Educational technology, also known as EdTech, plays a vital role in transforming the traditional educational system we’ve been familiar with for so long. With so many new tech tools and devices available, educational institutions can leave their old teaching methods behind and replace them with newer, better ones.
Although technology in education is helpful for all learning fields, instructional design is where the power of educational technology can truly shine through. If you’re interested in learning more about instructional design and the role of educational technology, make sure to keep reading.
About instructional design
First things first, it’s important to say something about what instructional design is. Instructional design, or instructional system design, is about creating learning experiences and instructional materials.
Through creating materials for acquiring knowledge and applying skills, the instructional design aims to collect more information about how students learn and find the most effective methods for achieving academic goals.
As such, the instructional design also assesses needs, designs a learning process, develops materials, and evaluates the effectiveness of all these steps.
The role of an instructional designer is to apply this systematic methodology for designing and developing various forms of learning content. After the instructional designer determines what learners should know after education and what they already know, the designer can then use the acquired data to develop a perfect course using tools for instructional design.
You can use instructional design to create presentations, handouts, participant guides, job aids, and many other materials. It can be used both for educational, training, and assessing purposes.
Key components of instructional design
Although every instructional design process is different, they have some similarities. Namely, all instructional design models have similar key components: analysis, design and development, and evaluation. Let’s see what they’re all about.
As the first key component of the instructional design process, analysis is focused on understanding what learners need to know after finishing the educational course. Therefore, analysis is used to find out more about why a learning or training solution is required in the first place.
During the analysis stage, instructional designers also start to develop all the main learning goals and objectives. They can also give you a general idea about how you will deliver the training later on.
Design and development
The design and development stage is where most of the action takes place. That’s where instructional designers determine which delivery methods will be used, make a draft version of lesson plans and curriculum, develop all instructional materials, and design any other features that you will be using in training.
Finally, the evaluation stage determines how successful a learning solution is. Did it help learners reach all the desired educational objectives? Did the solution have an impact on the learner’s behavior?
These are all questions worth asking when evaluating the success of an instructional design tool.
The importance of educational technology for instructional design
Now that you know more about instructional design, it’s essential to look at how educational technology influences it. As you can see, these two are closely connected since the instructional design we know today couldn’t exist without modern educational technology.
When talking about developing instructional materials, e-learning courses, or performance support solutions, educational technology helps instructional designers create more successful learning products.
How we live and work today is entirely different compared to the past – everyone is used to having a vast range of information at their fingertips and a super fast internet connection. Our learning procedures have to adapt to these new norms and develop learning functions that are innovative, flexible, and creative. That’s exactly where educational technology comes into play.
Educational technology helps educational institutions develop interactive and agile learning design models that increase motivation and engagement among learners.
Therefore, regardless of the talent development field or the training objective, educational technology ensures instructional design solutions have a solid background to rely on and always provide valuable solutions to learners.
With that said, the benefits of educational technology for instructional design are:
- A wide choice of online materials;
- More engaging and interesting interaction;
- Flexible learning;
- Ability to keep up with the latest tech advances.
All in all, the power of educational technology for instructional design is outstanding. It allows instructional designers to access a wide range of resources and experiment with all kinds of different features that only educational technology can offer.
As a result, educational institutions, companies, organizations, or anyone else who wants to use instructional design can do so quite easily.