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Instructional Design


We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.  - Peter Drucker

What is Instructional Design?

The mission of The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching is dedicated to leading the exploration and implementation of exemplary teaching and learning, promoting the value and practice of teaching excellence to improve student success through innovation, collaboration and research.  Our team of Instructional Designers collaborate with faculty and teaching assistants on mapping course design, integrating student-centered learning activities and assessment for tradititional, online and blended courses.  

What is an Instructional Designer and what can they do for me? 

Instructional Design has to do with translating pedagogical research and practice into instructional curriculum specifically crafted to produce desired learning outcomes, and though technology may be helpful in many cases, implementing technology is not the goal of instructional design—good instruction is.

Instructional Designers engage in a theory and research-based process of designing and implementing instruction for better learning. The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) defines this as “the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of processes and resources for learning” (Reiser, 2002, p.1).

Though there are many models for designing or redesigning a course, the creative process employed by  Instructional Designers is based on improving learning and generally always includes the following:

  • Assessing overall curriculum needs
  • Analyzing learners background knowledge and instructional needs
  • Determining course goals
  • Determining course objectives and the sequence in which to address them
  • Developing and implementing instructional content, teaching strategies, and assessments
  • Conducting formative and summative course evaluations

Overall, our Instructional Designers perform a wide variety of tasks, from reviewing syllabi to designing full course materials, and/or entire curricula. The multi-media formats they employ can range from simple slideshows to online tutorials and complex interactive multi-media. The delivery system may vary from face-to-face classroom instruction to online/distance education, and/or blended courses. Training, consultation and resources are provided that promote excellence in teaching and learning strategies to engage students in discovery, promote self-directed learning and facilitate successful acquisition of expected student learning outcomes. Learning that extends beyond concept and theory involves the ability to analyze, synthesize and reflect where tudents develop a sense of inquiry that takes them to the next level of learning and discovery.


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