Instructional Design and Development Services
An expert instructional design consulting firm is a critical success factor for online education. Strong instructional design and development are fundamental elements of any educational system but are essential for one with a distance education or self-instructional agenda. Instructional design can have a significant positive impact on the academic quality of an institution’s course development efforts. In addition, faculty who have engaged in a formal instructional design process generally characterize it as the most significant faculty development event of their academic careers.
Instructional design is the systematic process of developing effective and engaging plans for teaching and student learning. The instructional design process, consciously or subconsciously, informs all aspects of the development of learning activities and materials, regardless of modality (face-to-face, online, hybrid, self-paced, etc.). Online course development is especially challenging because it occurs without the normal visual cues, spontaneity, contextual feedback, and social interaction of the traditional classroom. Online course development requires the discipline and dedication to create the course well in advance of the scheduled semester.
Because the design of online and hybrid courses is substantially different than the design of traditional face-to-face courses, faculty who may be expert in creating and delivering the latter may be challenged by the former. The course design and development processes are best facilitated and informed by instructional design expertise. An instructional designer is a professional trained in learning and instructional theory and practice, and expert in the process of course development.
Our pool of professional instructional designers and technologists will work one-on-one with your designated faculty and staff in the design and development of instructional design standards and tools, as well as online faculty development course materials. The instructional designer pool members are all experienced and expert in applying the same proven instructional design model. This provides a consistent approach to course development and a consistent and predictable user experience for students while still accommodating discipline, subject, and instructor idiosyncrasies.
The instructional design model is typically implemented through individual collaboration between the faculty member, serving as content specialist, and an instructional designer, serving as process specialist. The instructional designer leads the faculty member through the instructional development process, guided by the instructional design model. The instructional designer ensures that the three components of objectives, activities, and assessments are consistent and coordinated. The process is often assisted by an instructional technologist or multimedia specialist.
focusEDU can provide your institution with an experienced team of instructional designers on a part-time, interchangeable basis to enhance your distance education and faculty development initiatives. This team can serve as an interim resource as you build or replace your existing instructional design staff, can supplement your existing staff to respond to time-urgent initiatives, can provide tailored training programs to your staff, or can become a recurring instructional design resource.