IntroductionPart I. Instructional Design PracticeUnderstanding1. Becoming a Learning Designer2. Designing for Diverse Learners3. Conducting Research for Design4. Determining Environmental and Contextual Needs5. Conducting a Learner AnalysisExploring6. Problem Framing7. Task and Content Analysis8. Documenting Instructional Design DecisionsCreating9. Generating Ideas10. Instructional Strategies11. Instructional Design Prototyping StrategiesEvaluating12. Design Critique13. The Role of Design Judgment and Reflection in Instructional Design14. Instructional Design Evaluation15. Continuous Improvement of Instructional MaterialsPart II. Instructional Design KnowledgeSources of Design Knowledge16. Learning Theories17. The Role of Theory in Instructional Design18. Making Good Design Judgments via the Instructional Theory Framework19. The Nature and Use of Precedent in Designing20. Standards and Competencies for Instructional Design and Technology ProfessionalsInstructional Design Processes21. Design Thinking22. Robert Gagné and the Systematic Design of Instruction23. Designing Instruction for Complex Learning24. Curriculum Design Processes25. Agile Design Processes and Project ManagementDesigning Instructional Activities26. Designing Technology-Enhanced Learning Experiences27. Designing Instructional Text 28. Audio and Video Production for Instructional Design Professionals29. Using Visual and Graphic Elements While Designing Instructional Activities30. Simulations and Games31. Designing Informal Learning Environments32. The Design of Holistic Learning Environments33. Measuring Student LearningDesign Relationships34. Working With Stakeholders and Clients35. Leading Project Teams36. Implementation and Instructional DesignAppendicesAuthor Biographies



Our purpose in this book is twofold. First, we introduce the basic skill set and knowledge base used by practicing instructional designers. We do this through chapters contributed by experts in the field who have either academic, research-based backgrounds, or practical, on-the-job experience (or both). Our goal is that students in introductory instructional design courses will be able to use this book as a guide for completing a basic instructional design project. We also hope the book is useful as a ready resource for more advanced students or others seeking to develop their instructional design knowledge and skills.

Our second purpose complements the first: to introduce instructional designers to some of the most current views on how the practices of design thinking contribute towards the development of effective and engaging learning environments. While some previous books have incorporated elements of design thinking (for example, processes like prototyping), to date no instructional design textbook focuses on design-oriented thinking as the dominant approach for creating innovative learning systems. Our aim is to provide resources to faculty and students for learning instructional design in a manner consistent with a design-oriented worldview. But because the classic approaches to instructional design are still important for many professionals, we also include chapters that introduce some of the traditional, systematic processes for designing instructional environments. We hope this blend of traditional and innovative views provides readers with a competitive advantage in their own work, providing them with a larger set of conceptual tools to draw on as they address the professional challenges they face.

This book is divided into two major sections. The first, Instructional Design Practice, covers how instructional designers understand, explore, create, and evaluate situations requiring educational interventions and the products or systems used to support them. In this section, chapters address how we understand diverse learners and their needs; how to explore and frame the educational problems one is solving; how to analyze the context and tasks associated with the problems; how to iteratively generate decisions, prototypes, and solutions; and how to evaluate and understand the effectiveness of an instructional design.

The second part, Instructional Design Knowledge, covers the sources of design knowledge, a variety of instructional design processes, approaches for designing instructional activities, and the relationships important for instructional design practice. This section includes chapters addressing learning/instructional theory, design precedent, both systematic and agile design processes, and practical strategies for using technology wisely, managing projects, and creating instructional activities.

This book was developed as part of the library of open textbooks. Thus, this book is openly licensed (CC-BY-NC) and free to use, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute, with proper citation. This platform provides many innovative features for students and faculty, including the following:

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One of the exciting things about the field of instructional design and learning technology is how quickly it evolves. As soon as new technologies are introduced we see instructional designers experimenting with how they might be put to use for learning purposes. The same is true regarding new scientific findings from psychology, sociology, communications, or other human sciences, with professionals in our field scrutinizing them to understand what relevance they might have for improving the learning or teaching process. We hope this book becomes a similar, cutting-edge resource that helps readers implement our growing understanding regarding how to design effective and engaging learning environments.

Good luck!

Suggested Citation

& (2020). Introduction. In & , Design for Learning: Principles, Processes, and Praxis. EdTech Books. Retrieved from