Digital Learning Object (DLO) Mockups for Combined Instructional Design + Development
By Shalin Hai-Jew, Kansas State University
When I think of instructional design work, I divide the efforts into three general efforts: design, development (and testing), and deployment. (Figure 1) In most cases, the work is done by an individual with the support of subject matter experts, or it is done by a small team. In many cases, one project has only one instructional designer/developer, even the relatively well-funded ones.
Figure 1. Instructional Design, Development, and Deployment
A Traditional (and Full) Instructional Design Sequence
Traditionally, in both the public and private sectors, a general instructional design sequence might look something like the flowchart in Figure 2. The individual or team would review the authorizing documents and consult with the instructor / subject matter expert. From these, learning objectives and learning outcomes would be defined for the target learners. Some relevant research would be conducted, some technical documents created, digital learning objects created and tested and refined, and then the elements would be deployed. Underlying the work would be the requirements for intellectual property, privacy protections (similar to publishing guidelines), accessibility, and other work.
Figure 2. Traditional Full Instructional Design Before Development and Deployment
More Condensed Instructional Design + Development Work
While storyboards were common back in the day, practically speaking, it is sometimes easier to go right to the build and work that as a draft. So many authoring tools now have a built-in storyboard, and it is possible to disintermediate the in-between steps. It is possible to write up a light draft and then create contents in online learning systems or go straight to the Design + Development combined. (Figure 3) Perhaps going through a fast design + development and launch requires reliance on plenty of prior experiences with this work. Perhaps this assumes a lot of the updates to authoring tools and other software used to create digital learning objects and online learning contents…and advances in online learning platforms.
Figure 3. Condensed Instructional Design, Development, and Deployment
The focus on work efficiencies is fairly common. This work was originally going to be about storyboarding until I realized that we often bypass this design formality except in highly complex instructional design contexts.
About the Author
Shalin Hai-Jew works as an instructional designer at Kansas State University. Her email is email@example.com.
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