The Instructional Design Process

The Best Choice .... according to the experts

If you are planning to any course materials online, you may want to use the instructional design process described below. The goal of this process is to help make the development process more efficient and ensure the best use of your time.

Note: Many units working on multimedia design, online course design or course redesign use models like these to determine the best changes to implement.

  1. Identify Instructional Design Goals and Objectives
  2. Determine Assessment Procedures
  3. Design the Instruction
  4. Develop the Instruction
  5. Pilot-test the Instruction
  6. Revise instruction based on student performance and feedback
  7. Deliver the Instruction

flowchart with revision loop

Of course, this is a simplistic model; many variations exist. Also not mentioned here is the in-between step of revise, revise, revise.


  • It is a simplest model of designing the instruction.
  • It provides step by step instruction of the entire design process.

Basic Information

1. Instructional Design Goals and Objectives

This is where you develop your blueprint for the instruction. What is it you want your students to learn? How will you break your instruction apart into pieces so you can be sure your students have learned what they need?

At this stage in the process, it is often beneficial to meet with one or more instructional designers to determine your goals and objectives.

If you want or need to do this on your own, here is a quick tutorial on goals and objectives.

2. Determine Assessment Procedures

Based on your objectives, you should be able to quickly and easily determine how to assess your students.

Instructional Designers and test experts can assist you with this. See the "Resources" section of this CD to identify a group that can assist you.

If you want or need to do this on your own, here is some information on objectives and assessment.

3. Design the Instruction

Now that you know exactly what you want to teach, you can design the instruction.

Many people storyboard their instruction before they actually develop it. A storyboard is a visual layout of the instruction, a sort of "pencil and paper" rough draft of the real thing.

Developing and refining your storyboard will save you lots of time in the development phase. Fixing mistakes on paper is far easier than on the screen!

4. Develop the Instruction

This is the stage where the storyboards are "brought to life" on the computer. This is also the stage where the most technical expertise is required, and many projects bring in programmers or multimedia developers to assist.

However, it is a good idea to collaborate with your developers and instructional designers at earlier stages so that they can suggest technologies which can enhance your design the most.

5. Pilot-Test the Instruction

Now try out the instruction on some students, even if it is still in rough form. Listen to their feedback, and try to work their suggestions into revisions.

6. Deliver the Instruction

That's it! The instruction is ready to go! And don't forget to take notes on minor tweaks in future semesters.

The more materials you put online, the easier it will seem.


Dick, W., Carey, L., & Carey, J. O., (2001). The Systematic Design of Instruction
(5th ed.). New York: Addison-Wesley, Longman.

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