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Why does Instructional Design matter?

So you have some learning material – maybe a classroom course, or a training manual – that you’d like to convert into an elearning course for your learners. Elearning software is become more and more user friendly and you’d like to just jump right into putting all the content into a convenient online format. However, Instructional Design (ID) is the step before programming, and it’s important to understand why it’s necessary to create an effective learning experience.

1. ID makes elearning efficient

Information is easy to access – anyone can dump a bunch of information into a program and show it to an audience. But there’s a difference in accessing this information and understanding and engaging with the info in a way that helps your learners improve.

Part of the problem is that usually there’s too much information, and it’s rarely organized in a way that is logical or relevant to how your learner is going to use it. The role of the ID is to streamline, condense, and structure the information in way that makes it easy for the learner to absorb it and apply it to their job.

2. ID increases learner engagement

The added value of having an ID develop your elearning course is that with a course in which the material flows in a logical way along with the activities, it keeps your learners invested in the learning. This in turn leads to better learner retention.

3. ID affects the bottom line

Many clients seem to think that the ID process is one of the corners that can be cut. However, this ends up costing more in the end when it causes more programming revisions, and results in a less effective learner experience. This wastes time and effort, so a solid ID document can save you both of these. Creating elearning that is effective and enjoyable for your learners is why you’re investing in this kind of training in the first place.

The takeaway here is that without ID, creating elearning straight from your source material would be like trying to build a house by giving the carpenters, electricians and plumbers a pile of building supplies and a deadline. The ID is the architect who can make a plan that incorporates all the disparate parts of your material into a whole – converting your content into a form that makes your elearning a great learning event.


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