What is Instructional Design Strategy?

I am not going to define Instructional Design Strategy here. Instead I am going to share my childhood learning experience with you.

As I go back to my younger days, I remember my mom who used to have a hell of a time teaching me Maths. One particular incident remains fresh in my mind. This was when my mom had to teach me simple addition.

First, she taught me to use my fingers and calculate. This didn’t work with me.

Next, she used the slate and the chalk and wrote down the simple arithmetic calculation and verbally explained it to me. This didn’t work with me either.

She then used Flash Cards. I understood nothing.

Finally she picked up 5 apples. She placed 5 cups in front of me. She dropped one apple in each of the 5 cups. She asked me to pick up the apple in the second cup and drop it in the first cup. She asked me for the number of apples in the first cup. I obviously said 2.

She then asked me to pick two more apples from two other cups and drop them in the first cup. She asked me for the number of apples in the first cup again. I counted the apples and quickly said 4.

She then said she wanted 5 apples in the first cup. I immediately picked up the one apple in the last cup and dropped it into the first cup. By the end of this activity I had learned addition well.

As you must have noticed my mom was trying to use various instructional strategies to teach me addition. The final strategy proved to be the most effective of all.

The first three strategies were creative but were not effective enough to engage me.

The final strategy was not only creative but also interactive. If you had noticed the teaching process was game like. I learnt addition because I learnt by doing.

Coming to the e-learning context, you need to develop a course that is not only informative but also engages the learners. For this you need to devise a cool instructional strategy.

You will have to devise a cool instructional strategy keeping in mind the needs of the client , the media constraints and the deadlines. For example your client might want you to develop a course within a week. In such a case you cannot opt for a 3D or high level design for the course. This would require lot of time for digitization.You will have to work within constraints, yet do a great job.

Devising Instructional Strategy in e-learning is not

  • Just placing images
  • Adding interactivities such as drag and drops and click on buttons
  • Including videos and animation

Devising Instructional Strategy is

  • An art
  • A creative process
  • An innovation
  • Thinking out of the box

Does this all sound theoretical? I agree with you.

No training school or certification course can teach you how to come up with a good instructional strategy.

In my next few posts I shall talk of instructional strategies with some good examples. I shall set your thinking process to work. So watch out this blog for more on Instructional Strategies.


2 Responses

  1. I totally agree with you in that the learning process is not passive but active involvement and curiosity and an eye for details. There must be commitment on the part of the instructor and the learner.

  2. Your articles always fascinates me..These days I’m revamping some existing CBT courses and making them instructionally sound. But at the end I found that I’ve made an existing boring course bit less boring by adding some scenario, interactivity. After reading your article, I could corelate it with my project.

    what i feel is that the gap came because of no audience and task analysis. We were just given the task to make report on existing CBT and give our suggestions. But I found end result was not so good. Some times i feel I’m not justifying my role of Instructional Designer 😦

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