time selecting the perfect Instructional Design model that aligns with your eLearning strategy. Otherwise, you may end up switching halfway through, which means you'll have to start from scratch. Here are 8 valuable tips for choosing the best Instructional Design model for your eLearning course design.

1. Take A Closer Look At Your Own Cognitions

Before you narrow down your list of Instructional Design models, you should ponder one very important question: what makes this approach stand out from the others? In most cases, personal beliefs, opinions, and experiences play a crucial role. A lot of thought goes into choosing the ideal model or theory for your eLearning course design. You typically draw from past experiences, such as what worked and what you'd like to improve. For instance, another Instructional Design model may have left out one key component that you felt was necessary. You have the power to use all of this personal data during this selection process. However, your cognitions can also work against you in this regard. Especially if you've formed an opinion or bias that prevents you from researching certain Instructional Design models. Take a closer look at your thought process to determine if your cognitions are helping or hindering.

2. Use Your Learning Objectives As A Reference Point

Ultimately, the Instructional Design model serves your learning objectives, goals, and desired outcomes. Not the other way around. You must clearly define your objectives beforehand and then use them as a guide when choosing your ID approach. This allows you to select an Instructional Design model that features the right behaviors, principles, and methodologies. If you skip this essential step, you may have to rework your learning objectives in order to fit the Instructional Design model's mold. As a result, you won't be able to achieve the desired outcomes or meet online learners' needs.

3. Evaluate EVERY Aspect Of The Instructional Design Model

Every Instructional Design model possesses its own principles, ideologies, and behavioral reasoning. For example, one Instructional Design model may recommend a more holistic approach while another involves behaviorist theories. This is why it's important to examine and evaluate every component of the Instructional Design model before you make your final decision. Also, keep in mind that you can blend different Instructional Design elements of different models to create your own eLearning strategy.

4. Get Input From Your eLearning Team

Your eLearning team is going to use the Instructional Design model as a guideline when they create the eLearning content. As such, they should have a direct say during the selection process. This also ties into tip #1, as you have the opportunity to overcome personal cognitions. Their input may sway your opinion and give you a fresh perspective. For example, you may have overlooked an Instructional Design model that is ideal for your next eLearning course. Lastly, your eLearning team knows their skills and abilities. Therefore, they'll be able to tell you which Instructional Design models are within their scope.

5. Consider The Needs And Preferences Of Your Online Learners

In addition to the needs of your eLearning team, you must also consider the needs of your audience. This involves surveys, pre-assessments, and workplace observations. An Instructional Design model may be ideally suited for the subject matter. But does it cater to the specific traits, abilities, and skills of your online learners? Their backgrounds, knowledge base, and personal preferences are all important considerations.

6. Gather Your Resources In Advance

Every Instructional Design model requires certain eLearning resources or activities. The question is: do you have everything you need to uphold the integrity of the Instructional Design model? For instance, you may not have the tech resources to follow all of the key principles. For this reason, you should gather all of your Instructional Design tools, materials, and assets in advance. Take stock to see which Instructional Design models are available to you, based on the resources you already have. Alternatively, you can invest in additional tools and assets to prepare your eLearning team for the task ahead.

7. Look At Each Model With A Modern Eye

Instructional Design models must provide your modern learners with a dynamic, interactive, and engaging eLearning experience. That's why it's crucial to examine every Instructional Design model from a modern perspective. Does it blend technology with human interaction? Are your online learners able to explore the subject on their own and get what they need from the eLearning course? Does it cater to a diverse range of learning needs and preferences?

8. Plan For The Future

In addition to modern learners, you should also consider future audiences. This is especially true for eLearning courses without an "expiration date". Look at it this way: online learners from the future are going to be accessing your eLearning course to get the information they need. But is your Instructional Design model going to date the design or hinder the learning process? Is it a relatively new model that hasn't been tried and tested? Ideally, the Instructional Design model must be tech-forward and flexible so that it stands the test of time.

This article can help you choose the best Instructional Design model for your next eLearning course. If you already have a list of Instructional Design models that you're considering, use it as a rubric to weigh the pros and cons. It may take careful planning and research now, but selecting the right Instructional Design model can save you time and stress later on.

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Have you decided which Instructional Design model fits best to your next eLearning course? If, for example, you have chosen the Levels of Processing Theory, read the article 3 Tips To Apply The Levels Of Processing Theory In eLearning Course Design to discover the key principles of this theory and how to apply them in your eLearning course design.

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