Originally published in Viver de Udemy – in Portuguese as part of Inbound Content strategy.

What’s Instructional Design?

Online learning has evolved considerably along technological advances. It comes to meet the demand for low-cost, flexible and high-quality education. It also requires a new teaching technique, and because of the lack of experience of professionals in this field, mistakes are still made.
Many teachers and instructors believe in the expository and traditional methods to present their theories. They demand from students, through tests and exercises, the return of the knowledge that has been passed to them mechanically. This method of learning does not bring motivation and ends up turning the classes into an “obligation”. This is not the feeling that teachers want from their students, after all, professionals seek recognition.
It is In this context that Instructional Design emerges. We’re talking about pedagogical engineering that deals with a set of techniques and resources used in teaching-learning processes. It ensures that information is transferred with clarity, resource efficiency, availability of materials, among other factors.
This makes Instructional Design an excellent technical resource in education. To put it more simply, we can say that Instructional Design aims to facilitate the learning process by the students of online courses. The application of this technique makes it possible to plan, develop and implement training projects well aligned with their objectives. This creates greater effectiveness in meeting learning needs in less time and with more satisfaction for learners.
Here are some Instructional Design tips that can help you structure your online course:
Analyze the implementation context of your project.

Is your course video based? Will students watch it on a computer or a tablet? Does the platform offer downloadable materials? The same way traditional education is limited to the location and classroom, online courses are limited to their media. Know what you can do and take advantage of the technologies available to make each lecture more productive.

Examine the profile and needs of your target audience.

Will your students watch an hour of uninterrupted video? Are they watching it during work break? Are they college students seeking for extra credit? In online education, teaching can be tailored to the needs of each individual. Know your target audience and creates material that will appeal to them. If you aim to reach more than one kind of student, create multiple courses.

Map specific objectives and learning prerequisites.

Most bad reviews received in online courses or any other product bought online could’ve been avoided if the right expectations were set. Be specific about learning objectives and what it takes to be successful in your course.

Select educational and motivational strategies, media and educational technologies appropriate to different types of learning, goals and target audiences.

In other words, don’t be boring. Use visual aids, offer extra material, practical activities and be sure your delivery is not putting students to sleep.

Sequence the instructional project itself in different stages.

Split your course into different sections, each of them dedicated to a specific subject. This will allow students to navigate the course easily and go back to previous sections they need to review or skip forward if they mastered a concept.

Use multimedia routing, use of color and learning objects, gamification and other techniques that can make your course fun.

The internet has changed our attention span forever. No matter how much your course can help improve the lives of your students, there are still a lot of options out there, between social media and stream services, that will always be more appealing to them. Make your course fun, reward your audience. Part of being a good teacher is to make your students excited about the subject and when it comes to online teaching, that means finding ways to keep them from clicking away from your page.

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