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What is instructional design, and how can it revolutionise professional development?

#Blog#Instructional Design#Learning Design#Learning Strategy#Organisational Learning#Professional Development

Training programs are crucial to the success of any business, but let’s face it – not all of them are created equal. 

That’s where instructional design comes in. 

It’s the process of creating effective, engaging training materials that actually resonate with learners.

Rather than simply regurgitating information, instructional designers carefully craft course materials that take into account the unique needs of learners and the specific learning objectives. They use creative and innovative techniques to deliver information in a way that’s not only informative, but also memorable and enjoyable.

So if you’re looking to take your professional development to the next level and create training programs that actually work, look no further than the power of instructional design.

What is instructional design?

Instructional design – it’s the process of creating learning resources that actually work. But what exactly does that entail?

At its core, instructional design is about more than just developing training materials – it’s about creating effective learning experiences. This involves everything from understanding the specific needs and goals of learners, to designing engaging training materials, to delivering resources that are both physical and digital.

Instructional designers are masters at tailoring training programs and course materials to specific outcomes, using innovative techniques to ensure that the learning experience is as efficient, engaging, and inspiring as possible. From eLearning courses to video tutorials to instructional manuals and more, the possibilities are endless.

But instructional design is more than just a one-size-fits-all approach. Instructional designers take into account adult learning theories and learner characteristics to create resources that are tailored to the unique needs and learning styles of their target audience.

How can instructional design benefit your business?

Instructional design has benefits for your business beyond just teaching your employees. Instructional systems design encourages the people within your business to become more involved with new processes and overall business and learning goals, and enjoy more engaging learning experiences.

Productivity is vital in any business, and instructional design invites productivity by ensuring all the people within the business are on the same page and understand the company goals and expectations.

Online learning and online courses are especially useful in today’s climate, with many people working remotely. The creation of cohesive educational communications and new technology for educational purposes can ensure all staff members have access to the same training, regardless of their location.

Businesses that use instructional design to curate their learning and development program enjoy a streamlined training path which benefits all.

Principles and best practices of instructional design

There are various popular instructional design models which can be utilised to tailor training materials for different groups of learners for different purposes.

Some of the most popular instructional design models include:

ADDIE model

The ADDIE model is an effective model of instructional design which follows a systematic process. The ADDIE process used today is fairly dynamic to allow for adaptations and changes to be made to perfect the design.

Analysis phase

Analysis is perhaps one of the most important elements of instructional design, regardless of the model. In the ADDIE process, the analysis phase helps determine the gaps that need to be filled, and assists in helping you set your learning objectives.


This is when the optimal learning experience is being designed. During the design phase, the instructional designer focuses on attention to detail. This is the stage of drawing up a storyboard and designing the learning experience.


It’s time to actually develop the learning experience. The content and strategy of the course materials should already be decided, and the theory from the design stage can be put into practise.


This is where learners test out the new resources, andthe new training materials are added to the learning management system.


Is the training experience meeting the needs that were outlined in the analysis phase? Are the learning objectives being met? This is the stage to assess the success of the learning experience, and make adjustments if it hasn’t yielded the expected results.

Rapid prototyping

Rapid prototyping is an instructional design model that takes some of the concepts of the ADDIE process including the evaluation, developmental and design phases.

Rapid prototyping aims to overcome the limitations of the original ADDIE model by making it a more iterative design to allow changes as necessary throughout the entire process of design and development.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy has been utilised by educators since it was theorised in 1956 – however, it is also used by instructional designers for creating instructional materials.

Bloom’s Taxonomy is useful in clearly defining learning objectives – an important aspect of instructional design, without which the course materials won’t have the desired outcome.

Measuring the effectiveness of instructional design in training programs

One of the steps of instructional technology design is measuring the effectiveness of the instructional materials. How can you ensure that you’re getting adequate ROI for the educational technology you’ve created?

Go back to the learning objectives you set, and the gaps identified in the analysis phase. Are all learners coming away from training with new knowledge and understanding? Throughout the learning process, are the learning goals being met?

Receiving feedback from participants is another way of understanding the success or downfalls of the learning design and materials.

Get started with instructional design for your business

Inspiring and effective instructional technology can have huge benefits for your business and your learning programs, but creating cohesive training materials – and implementing them – takes time. 

If you’re looking for instructional design in Australia, here at MCI Solutions we have a team of highly experienced instructional designers that can help create holistic and tailored training solutions to suit the needs of your workplace.

We can help you through the entire instructional design process to create efficient educational technology that will deliver results. Get in touch with us today. 

July 29, 2023

By Dr. Denise Meyerson

Dr. Denise Meyerson is the founder of MCI and has 30 years' experience in vocational education. In that time, she has developed deep expertise in the design and delivery of a range of qualification programs to major corporates and to job seekers via in-person learning methodologies as well as innovative digital learning experiences.