Good designers start by looking at the goals of the instruction and the graphic needs of the entire package, be it book, slideshow, e-learning module, or single-page job aid. They identify delivery and production constraints – page size, budget, bandwidth, learners’ workplace, classroom, or study area. They profile their audience, identifying key learner characteristics such as prior knowledge, primary language, visual acuity, cultural heritage, and interest in the instructional goals.
Only then do they begin to create the overarching design of the package, the display framework-what e-learning designers often call the “look and feel” or graphic interface and what videographers call the “treatment” into which the individual graphics must fit. The next sections look at how instructional designers can do that systematically.
Define Goals Goals are: To inform or motivate To build near-transfer (procedural) skills & associated knowledge To build far-transfer (problem-solving) skills & associated knowledge can include procedural skills that support far-transfer tasks
Define Context Context Includes: Learner Profile - e.g. novice, advanced, mixed Learning Landscape – e.g. classroom, self-study computer Deliver Media – e.g. book, computer, (resolution, bandwidth, etc.) Pragmatic Issues – e.g. budget, style, guides, etc.
Design Visual Approach Designing the Visual Approach includes: Determine the image Assess general graphic requirements of content Design Treatment – includes decisions about: Instructional Strategy: Text Dominant or visual dominant Layout or Interface for Media (style, orientation, real-estate) Navigation and functionality (for online learning) Surface features that align with context and goals
Identify Communication Function Needed to Match content types Identify Communication Function for: Multiple Content – use organizational visuals Procedures – use representational, transformational visuals Facts – use diverse representational and mnemonic visuals Process - use transformational visuals Principles – use explanatory visuals, such as relational, interpretive, or transformational