Designing Instruction for Online Learning

What is my personal “best method” of designing instruction?

I use 4 simple steps.

  1. Focus on mapping out the topics of instruction for each week of the course (6 weeks = 6 topics)
  2. Write the learning objectives for each week.
  3. Create the assessment items that will carefully measure the learning outcomes that I have highlighted in the objectives.
  4. Then carefully choose the content that is necessary for the learner to be successful in achieving those outcomes.

It is a combination of competency or learning outcomes based design, backward design, and rapid instructional design methodologies.  

How did you learn to design instruction?

I have been creating online curriculum since 2001.  I learned by “doing” it.  My process became more regimented when I began working with Institutions of Higher Education in 2006 and build 100s of online courses over a period of three years.  As an instructional designer for SunGard Higher Education, I had a hand in the design and development of programs at 25 different institutions in the United States and in my current role, I’m designing programs for schools in Australia, Bejing, Manilla, Latin America, the UK, and Spain.

Does your process for designing instruction match your theoretical perspective?

Great question.  When I design my own course, yes.  But when I’m designing other’s courses, I am flexible and want to let the teaching philosophy of the instructor come through in the design of the course.