Design

About Design

Based on the information gathered from the Analysis stage, the next step is the stage. Design, in the semantics of instructional design, refers to planning the specific needs of the instruction according to the nature of the subject matter and the conditions for instruction. For example, learning how to memorize the components of a gearbox would be approached differently than learning how to be successful in a job interview.

Your goal in this stage is to produce the following sections:

Learning Goals: Produce statements that describe (or prescribe) the outcome of instruction.

Sequence of instruction: Determine an appropriate sequence of instruction based on the Learning Goals.

Subject matter analysis: Determine the type of learning needed based on the needs defined in the Analysis stage.

Instructional strategies: Determine the appropriate methods and mode for instruction given the conditions.

At the conclusion of this chapter, you will be able to write a Learning Goal, deconstruct it into its sub-components (sub-skills, knowledge, and attitudes), determine which type of learning is evident in each of them, and then propose a form of communication to facilitate the instructional needs for each. The end product of the Design stage will be a blueprint for the media you will produce in the Development stage.

Backwards design

The techniques employed in this chapter are sometimes referred to, collectively, as backwards design. As the words imply, it refers to the process of establishing a Learning Goal and then “thinking backwards” from the outcome to determine what learners need to know, practice, and demonstrate prior to achieving the level of desired proficiency.


Writing Learning Goals

A Learning Goal sounds self-explanatory. It is a statement about the goal (outcome) of instruction. It is, however, more than just a statement. Learning Goals need to be written in a very specific way so that learners can be assessed according to the context in which the learned skills or knowledge will be applied.

In this section you will examine the written structure of a Learning Goal and then how to indicate the level of proficiency the learner will demonstrate.

The structure of Learning Goals

A well-written Learning Goal needs to state four critical elements: an observable action, the subject content, the degree of achievement, and under what conditions the learned skill, knowledge, or attitude will be demonstrated. Let’s look at an example:

Medical staff need to perform their assigned tasks at the Acme Family Medical Center
in compliance with PHI privacy requirements according to HIPAA Privacy Rules.

Observable action: In the example above, the observable action in this case is perform their assigned tasks, which is an action that involves following the rules for a given task. The person who will assess this behavior should be able to observe the stated behavior (or its indicators) to determine whether mastery has occurred.

Subject content: The subject content, in this example, refers to working in compliance with PHI privacy requirements. The combination of the action verb and subject content must be observable.

Degree of achievement (criteria): The degree of achievement describes the basis of judgement according to a standard. The standard can refer to an existing set of competencies, such as the standards for a particular profession like Project Management, or it can be derived according what will satisfy the Needs Assessment (a stated frequency or degree of accuracy). In the example above, the criterion is indicated as according to HIPAA Privacy Rules. The degree of achievement is also used as a basis of assessment. In this case, the learner’s performance and submitted work would be assessed according to the standards outlined in the HIPAA statutes and best practices for a given context. (This is why a well-written Learning Goal is critically important!).

Conditions: The conditions refer to the situation in which the learned skill is to be demonstrated. In this example, the condition refers to their work at the Acme Family Medical Center. The conditions could also refer to a specific scenario, such as in a face-to-face performance evaluation setting or within a computerized personnel tracking system.

The above example uses the verb develop, which as explained, is an action that involves creating something from scratch. When a learner is asked to demonstrate their ability to create something from scratch, they are being asked to do something at a very high level. In the next sections, you will review how to select the appropriate action verb that aligns with the level of performance the learner is expected to demonstrate.

For example, if this were an executive training session for CEOs of medical service operations, perhaps the Learning Goal could be set much higher, such as:

Facility executives need to evaluate the effect of HIPAA Privacy Rules
on delivering effective services for each population in their community.

The action verb evaluate is a higher level of mental acuity than simply following the rules of a given compliance standard, and would require a different approach to instruction and assessment.

In the next section, you will review how to select the appropriate action verb that aligns to the level of performance the learner is expected to demonstrate in a given situation.

Selecting an Action Verb: Bloom’s Taxonomy

In the prior section, we presented Learning Goals as a culmination of defined behaviors, conditions, and criteria. However, there is an additional factor to consider that describes the degree of complexity (or “level of thinking”) the learner is expected to demonstrate. Bloom et al. (1956) proposed a hierarchical model classifying Learning Goals into six tiers, each increasing in complexity as they align upward in the model (see Figure 1). Bloom’s Taxonomy has since been revised and expanded several times to encompass separate taxonomies for cognitive, affective, and sensory domains. For simplicity, this chapter will refer only to the cognitive taxonomy.

In a practical sense, Bloom’s Taxonomy helps the ID to determine the appropriate language to use when composing a Learning Goal. The model also helps the ID to determine potentially important prerequisite skills to the primary instructional interest. For example, in order for an industrial safety worker to demonstrate the ability to differentiate between one state of danger and another (a form of analysis), they would need to have mastered the ability to identify (remember) indicators of danger, explain (understand) what these indicators means, apply this knowledge to a set of conditions, and practice executing strategies related to industrial safety.

It is also important to know that Bloom’s Taxonomy does not necessarily imply that learning occurs in a strictly linear fashion, from the bottom up, according the model. The real life experience of learning may dabble back and forth across different levels of the model.

Figure 1. Bloom’s cognitive taxonomy.

blooms taxonomy

As you can see in Figure 1, action verbs are different according to the level of thinking, performance, or ability on Bloom’s Taxonomy. Let’s return to the prior example.

Medical staff need to perform their assigned tasks at the Acme Family Medical Center
in compliance with PHI privacy requirements according to HIPAA Privacy Rules.

The Learning Goal indicates that the degree of learning for this task operates on the Apply level of learned skills. The action verb for a Learning Goal related to this instruction is indicated as follows:

Medical staff need to perform their assigned tasks at the Acme Family Medical Center
in compliance with PHI privacy requirements according to HIPAA Privacy Rules.

If the Learning Goal only needed to account for the learner’s ability to recognize situations where HIPAA rules are applicable (instead of performing duties in compliance with them), it might be written as follows:

Medical staff at the Acme Family Medical Center need to recognize situations  
where privacy of PHI requires compliance with HIPAA rules.

Table 1 provides a list of the most common action verbs used in writing Learning Goals, though you are not limited to these options.

Table 1. Action verbs for each level of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Knowledge Comprehension Application Analysis Evaluation Create
Arrange
Choose
Define
Describe
Duplicate
Identify
Label
List
Locate
Match
Memorize
Name
omit
Order
Outline
Recite
Recognize
Relate
Recall
Repeat
Reproduce
Select
State
Classify
Convert
Defend
Demonstrate
Describe
Discuss
Distinguish
Estimate
Explain
Express
Extend
Generalized
Give example
Identify
Illustrate
Indicate
Infer
Interrelate
Interpret
Judge
Locate
Match
Paraphrase
Predict
Recognize
Represent
Restate
Rewrite
Review
Select
Show
Summarize
Tell
Translate
Apply
Change
Choose
Compute
Demonstrate
Discover
Dramatize
Employ
Explain
Generalize
Illustrate
Interpret
Judge
Manipulate
Modify
Operate
Organize
Paint
Perform
Practice
Predict
Prepare
Produce
Relate
Schedule
Select
Show
Sketch
Solve
Use
Write
Analyze
Appraise
Breakdown
Calculate
Categorize
Classify
Compare
Contrast
Criticize
Diagram
Differentiate
Discriminate
Distinguish
Examine
Experiment
Identify
Illustrate
Infer
Model
Outline
Point out
Question
Relate
Select
Separate
Subdivide
Survey
Test
Appraise
Argue
Assess
Attach
Choose
Compare
Conclude
Contrast
Criticize
Defend
Describe
Discriminate
Estimate
Evaluate
Explain
Judge
Justify
Interpret
Relate
Predict
Rate
Select
Summarize
Support
Value
Choose
Combine
Compose
Construct
Create
Design
Develop
Do
Formulate
Hypothesize
Invent
Make
Make up
Originate
Organize
Plan
Produce
Role play
Tell

Badly written Learning Goals

The most important qualitative factor in how Learning Goals are written is the ability of the instructor to observably assess the performance or product learners present as a demonstration of proficiency. If a Learning Goal uses vague words or phrases, it would not be possible to assess the work.

For example, the Learning Goals below cannot be assessed effectively according to the way they are written:

  • Gain an understanding of the importance of citation in academic research writing. The phrase “gain an understanding” cannot be measured because it is vague and relative rather than specific and absolute. “Understanding the importance” is a condition that cannot be assessed effectively (how does one measure whether a student understands the importance of something other than that they do or they don’t?).
  • Show consideration of the validity of a resource in developing a research question. The phrase “show consideration” does not indicate a degree of achievement.
  • Become familiar with assessment tools and procedures used to identify special needs. The phrase “become familiar with” cannot be assessed because it does not have a degree of achievement. It does not indicate a set of conditions where this skill would be demonstrated.

Special: Goals in the Affective Domain

Writing Learning Goals for learning that involves attitude/affective behaviors tend to be more challenging than in other learning domains. This is because it is difficult to measure the change in a person’s beliefs as a result of instruction.  When trying to measure beliefs or ideals, an indirect approach is often the most feasible technique.  For example, observing a learner’s behaviors or what the learner self-reports might provide insight to their beliefs, though it is difficult to verify.  The observer will often have to rely on generalizations to assess to the learner’s attitudes.


Sequence of Instruction (scaffolding)

Once you have established a Learning Goal that address the Needs Assessment, you must “unpack” the Learning Goal into the sub-skills or knowledge that would be required to achieve the desired outcome. In the vernacular of education and instructional design, the term scaffolding is used to describe the process of incremental learning where each step in the learning sequence enables the learner to take on the next step of the learning process. An example would be a child learning the alphabet before they learn to sound out words.

Your challenge at this point is to determine all of the sub-skills, prerequisite knowledge, and attitudinal factors that contribute to the learner being able to achieve the Learning Goal. This process, in formal ID practice, is often conducted with an and may also involve extensive task analysis.

Deconstructing a Learning Goal into a sequence of objectives

Let’s use a relatively simple example of a Learning Goal related to frying an egg:

Given a set of standard kitchen appliances and tools, the learner will be able to fry an egg according to the “over easy” recipe.

While this goal appears to be fairly straight forward, you will find that it is surprisingly more complex than you’d imagine, once deconstructed. For example, a learner with no prior experience would need to be scaffolded in the following sub-skills:

  1. Ability to turn on the stove. (Some stoves are more complex to start than others).
  2. Ability to determine the proper setting of flame or heat to fry an egg “over easy.”
  3. Ability to select the proper skillet and utensils.
  4. Ability to crack an egg without egg shell fragments in the yolk or skillet.
  5. Ability to read a recipe.
  6. Ability to interpret cooking instructions as concrete acts.
  7. Ability to interpret the changes in the egg’s appearance as a factor of readiness.
  8. Ability to manipulate the spatula to flip the egg over.
  9. Ability to remove the egg from the skillet and serving it without dropping it on the floor.

In the example above, the sequence of instruction would account for the necessity to master certain skills before advancing to the next. However, in some cases, there may be a need for establishing prerequisite skills before other skills. In the example above, it may be important to establish the ability to read and learn some safety tips prior to learning how to turn on a gas stove. Part of your work as an ID will be to negotiate with an on which aspects of the learning experience are more important to know in advance than others simply because of the context of the skill as it will be demonstrated.

Posner and Strike (1976) and English and Reigeluth (1996) provide several approaches for sequencing instruction for effective learning.

Prior knowledge: In deconstructing a given Learning Goal into its components, you will need to know how the sequence of instruction relates to the learners’ prior knowledge (which you would have determined as part of your Analysis). This information can tell you the degree to which instruction is needed at each step. For example, if the learners in the over-easy egg frying lesson already know how to turn on a stove, then you would not need to produce instruction for it. You would only need to refer to their prior knowledge of turning on a stove as an element in the step describing at what level to set the flame or heat.

Familiarity: The familiarity technique for learning-related sequencing focuses on what is most familiar to the learner, and then uses this as a reference point while progressing the instruction to cover the lesser known knowledge or skills. A lesson could begin with something that the learner is already interested in or something the learner could easily perceive as engaging.

Progression of difficulty: Beginning with the least difficult skills and progressing to the most difficult can be an effective way to design instruction since the easier tasks will build confidence toward taking on more difficult tasks later on.

Concept-related sequencing: In concept-related sequencing, instruction is sequenced according to how people naturally organize information in their memory, such as from general concepts to specifics. An example would be to teach the concept of a professional e-portfolio as a representation of a person’s work history, and then focus on how to produce elements that comprise the portfolio itself according to a thematic pattern.


Subject matter analysis

In the previous step, you deconstructed a Learning Goal into its component skills and knowledge and then sequenced them into individual objectives. Now you must classify the subject matter in each step of the sequence to determine the type of learning to which they align. For example:

  • If employees need to learn how to use a piece of machinery, the type of learning will involve the physical ability to operate the controls according to a set of conditions.
  • If social service providers need to learn to provide counseling services to victims of trauma, the type of learning will involve the intellectual ability to identify indications of trauma in different people and apply evidence-based strategies to address human needs.
  • If an organization’s staff needs to eliminate sexist behavior or attitudes, the type of learning would involve the cognitive ability to self-assess one’s attitudes and reproduce positive responses according to a model of behavior.

Types of learning

There are six basic forms of knowledge, skill, and affect, as shown in Table 2.

Table 2. Definition of Types of Learning.

Type of learning Definition Example
Factual Declarative knowledge; “knowing that…”; recall-based information; ability to recognize an instance of. Memorizing a multiplication table.
Conceptual A collection of information where its coherence is determined by a defining set of attributes. The ability to discriminate which style of art a given painting belongs to.
Principles / Rules Information organized as relationships; rule sets that explain the relationship of a given state; The scientific theory related to the expansion and contraction of matter under changing temperatures.
Procedural The ability to take steps in a given order to achieve a goal; to know how to do something in an applied setting. How to repair a broken auto transmission.
Interpersonal Skills that pertain to goal-seeking behavior in human interaction. The ability to de-escalate conflict.
Attitude A perception about the outer world and oneself that guides decisions and actions. Overcoming the taboo that prevents talking about suicidal feelings.
Psychomotor Motor skills that are contingent on a procedural rule. The ability to impart life saving procedures in various emergency situations.

Let’s bring back the example of frying an egg over-easy to review which type of learning applies to each part of the instructional sequence:

  1. Ability to turn on the stove. This is a procedural skill.
  2. Ability to determine the proper setting of flame or heat to fry an egg “over easy.” This knowledge involves understanding principles of cooking.
  3. Ability to select the proper skillet and utensils. This skill involves concept knowledge.
  4. Ability to crack an egg without egg shell fragments in the yolk or skillet. This is a procedural skill.
  5. Ability to read a recipe. This a cognitive skill related to factual knowledge.
  6. Ability to interpret cooking instructions as concrete acts. This is a psychomotor skill.
  7. Ability to interpret the changes in the egg’s appearance as a factor of readiness. This skill involves concept knowledge.
  8. Ability to manipulate the spatula to flip the egg over. This is a procedural skill.
  9. Ability to remove the egg from the skillet and serving it without dropping it on the floor. This is a procedural skill.

As you can see, the general skill of frying an egg over-easy is procedural, but the sub-skills involved in scaffolding achievement of the Learning Goal can be a mixture of several types of learning.

Your Subject Matter Analysis report should show each aspect of the instructional sequence and an indication of which form of knowledge, skill, or affect applies to that specific part of the instruction.


Instructional Strategies

At this point in your design work, you have:

  1. Determined the Learning Goal for the instruction.
  2. Deconstructed it into a sequence of sub-skill, knowledge, and attitude objectives.
  3. Identified the type of learning that applies to each objective in the instructional sequence.

Your next task will be to examine the appropriate instructional strategies that align with the types of learning that will occur in your design. In short, an instructional strategy, like all strategies in general, is a method for achieving a particular goal. This is to say that each type of subject matter lends itself to employing a certain instructional strategy.

In the egg frying example, the ability to turn on the stove is a procedural skill. A typical instructional strategy for learning this procedure may involve an expert explaining how a gas stove works, modeling how to turn on a gas stove safely, supervising each learner as they practiced the task, offering corrective feedback, and answering questions as they go.

Table 3 describes typical instructional strategies associated with each type of learning.

Table 3. Matrix of instructional strategies.

Type of learning Definition Instructional strategies
Factual Declarative knowledge; “knowing that…”; recall-based information; ability to recognize an instance of.
  • Exercises linking prior knowledge to new knowledge
  • Exercises organizing or classifying new information to simplify it.
  • Exercises involving metaphors, elaboration, mnemonic devices, highlighting, rehearsal, memorizing.
  • Exercises involving the use of new knowledge in its appropriate context.
Conceptual A collection of information where its coherence is determined by a defining set of attributes.
  • Practice recognizing/identifying instances based on definitions.
  • Review of examples and non-examples of members of a concept group.
  • Apply concepts in context.
  • Identify key examples, emphasize connections, elaborate concepts, summarize, paraphrase.
Principles / Rule Information organized as relationships; rule sets that explain the relationship of a given state.
  • Practice recognizing/identifying underlying concepts of a principle or rule based on definitions.
  • Practice applying the principle or rule in context.
Procedural The ability to take steps in a given order to achieve a goal; to know how to do something in an applied setting.
  • Modeling of the task that explains the rules for executing it.
  • Practice identifying instances where the procedure or decision applies (pattern recognition).
  • Practice in authentic situations.
  • Self-assessment; feedback.
  • Revised practice patterning.
Interpersonal skill Skills that pertain to goal-seeking behavior in human interaction.
  • Practice metacognition skills to develop the ability to self-assess.
  • Identify instances of behavior to build awareness.
  • Develop goals for behavior based on desired outcomes.
  • Explain how these behaviors achieve the desired outcome.
  • Practice desired behavior.
  • Evaluate feedback; self-assess.
  • Revise goals.
Attitude Perception about the outer world and oneself that guides decisions and actions.
  • Practice metacognition skills to develop the ability to self-assess.
  • Identify instances of various attitudes to build awareness.
  • Develop goals for behavior based on desired outcomes.
  • Explain how these behaviors achieve the desired outcome.
  • Practice desired behavior.
  • Evaluate feedback; self-assess.
  • Revise goals.
Psychomotor Motor skills that are contingent on procedural rules.
  • Modeling of the task that explains the rules for executing it.
  • Identify skills and sub-skills that contribute to the execution of the task.
  • Identify the patterns of motion and interaction that are relevant to apprehending the task.
  • Practice in authentic situations.
  • Self-assessment; feedback.
  • Revised practice patterning.

Selecting a mode of communication

In the prior section, you examined which instructional strategies would be appropriate for the types of learning indicated in the instructional sequence. However, it does not describe how these learning strategies can be facilitated as a mode of communication.

For example, in the egg frying example, one of the required sub-skills includes the ability to turn on the stove. As a procedural skill, the mode of communication for the instruction could be conducted in any of the following ways:

  • A visual diagram with images that show how to turn on the stove; the learner follows the diagram on their own.
  • A video that demonstrates how to turn on the stove; the learner follows the video on their own.
  • A live in-person studio environment where an expert demonstrates how to turn on a stove; the learner takes a turn turning on the stove under supervision.
  • A live two-way virtual video streaming setup so that an expert can demonstrate how to turn on a stove; the learner practices turning on the stove under supervision.
  • No instruction whatsoever; the learner seeks information and discovers the process on their own as a problem-solving exercise.

The process of selecting appropriate mode of communication is dependent upon the following factors:

The characteristics of the learner: If the learners in the egg frying example were experienced adults, a visual guide or video might be sufficient because the learners already have enough prior experience to apply to the new task. If the learners were teenagers who had never used a gas stove before, it might be more appropriate to conduct instruction in-person.

The nature of the subject matter: If a person in a sales professional course was learning how to engage in conversation with prospective customers, an optimal instructional strategy would be for the learner to practice conversation in role play activities. The use of a role play strategy, in this case, is based on the premise that the form of practice conducted during instruction should be analogous to the performance of the learned skill in an authentic situation.

The character of the information: If the subject matter involved a lot of references to visual information, elements in motion, or objects in a cause and effect scenario, the mode of communication should support the learner’s need to see the elements that are relevant to the instruction, such as video or illustrations. Likewise, if the character of the information involved interpreting and annotating written material, the mode of communication should accommodate the learner’s need to read the content under optimal conditions.

The affordances of the learning environment: Given multiple options to consider as a mode of communication, you may find that only one or two of them are capable of operating feasibly under the conditions of instruction, such as a classroom or in an online course.

Next, let’s review the most common modes of instructional communication, their strengths, and weaknesses.

Communication to facilitate instructional strategies

Historically, training and education has been a face-to-face (F2F) endeavor. However, in the modern age of ubiquitous tools for communication, the perception of F2F instruction as the only “real” instructional mode of communication has been challenged. The following list describes a range of communication options for facilitating instructional strategies.

In-person: In-person instructional engagement is optimal when the nature of the subject matter lends itself to immediate interplay (the flow of observation, questions, answers, practice, feedback, etc.). In-person instruction is ideal in most cases, but it isn’t always feasible if learners are geographically dispersed, and it is also very expensive. Sometimes, there are no other options but F2F because of the focus on subject matter that exists in only one location, like archaeology, laboratory education, or training on specific machinery.

Reading and writing: Reading and writing are advantageous when the nature of learning involves internal deliberation and intervals of revision, especially when the subject matter involves an individualized product. Writing is also easy to share, edit, and annotate. Writing is not optimal if the nature of subject matter has nothing to do with writing, as a medium. For example, a student in a sales professional course would not gain as much in writing their proposed engagement with a prospective customer as they would practicing it verbally in realtime in role play.

Quizzes: Quizzes are simple question and answer instruments used primarily for self-checking declarative knowledge (recall). Quizzes are a good method for measuring surface level knowledge recall but are not good indicators of applied knowledge. For example, a quiz on the translation of Spanish nouns will indicate a learner’s ability to remember the English meaning of Spanish nouns, but it is not a good indicator of whether the learner can actually speak Spanish.

Role play: Role play involves realtime interaction between individuals where the conditions are controlled according to a scenario. Role play is optimal for demonstrating interpersonal communication, participating as a form of practice, and observing as a form of vicarious learning and for contributing feedback. However, it requires pairing with other participants and the extra logistics of gathering people together. Role play can occur between the learner and instructor or student-to-student.

Interactive multimedia/Gamification: There are many interpretations of multimedia, though we will define it here in the most modern context of online communication. Interactive multimedia are objects containing audio, video, and graphical elements with an added ability for the viewer to interact with the media according to a purposeful design. Examples can include:

      • Video media with a foreground layer of clickable objects.
      • Narrated slideshow visuals with clickable elements to review more information or to complete a task.
      • Data visualizations where the user can manipulate objects or data to observe a corresponding output.
      • Visual media where the system produces a feedback output according to the random input of the user.
      • Video media with threaded comments in specific areas placed by viewers.

Gamification is a form of interactive multimedia where the engagement is designed around completing sections of instruction for completion badges or points.

Multimedia is strong in showing cause and effect, time based phenomena, audio based information, and visual relationships. Interactive multimedia also enables learners to progress through the information at their own pace and repeat sections if necessary. Multimedia, however, is time consuming to create and requires a lot of resources, such as software and  specialist authoring skills, depending on how complex the multimedia needs happened to be.

Visual imagery/graphics: Visual imagery is strong in showing visual relationships, diagrams for the flow of information or material, authentic representations of real phenomena, and rhetorical meaning. Visual imagery is typically used when the instructional needs require a visual reference accompanied by narrative text. Visual imagery, however, can only convey information one way. This limits the degree to which you can communicate information with certainty that the reader will interpret the information as the author intended. If the subject matter has complexity that lends itself to conversation and collaboration, visual imagery may be useful in some way, but not necessarily as the only form of communication.

Simulations: Simulations can be relatively simple recorded screencasts with embedded interactivity, or simulations can refer to high resolution immersive 3D virtual reality systems. An example of a simple simulation would be an interactive recording on how to use an application or software system. An example of an immersive simulation would be a training facility for law enforcement or military readiness training with full sensory affordances.

Recording/Presenting: Using tools to record and present oneself is a strong method for learners to demonstrate their ability to convey information verbally and with the use of accompanying visual imagery. The process of writing a script, organizing a narrative, and rehearsing intensifies the learners personalized engagement with the subject matter. If the subject matter is related to the learner’s ability to communicate verbally with visual information, recording and presenting provides excellent practice. However, using tools for recording and presenting requires the availability of computers or other devices to record digital media, software to edit and prepare it, and skills for uploading/publishing the video. Some learners may need to learn how to use computer devices and software first before they can produce a recording for a given instructional activity.

Video conferencing: Video conferencing is the digital equivalent of an in-person instructional classroom or studio. Video conferencing is strong in facilitating the presence of many people simultaneously for the purpose of conducting a discussion or lesson much as you would expect in a F2F context. However, F2F engagement includes an element of personal tension that is lost in a video conference. It is more difficult for participants to sustain their attention longer than a certain duration unless there are forms of engagement. The host of a video conference needs skills in maintaining the flow of engagement and participation in ways that are similar to but different from F2F instruction. Video conferencing also requires participants to have a computer device, software, and a strong internet connection. Video conferencing tools include Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom

Curating: Curating, as the general definition implies, is about collecting information according to a theme or an organizing principle. In the modern sense of it, curating refers to collecting references to information on the Internet. As a whole, curating describes the learner’s ability to locate appropriate information, evaluate its credibility, organize it, and perhaps tag items according to a set of principles or concepts. When a learner shares their curated material, it demonstrates their personal perspective on the meaning of their interest or goals. Curating is also strong as a collaborative activity where groups of learners interact in the process of deciding which resources are better than others. However, curating, on its own, does not necessarily demonstrate learned knowledge or skills unless there is a way for learners explain the basis of their curating decisions. Curating also requires learners to have a computer or internet-enabled device, an internet connection, information literacy skills to locate credible information, and access to Software to collect curated information. Curating platforms include Diigo and Evernote.

Discussion: Discussion about knowledge, skills and attitudes is as old as human existence. Naturally, when the subject matter lends itself to a rhetorical exchange to arrive at a conclusion, discussion is a strong method of communication. Discussion can occur as an in-person activity, in a video conference, or as a text-based asynchronous discussion such as a discussion forum in an online course. Live discussion is strong in its ability to sustain immediate interaction and feedback. However, it does not permit much time for participants to deliberate in preparation for speaking or conduct research. A text-based discussion in an online discussion loses the immediacy of live interaction, but it enables all participants to contribute to the conversation whenever they are available, and provides lots of time for participants to craft what they want to say in their discussion post, including links to information on the internet, visual media, and perhaps even video.

Annotation: Annotation refers to adding information to an existing artifact, such as referring to some other piece of relevant information, adding a hyperlink, asking a question, or responding to another person’s question. The value of annotation is the ability to provide multiple perspectives on the interpretation of information so that viewers can consider a range of possible meanings for the information. A typical example is YouTube commenters adding or explaining new information about the subject matter that would enable other viewers to know more about what was originally presented. In a text environment, annotation is sometimes used in the evaluation of original historical documents. However, annotation, as a digital activity, requires learners to have a computer and the capability to annotate a document online using software or a browser plugin. The instructor needs to plan an annotation activity in advance and assist students who have never done this type of activity before. Annotation systems include Hypothes.is, VidGrid, Voicethread, and GoReact.

Online collaboration: Several online platforms exist that facilitate multiple participants collaborating in a singular online workspace, similar to a collaborative online whiteboard. These systems can accommodate live (synchronous) participation or as others choose to participate (asynchronous). Online collaboration is strong in its ability to visualize information and organize it according to a particular theme or template. Using an online platform, however, may cost a fee or it may be a barrier to participation if learners do not have a computer or Internet connection. Miro, Mural, and Padlet are examples of online collaborative tools.

The selection of instructional strategies is fundamentally a communications challenge. This means that the ID, as an expert in instructional communication, must be well-versed in the various means by which individuals can be situated in a communications environment for the purpose of instruction.


The Design example below refers to a training program for staff at a family medical facility who need to learn how to recognize instances where medical information privacy rules are applicable, perform their tasks in accordance with federal privacy guidelines, and recognize situations where they should stop what they are doing and ask for help.

HIPAA Training Program: Design

Our analysis of the training needs for Acme Family Medical Center has produced the following training goals:

Staff will need to demonstrate the ability to perform the following:

  1. Recognize all instances of information that are considered PHI according to HIPAA rules.
  2. Perform their assigned tasks at the Acme Family Medical Center in compliance with PHI privacy requirements according to HIPAA Privacy Rules.
  3. Recognize situations where the appropriate actions are unclear and ask for help before taking further action.

Training participants are functioning in the Company as the executors of tasks as a matter of prescribed operations. They do not make strategic or operational decisions. Therefore, the level of training proposed in this design will be limited to the needs encompassed in field based tasks.

Training Design

There are three goals proposed in the training program. Each goal is deconstructed into its component knowledge, skills, and attitudes and then posted in a matrix of proposed instructional strategies.

Training Goal 1: Staff will be able to recognize all instances of information that are considered PHI according to HIPAA rules.

This goal involves learning about the HIPAA guidelines and then relating those guidelines to situations that arise during work operations. The design of the training module for this goal will involve the following:

Pre-test quiz: An interactive quiz that presents situations and terminology related the scope of subject matter. This will measure trainees’ prior knowledge and reveal patterns where instruction may be needed in great focus.

Readings and media: Trainees will be provided with a combination of media that explains HIPAA rules, terminology, and situations according to the needs as described in the Acme Family Medical Center context.

Group discussion: Trainees will participate in group discussion where they can describe their in-service experiences related to HIPAA rules and reflect on how to address them in the future.

Multimedia assessment: Trainees will access an online examination where they will respond to situation prompts.

Training Goal 2: Staff will be able to perform their assigned tasks at the Acme Family Medical Center that sustain privacy of PHI according to HIPAA rules.

This goal involves applying what they have learned in Training Goal #1 to their everyday work. Since staff workers operate in different areas of the operation, trainees will be grouped together according to commonalities in their routine. Cumulatively, the breakdown of tasks involved in the ability to achieve this goal include:

  • Recording information taken from client intake into the EHR system.
  • Printing examination reports, referrals, and medical advisories.
  • Filing printed material in hardcopy filing systems.
  • Completing insurance coding information.
  • Verbal interaction with clients, caretakers, and medical providers.

The design of the training module for this goal will involve the following:

Hands-on group work simulation: Trainees will be grouped according to their work classification and then demonstrate how HIPAA rules apply to their specific work tasks in simulated situations.

Gamification: Trainees will participate in a group activity to “spot the violation.” A designated staff member is provided with a list of intentionally flawed actions and decisions to follow while others observe in a game to spot all of the violations, explain how they are non-compliant, and propose an alternative action or decision.

In-person assessment: Trainees will be assessed by the trainer according to trainees’ accurate adherence to HIPAA rules in the performance of their typical workplace tasks.

Training Goal 3: Staff will be able to recognize situations where the appropriate actions are unclear and ask for help before taking further action.

This goal involves applying what they have learned in Training Goals #1 and #2 into unfamiliar situations so that they are able to recognize situations where they should take no further action until they consult with a supervisor. The purpose of this goal is to reinforce the importance of taking actions or making decisions only when it is in compliance.

The design of the training module for this goal will involve the following:

Group discussion: Trainees will participate in small group discussions led by a trainee expert that will provide case study situations. Participants will write their responses individually and then share in a discussion about appropriate actions to take.

Multimedia assessment: Trainees will complete an interactive e-learning program that presents them with situations that are unfamiliar to their area of experience or expertise and respond according to HIPAA rules.


References

English, R.E., Reigeluth, C.M. Formative research on sequencing instruction with the elaboration theory. ETR&D 44, 23–42 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02300324

Posner, G. J., & Strike, K. A. (1976). A Categorization Scheme for Principles of Sequencing Content. Review of Educational Research46(4), 665–690. https://doi.org/10.3102/00346543046004665

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ADDIE Explained by Albert D. Ritzhaupt and Steve Covello is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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