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E-Learning Development Instructional Design Fundamentals

Updated: Jul 6, 2022

create eLearning or online training program using instructional design and articulate storyline 360

What Is the Importance of Instructional Design?

The learner may or may not receive the information they require if instructional design is not used. You can encourage learners to cut through a lot of unnecessary material and get right to the vital stuff thanks to instructional design. Instructional designers are the most common name given to those who practice ID, although there are many others: training designer, instructional technologist, e-learning designer, e-learning developer, educational technologist, and so on.

What Is Instructional Design and How Does It Work?

If you're creating a course, you're probably doing so to help learners learn new information or skills. This will be aided by effective instructional design.

Instructional Design (ID) may be defined as the process of taking information and structuring it in a way that is both intriguing and understandable to learners. That may be overly simplistic, but it's a nice place to start.

Typically, the ID process is based on one of several different theory models. The most well-known and extensively used is ADDIE, which stands for Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate, and is an acronym for the five phases of the approach.

create eLearning or online training program using instructional design and articulate storyline 360

Analyze: This is the most crucial part of the ID process because it allows you to identify the critical aspects you'll need to create a good e-learning course, such as training needs, learning objectives, and learner profiles.

Design: Instructional designers use what they learnt during the analysis phase to start organizing and structuring the material during the design phase. The project's learning activities, exercises, evaluations, visual design, and interface design all fall under this category. A storyboard is a document created at this phase of production that details all of these decisions and serves as a blueprint for the course.

Development: Instructional designers use the storyboard they produced in the design phase to construct the activities, exercises, graphics, and so on in the production phase. This stage also entails beta testing and troubleshooting any issues that arise.

Implementation: This is when the course is posted to a Learning Management System (LMS) or made available online for students to view.

Evaluation: Following the implementation phase, the course is assessed to see how well it met the goals set forth in the analysis phase. It's possible that the course will be revised and updated as a consequence of the evaluation.

The current ID standard is the ADDIE method. Other ID models, such as the SAM Model, are available, but they aren't as extensively utilized.

If you're new to e-learning or ID, the amount of information available online on the various ID models and learning theories may overwhelm you. To begin, it's important to define instructional design. Simply said, it's the process of making a learner's learning experiences more effective, entertaining, and engaging. A good instructional designer will construct e-learning that fulfils the audience's learning objectives and needs.

Recognize your target market

create eLearning or online training program using instructional design and articulate storyline 360

The discipline of instructional design includes a lot of analysis. You can look at a range of things, but make sure one of them is your audience. To create an effective e-learning programmed, you must first determine who your training is intended for.

These are the questions you should ask.

  • What are the characteristics of your students and what are their requirements?

  • Do they have any computer skills or are they absolutely non-technical?

  • What level of familiarity do they have with the subject at hand?

  • Knowing who your learners are and where they're coming from can help you figure out how to create material that matches their needs the most effectively.

"Need to Know" and "Nice to Know"

Separating need-to-know information from nice-to-know information is another critical ID activity. Excessive material that does not assist learners in doing their duties or tasks should be removed.

create eLearning or online training program using instructional design and articulate storyline 360

When determining what to include in your course, think about the following questions:

  • Is this an important consideration?

  • Is this anything that the students will ever need to know in order to execute their jobs?

  • What would the consequences be if they didn't know?

  • Leave it out if the information is only interesting to you.

Separating Need-to-Know from Nice-to-Know: Dos and Don'ts


  • Determine how the content will be used in the workplace. You can better offer the subject in a way that learners will connect with if you grasp the practical application.

  • Determine the consequences of not knowing a specific piece of information. Knowing how important it is to learn the material allows you to create situations with realistic outcomes.

  • Make certain that each piece of material contributes to the learning objectives. If it doesn't, either your learning objectives are incorrect or the material isn't necessary.


  • Allowing your client or a Subject Matter Expert (SME) to persuade you that everything is critical is a mistake. When you're enthusiastic about a subject, everything seems to be on the line. However, such is not the case. It's your job as an instructional designer to figure out what material is most important to the learning objectives of your course. It doesn't matter what else you do.

  • Include "nice-to-know" information only as a filler or to make the course appear more substantial. Information that isn't absolutely necessary can detract from what is truly vital. Learners will have a tougher time learning and remembering important knowledge as a result of this.

Adhere to a Simple Course Structure

When it comes to e-learning project design, there's no need to reinvent the wheel. You can follow the basic foundation for e-learning courses.

create eLearning or online training program using instructional design and articulate storyline 360

  • Welcome: Welcome your learners to the course

  • Instructions: Describe how they will navigate the course, including which buttons they will need to press, and so on.

  • Introduction: Tell learners why they're taking the course and what they'll get out of it if they finish it.

  • Objectives: Outline the particular course goals so that students know what to expect.

  • Content: This is where you'll create the bulk of your course's content. You may break it up into lessons, each having its own intro, content, assessment, and conclusion, depending on the length.

  • Assessment: Give learners an assessment to evaluate if they've retained the information.

  • Summary: Reread the course objectives you stated at the beginning.

create eLearning or online training program using instructional design and articulate storyline 360

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