Definition | Instructional Design

Instructional Design

Instructional design is the practice of creating an instructional experience for users of a certain product, service or system. It creates instructions to enhance user experience, create efficiency in skills and time, effective uses of graphic elements to alleviate problems with the instructions and to make it appealing. Instructional design determines the current needs and state of the audience or learner, which then defines the end goal of the design. There are five phases of instructional design models, according to This system is called ADDIE which consists of:

  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Development
  • Implementation and
  • Evaluation.

1. Analysis

This step allows the researcher to determine the learning goals, objectives and problems associated with the audience. Their needs, values and current knowledge about the product or topic must be considered and evaluated. This stage allows the teaching method, barriers and timelines to be identified, evaluated and decided upon. During analysis, many learning theories are tested in order to determine the most effective use of instructional design for the target audience.

2. Design

During design, the information gathered from the analysis phase begins to develop into a specific plan of action. In doing this, a systematic process is developed which produces specific learning objectives for the audience. A mock up of the design is created as a result of the process completed beforehand. Testing and further research into the target market are carried out to assist the later stages of the design production. During design, many decisions are finalised and creates a narrow, focused path where plans begin to form.

3. Development

This is the section where the last two phases meet and are turned into a fully functioning instructional design. The plan that was made in analysis and design is given a physical form where further testing is done to ensure it is ready to be implemented into the market. This instructional design is similar to that of the final product.

4. Implementation

This is the action phase. All previous research, testing and development come together to create the final instructional design. Instructors of the product are given the material and are taught how to convey the message to an audience, ready for distribution. Once this is completed, the instructional material is placed out in the market ready for the learners.

5. Evaluation

This step is where the information is gathered from the learners after delivering it to them in the implementation phase. It is then evaluated for efficiency, knowledge, user experience and more. The two types of evaluation used in this step are formative and summative. The formative evaluation is derived from all previous phases in the process. Throughout each step, the end result is then evaluated which provides feedback for the creator and designer of the plan. The summative evaluation process involves the evaluation of the plan based on the previous syllabus, including feedback from the target audience – the learners – and the instructors. Based on the information found from this step, the plan is then revised and can be sent back to ensure all the necessary issues are seen to and fixed.

Instructional Design is an in depth process requiring extensive evaluation, testing and research to ensure the most effective user experience for the target audience.