Top 5 Instructional Design Theories For Modern Online Training

5 Instructional Design Theories That Are A Perfect Fit For Modern Online Training

Instructional Design models and theories serve as the basis for effective online training. They shed light on learning behaviors, sources of motivation, and mental processes. As a result, you have the ability to improve knowledge retention and provide more meaningful online training experiences. But how do you know which Instructional Design theory is right for your modern corporate learners? Here are the top 5 Instructional Design theories that you may want to consider for your next online training course.

1. Discovery-Based Learning

Discovery-based learning was introduced by Jerome Bruner, a noted psychologist. Dewey, Piaget, and Vygotsky also strongly advocated a more active, discovery-centered approach. This theory suggests that learners must play a more prominent role in the learning experience. In fact, they are encouraged to ask questions and engage in self-guided exploration. It all starts by identifying the variables, followed by gathering and interpreting the information. Then they must formulate their own hypothesis and draw conclusions based on the data. At this point, they also have the opportunity to reevaluate their assumptions and validate or debunk their original theories.

Why Discovery-Based Learning Is Ideal For Modern Corporate Learners

Discovery is the cornerstone of the modern online training experience. Corporate learners should be able to explore the subject matter on their own and look at ideas from multiple angles. Modern corporate learners are also known for their initiative. Discovery-based learning allows them to take a more proactive and personalized approach to the learning process.

2. Inquiry-Based Learning

Joseph Schwab is one of the main proponents of the Inquiry-Based Learning Theory, which involves social collaboration and problem solving. It suggests that individuals acquire information by interacting with peers and investigating real-world challenges. They are also encouraged to actively participate in the brainstorming process. Furthermore, inquiry-based learning helps build communication, active listening, and reasoning skills.

Why Inquiry-Based Learning Is ideal For Modern Corporate Learners

Today's corporate learners are looking for online training resources which help them resolve real-world quandaries. They also enjoy working with their peers to solve common problems and benefit from one another's experience. Inquiry-based learning allows them to focus on a pressing question or challenge, then think of new and creative ways to overcome the obstacle with the aid of informal social learning tools.

3. Situated Cognition Theory

Situated Cognition was first introduced by Brown, Collins, and Duguid back in 1989. This approach relies on active learning. Learners are encouraged to learn the information in a contextual format. It is commonly paired with the Cognitive Apprenticeship Model, which exposes learners to realistic challenges and situations. The cornerstone of the Situated Cognition Theory is that learners must be able to apply their newfound knowledge and skills outside of the learning environment. As such, eLearning professionals and online instructors must frame each online training activity or course with real-world applications. For example, case studies illustrate the importance of following company policy, or task-based simulations give employees the power to explore work-related software.

Why The Situated Cognition Theory Is Ideal For Modern Corporate Learners

Modern corporate learners must be able to put their knowledge into practice. They need practical and relevant online training resources that translate into real-world application. Their busy schedules don't allow for lengthy online training courses that miss the mark. Instead, they require targeted online training experiences that put the information into context. As a result, they are able to use the information they've been given to overcome common challenges.

4. Elaboration Theory

Charles Reigeluth, an educational theorist, is the founding father of the Elaboration Theory. This theory stipulates that content should be organized and presented in a specific order. Ideally, learners must receive the most rudimentary ideas first, building up to the most complex concepts. Elaboration Theory consists of three key steps. The first is looking at the complete picture, which sums up the problem or task and emphasizes the relationship between concepts. The second is to examine the first stage or each individual competent more closely. The final step is to look at the big picture again to see how each piece fits into the puzzle.

Why Elaboration Theory Is Ideal For Modern Corporate Learners

Elaboration Theory breaks complex ideas or tasks into more manageable steps. It also allows corporate learners to see the whole before analyzing each individual component. As such, they are better able to digest the information and recognize the connection between interrelated ideas. This increases knowledge retention and recall, which leads to more effective online training experiences.

5. Individualized Instruction

Individualized Instruction is the basis of "The Keller Plan" and "The Personalized System of Instruction", which relies on the fact that learners must be able to explore the topic on their own to fully understand the ideas involved. Each lesson, module, or activity should conclude with an assessment that tests their progress and knowledge mastery. These assessments are referred to as "unit perfection requirements". Individualized Instruction also includes social learning activities to broaden a learner's understanding.

Why Individualized Instruction Is Ideal For Modern Corporate Learners

Personalization and convenience are essential for modern corporate learners. They require online training resources that are self-paced so that they can focus on their own areas for improvement. Furthermore, they are able to benefit from social learning experiences, such as online group collaboration projects. All of this helps to make online training easily accessible and digestible.

Many of these Instructional Design theories were introduced decades ago but they still hold relevance in today's tech-centered world. Choose the right Instructional Design theory for your modern corporate learners and create profound online training courses that meet their needs.

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Choosing the best Instructional Design model for your eLearning course design can be a challenge. Read the article 8 Tips To Choose The Best Instructional Design Model For Your Next eLearning Course before deciding upon ideal Instructional Design approach for your next eLearning course.

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