Monday, June 18, 2007

How Strictly Do You Interpret Instructional Design?

I just visited Ben Hamilton's new weblog ( and addressed the issue of ISD for effective creation of learning solutions (Design (Part I) - Why is ISD receiving a black eye?).

I suggested that, on his first bullet point, "ISD is done too much 'by the book'..." can be a fair argument; too strict an interpretation for every situation can create some tedious training solutions. Instructional Design is a wonderfully powerful tool to design effective learning, and I have approached it with a sense of flexibility to fit the particular situation. Often, having a clear idea of the intended audience helps me identify to what degree I apply any given part of ID. That said, I wouldn't want to create learning solutions without it; it has helped guide me to effective training solutions by taking some rather complex components and ideas and getting them clearly communicated and covered in the training.

This very issue had come up in a recent conversation with a colleague. We found that if we interpreted ID too strictly (at least in this particular situation), the training we were trying to convey became too rigid, and made understanding the concepts we were promoting more difficult.

This is a very interesting topic to me, and I'd like to hear from others in our profession: How do you approach ID? What works best for you?