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Instructional Design Documents

March 21, 2010

This blog recently went through a name change, from “Talking and Typing About…” to “DesignDoc”. One interpretation of “DesignDoc” is a formal outline of what will be developed for a course, as in an Instructional Design Document. This document can be used to map out what will be developed and is often used as an agreement of work to be done before development starts. My experience has been that every workplace has its own version, requirements, and format, but the elements are pretty consistent.

What are the main components? A design document for an online course or module might contain items from the following list:

  • Purpose of the course/module
  • Learner description – technology skills and resources, prior knowledge
  • Goals and objectives of the course/module – learning outcomes to be measured
  • Plan for assessment of learning – methods for measuring achievement of learning outcomes
  • Selection of
    • specific instructional strategies – asynchronous and/or synchronous
    • specific media methods to be developed – video, slideshows, audio narration
  • Information related to time to complete
    • the development process
    • the course/module from the learner perspective
  • Scope and sequence of topics to be covered
  • Resources required for development of the course/module
  • List of team members and primary responsibilities – ID, SME, Media Experts, Graphic Artists, Editors…
  • Plan for maintenance and update of the materials
  • Approvals – to be acquired before development begins
  • Plan for testing and quality assurance

What’s missing? Please reply with any recommendations you have for adding to this list.

Online Resources and Examples:

Photo credit: ragnar1984, Flickr

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