Creating and implementing an educational program is a complex task that every teacher knows well with classes or tutorials with students as just the tip of the iceberg. In teaching, apart from the time spent in class, a lot of hard work that is essential for effective learning goes on behind the scenes and therefore often goes unappreciated. Moreover, when we talk about a digital environment, the complexity of the process increases, which is why we have a theoretical and practical base called instructional design.
Its purpose is to define the fundamental aspects that must be respected during the development of an educational program, based on the tools and resources available, in order to meet the learning objectives previously set.
As is logical, the applicable methodology changes depending on whether the teaching is face-to-face or online. When teaching in person, the greatest burden of work should fall on the content, the way it is delivered, and its evaluation. However, when planning for a digital environment it is necessary to carry out much more in-depth preparation, programming and monitoring work through tutorials because the limits of the classes are no longer defined.
The teacher, much more than the mere transmitter of a didactic lecture
Currently, being a teacher in e-learning education goes far beyond mastering the content. They must have a series of skills so that they are able to participate in instructional design and make it accurate and effective. Here is a summary of some of those skills:
- It is essential that you know the basis of the different pedagogical and teaching theories and methodologies (behaviorism, constructivism, Bloom’s taxonomy, etc.).
- You must be able to define coherent and achievable objectives for the educational program that is going to be taught.
- You must have the capacity to assess and organize the materials and means available, to adapt them to the course and to use them for the benefit of the student.
- Technological skills and capacities must be up to date in order to use the digital resources and online tools that are available to help with the planning and development of the educational program which they are going to support.
- If you have it, creativity will be of great help, because e-learning presents a multitude of solutions and possibilities to motivate students, to maintain their interest and to facilitate their learning processes.
- It will also be important that you are flexible enough to adapt your work plan to the changing needs, as well as to carry out more personalized attention focused on continuous tutoring. This also implies proposing solutions to carry out evaluation processes that do not exclusively require physical presence.
Many models, but a common structure for each instructional design
Every teacher has their own way of working and in instructional design the same is also true. Each e-learning teacher will follow their own criteria when preparing his or her work and designing a digital strategy that covers all of their teaching objectives. In fact, there are many models and techniques that can be used depending on each need (Merrill principles, Kemp model, ASSURE, etc.). But it can be said that there is one that, due to its simplicity and effectiveness, is universally accepted.
That would be the ADDIE model. It is currently used in a multitude of instructional design processes for e-learning education, as it is specially designed to enhance teaching with technological resources. It emerged in the mid-1970s at the initiative of the University of Florida (USA) in the context of military training, but over time it has evolved and adapted to respond to current needs.
Its name is the acronym of the phases employed in the process. The scope is wide and flexible enough to fit each specific need as can be seen below:
- Analysis phase: This is the pillar that supports the rest of the points of instructional design. As its name indicates, it involves analyzing a multitude of aspects: the needs that the program will have, its content, the resources available for its development, the profile of the students to whom it is going to be given and the viability of the objectives they establish during these first steps.
- Design phase: How are we going to present our course? This is when we build the structural framework that will shape the program that we are preparing. It implies having clear ideas regarding aspects such as the strategy, the approach and the way forward, the deadlines set to achieve each objective, the resources that will be used …
- Development phase: This part basically consists of getting down to work to create the content. Once we are clear about the style and the way in which we want to transmit specific knowledge, the next step is to prepare the material to be used and adapt it to the possibilities offered by e-learning education.
- Implementation phase: When the target has already been set, the path is well marked and the material is ready and available, it is time to launch the course. We must bear in mind that all the work that has been done up until now has been so that this phase can run smoothly. However, it is also very important that the way of teaching fits perfectly with the previously given approach and with the tools that are used.
- Evaluation phase: This is the last step and the one that will help to measure the effectiveness of the entire instructional design process that has been carried out. It includes the evaluation process to qualify the knowledge that the students have acquired, as well as forms for them to assess the suitability of the program they have followed and the work of the e-learning teacher when putting it into practice.
Voluxion, CAE’s solution for e-learning instructional design
In short, instructional design implies all the previous work that a teacher must carry out in order to create a methodological roadmap, with which he or she can implement an educational program that has specific objectives. It allows you to follow a well-defined strategy and not get lost during the process, which is invaluable in e-learning education, where the resources and options available are abundant and, in some cases, complex.
The peculiarities of distance education can cause problems for teachers when trying to adapt their traditional methodologies to the new digital environment. But fortunately, at CAE (Computer Aided E-Learning) we have specially designed tools to facilitate this transition. Among them, the Voluxion LCMS (Learning Content Management System) platform, stands out for being the most advanced form of language teaching and learning on the market.
Voluxion is designed to take advantage of the most modern technology and to enhance the functionalities and communication systems that are essential in the effective development of training management processes. In this way, it is especially intended for language teaching centers or academies, and can make a difference by allowing teachers to design their own interactive content and adapt it according to the needs of their students.
This is just one area where Voluxion is revolutionizing the way of approaching instructional design and so we invite you to find out more about everything it can offer your academy or language center. Contact us for a no obligation consultation and discover the easiest way to implement modern, efficient and productive e-learning.