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Proven Strategies for Effective Instructional Design


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  • Instruction should be based on experience, theory, and research to avoid biases and improve effectiveness.
  • Scenario-based learning immerses learners in real-life experiences, promoting engagement and skill development.
  • Infographics are visually appealing and effective in conveying information, reducing cognitive overload.
  • Pre-training learners on basics before an elearning course can improve comprehension and reduce overwhelm.
  • Simulations offer a safe and cost-effective way for students to practice skills and problem-solving.
  • Storytelling is a powerful tool to connect with learners and enhance engagement and comprehension.
  • Case studies and examples help learners relate to the subject matter and understand complex concepts.
  • Interactive elements should be added to case studies to encourage active participation and engagement.




After you feel confident in your design assessments, you'll then be ready for developing an instructional strategy. Instruction is defined as deliberate arrangement of events to facilitate a learner's acquisition of some goal by Marcy Driscoll. The problem is that in many current forms of instruction, the deliberate arrangement of events is often based on the instructional designers' past experiences, opinions, fads, and or political agendas. Take a moment to reflect on the training and coursework that you've taken over the years. How often have you been presented with the same instructional method? Throughout a course or a training program? Were you ever exposed to different events and activities based on the desired learning outcomes? Although you, the instructional designer, are exposed to the proper format of designing an online course, this type of knowledge often flies out the window. When you start working on a design project with a tight deadline, you're in survival mode. And with little time training or incentives, you typically revert to what you know best. training materials often fail to take into account what we know about instruction and learning.

One of the basic principles of instructional design is that instruction should be designed based on a combination of experience, theory and research. This is the time where you're going to establish the instructional strategies and events. Select a strategy that is appropriate for meeting your instructional goals, and apply the strategy to continue designing your course.

When creating elearning courses, it can often be difficult selecting activities that fit students' realistic needs. scenario based learning is an excellent instructional strategy that can help improve learner engagement, immersing the learners in real life or situational experiences. delivering content in contextual settings provides students with opportunities to develop skills or information that they cannot transfer into future real life situations. So you might be wondering what scenario based elearning actually is. In this type of instructional strategy, lessons are built around a scenario, learners are asked to make decisions by choosing among the multiple options following the provided information. Feedback should be presented to the learners for each option to explain why they are either correct or incorrect. Students are able to learn about strategic principles by applying them to a concrete situation and observing the consequences of their decisions. This approach is appropriate in a variety of contexts, such as to develop problem solving or interpersonal skills, to teach strategic principles, or to develop an interactive exercise at the end of the unit. scenario based learning lets students learn through a trial and error process without having to face the consequences of making a wrong decision when applying their knowledge in a real life situation. scenario based learning helps improve learner engagement and help students understand in a variety of ways. For one, it motivates students to learn things to the facts to know they have the skills needed to accomplish the task. They understand that they're going to be challenged but are confident in themselves that they can meet the challenge and build upon their skills. scenario based learning helps students see their skills and knowledge directly benefit them long term. A well designed elearning scenario will challenge students to the degree in which they can expand their knowledge without overwhelming them. This type of learning provides students with real world obstacles and problems that they will face in order to expand their skills and knowledge, while keeping them engaged in the eLearning process.

As instructional designers, we aim to design elearning courses that reduce cognitive overload and give a sense of accomplishment to the learner. Infographics have been growing in popularity over the years and they are typically educational, entertaining and useful tools. an infographic is a visual image such as a chart or diagram used to represent information or data. Their purpose is to collect an or

organise data, creating an easy to understand visual.

The visuals within an infographic are chosen thoughtfully and systematically to tell a specific story. The goal of an infographic is to guide the learner through the information in a logical sequence, but not to overwhelm them with a ton of facts and figures. Infographics present well chunked content with relevant graphics to help learners understand the content and less time and retain for a longer duration. Learners scan the infographics and interpret the meaning well, especially the complex data when compared to other visuals in elearning and infographic has a major role to play. It will not only enhance the effectiveness of an elearning course, but also increase the visual appeal. Based on a rough estimate. One infographic may convey the message of three to five elearning pages loaded with text. The two greatest advantages of infographics and elearning are number one, it motivates learners with its visual appeal and graphical representations. And number two, they significantly reduce the number of elearning course pages. Examples include data, text, sources, images, different levels. They also include robust content, themes, and characters.

You also need to guide your learners, especially in the beginning of an elearning course, people learn more efficiently if they already know some of the basics. This often means understanding basic definitions, terms, or concepts before beginning the learning experience. If a learner starts an elearning course not knowing about the topic, they can easily become overwhelmed once the complex visuals and definitions start being thrown their way, a bit of pre-training before starting the course really would have helped. You can use this principle by creating an introductory guide, or cheat sheet for learners to use throughout the course. Or you can create an entire lesson upfront dedicated to understanding the basics before the learner moves into the actual course.

Simulations are models of real life processes and experiences often associated with a particular skill set or problem solving situation. Simulation has been an accepted method of instruction for more than a century, particularly for high risk and high cost skills, most notably in the field of aviation, the use of simulations has gained popularity across a number of disciplines. advancements and computers have enabled the development of highly accurate and realistic simulations that can encourage higher level thinking. Practice with essential procedures and problem solving. One of the major benefits of the use of simulation is that they offer students the ability to practise their skills in a more economic and safe environment. While the cost of developing a high fidelity computerised simulation might be high. It's often a fraction of the costs of putting students in a real world situation. Even more importantly, your students are able to explore and experiment without the concern of adverse outcomes. As the use of simulations is growing in popularity and availability, it's important to be familiar with the inner workings of a good simulation. One type of simulation is goal based and allows the students to roleplay such as the stock market game. This simulation allows your students to create simulated financial portfolios based on the real time stock exchanges. This is a long term stimulation that allows your students to learn from and in some instances compensate for earlier decisions. There's also learning learning has a simulator that allows nurses or nursing students to practise their diagnostic skills on different patients. The simulator models the questioning and evaluation process a nurse would go through during an initial patient interview. Another type of simulation is one that demonstrates a specific concept through a visual representation. The pH et interaction simulation database is maintained by the University of Colorado and it includes a collection of simulations for demonstrating scientific concepts and theory.

Storytelling is one of the most effective ways to convey content and elearning. By getting the learners to care more deeply about the information. The technique makes the content more relatable, helping you establish a genuine connection. while increasing engagement and comprehension. The use of storytelling helps motivate and create connections with disconnected learners and online courses. Storytelling is one of the oldest and most elemental forms of knowing the use of storytelling for knowing has shifted over the last three centuries during what is known as the modern period due to a push towards scientific inquiry. Many attribute this change to the

advent of Gutenberg printing press, when storytelling, especially oral story, became considered an inferior or backward kind of thinking and a primitive form of entertainment that only for children and the uneducated, initiated, perhaps by early successes in psychotherapy and aided by the advent of newer digital media technologies, we have entered a postmodern era where story is elevating itself from an art form into a radical change agent transforming imagination into action. And elearning storytelling is enjoying a revival because it relates so well to constructivist ideas about teaching and learning. Stories have been used for centuries to pass on knowledge from generation to generation. They're at the very core of human existence, and they tend to follow recognizable patterns. We may take the concept of story for granted because we have become accustomed to encountering stories on a daily basis in many different aspects of our lives. You may recognize a great story when you hear one, but perhaps you're not sure as to what makes it great or even what makes it a story. Further, you may not know where to begin when it comes to creating a story or teaching your students how to create stories. In order for story to become the vehicle we must have a solid understanding of the building blocks of storytelling. Think about your favorite movie, television show or novel. Did the main character in that story follow the hero's journey or a similar path? Compare the hero's journey to the diagrams of Frey tags pyramid and the three act structure shown here. Do you see how fray tags pyramid, the three act structure and Campbell's Monomyth all follow a similar pattern? What does this suggest about narrative story structure and about our inherent affinity towards story, we are predisposed to respond to story, which is part of the reason story makes an excellent vessel for teaching and learning.

Case studies and examples help online learners relate to the subject matter and see how it ties into real world situations. They are also good for teaching more complex knowledge and experiences. They're necessary to ensure that learners are able to make sense of illustrated concepts. Case studies contain features such as facts, statistics, and first person accounts that are supported by reliable sources. They are hypothetical situations that are based in reality. Elearning case studies drive the point home so that online learners connect with the content on a personal level. However, it is important to ensure that you add interactive elements to your elearning case studies in order to boost active participation. Examples can be used both deductive Lee and inductively. Deductive examples illustrate a concept or show the steps of a procedure that was previously introduced. Whereas inductive examples stimulate thinking and reflection prior to providing definitions and principles. Examples are important because they help bridge the gap between theory and practice. Examples can be given on how to accomplish a task along with an explanation of the underlying principle, followed by questions about the examples to stimulate the learner's reflection and prepare them for assessment.


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