Thursday, January 31

Instructional Design - If - When - How Much

Cammy Bean helped spark and work through the February 2008 Big Question with me.

Instructional Design - If, When and How Much?

In a bit more detail, the critical question seems to be:

For a given project, how do you determine if, when and how much an instructional designer and instructional design is needed?
To help you get started, I would recommend looking at some of the thoughts in the following posts:
The more that Cammy and I have explored this topic, the more questions we feel we have:
  • What value do we really offer beyond a SME with a tool? How do we distinguish the cases where we are needed?
  • (Reuben Tozman) What skills/knowledge do instructional designers bring to the table that is unique to our profession that other trades do not? Is our value in wielding the latest and greatest rapid development tools? Not if our SME's are using them also? Is it our knowledge of psychometrics when we create assessments? Nope. Is it our writing abilities? Is it our knowledge of communications?Do you think instructional designers should be able to use the tools?
  • Do you think instructional designers should go away and leave the rapid tools to the SMEs?
  • If we want SMEs to use rapid eLearning tools to create content, do they need training in ID? What training?
  • If someone without a background in ID is told to "create this course" - are they doing instructional design? Or is it something different? Is there some kind of range of ID capability? How do you explain the spectrum?
  • How can I really tell if there was good ID work? Could I have done as well by producing something far less?
  • If it takes more to create something "better" - do I really need to do that? How about when up-front knowledge of return on investment is not really known?
  • How is this different in academia vs. corporate.
Cammy's thesis - and I agree - is that ID is widely varied. But with that variety comes a big question of the value of ID as compared to a SME with a Wiki or rapid eLearning tool.

How to Respond:

Please post on your blog or put thoughts in a comment and I'll put a link to your post. You will get bonus points for:
  • Including a link to this post and even better include the Big Question logo.
  • In your comment, provide an HTML ready link that I can simply copy and paste. In other words - please include an HTML anchor tag in your comment. PLEASE.
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