Are Teachers Instructional Designers?

What is instructional design?

According to InstructionalDesign.org, instructional design is “the process by which instruction is improved through the analysis of learning needs and systematic development of learning materials. Instructional designers often use technology and multimedia as tools to enhance instruction.”

Merriam-Webster gives a simple definition for teacher: “a person or thing that teaches something; especially : a person whose job is to teach students about certain subjects.”

I think it is safe to say that educators that incorporate technology and multimedia into the planning of instruction, the deliverance of instruction, and the assessment of instruction are instructional designers. Teachers today, who incorporate 21st century skills into the very design of their teaching, are by definition instructional designers.

Do not misunderstand me, just because you add a video to instruction, does not represent an adherence to the principles of true instructional design. The incorporation of technology should improve instruction. It should allow for analysis of the learning and the impact of that instruction. So as we ask ourselves if we are instructional designers, we must also ask:

  • Is the technology we incorporate meaningful?
  • Is the technology we include an enhancement to the instruction?
  • Do we use the technology chosen because we want to or because it is the most effective way to instruct our students?

As an educator, I must constantly evaluate the effectiveness of my instruction. Finding the delicate balance between creating engaging lessons, lessons that are enhanced by technology, yet not overwhelmed by it, is the name of the game!. As I embark on that journey, I have to look more to the processes that make up instructional technology in order to truly do it justice. In the text we are using, Instructional Design for eLearning by Marina Arshavskiy, so many processes and models are being introduced. Right now, I think ADDIE will be at the forefront of our discussions.  I am looking forward to the learning…

Just something to ponder. Instructional Designer Pedagogy Word Cloud from digitalpedagog.org

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