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Instructional Design

All CNA Faculty can avail of the support and expertise of Distributed Learning's Instructional Design Team.

The Instructional Design team consists of both Instructional Design Specialists and Instructional Designers who work closely with faculty members and other content developers to design courses that provide learners with the best learning experience possible.

What is Instructional Design?

“Instructional Design is the art and science of creating an instructional environment and materials that will bring the learner from the state of not being able to accomplish certain tasks to the state of being able to accomplish those tasks.“   Broderick (2001)

Instructional Design has been described as a system, as a science, as a process and even as an art form. At CNA, we define it as the process of constructing course specific activities, assessments, and other quality learning materials to help the learner achieve a specified level of competency based on clearly defined learning outcomes.

The goal of instructional design is to guide and facilitate learning by creating content and activities that engage the learner in the process. Various types of learning objects are used including course notes, activities, interactive games, scenario based activities, discussions/debates, multimedia elements, self-assessment activities, and quality assessment items - all designed to address a range of learning styles, support the stated objectives, and facilitate learning.

What Does the Instructional Designer Do?

The Instructional Designer (ID) works closely with the content developer to choose, create, and locate materials that will be used to support the course objectives while engaging the learner in active and collaborative learning.

The Instructional Designer guides the content developer through the development process by (a) providing development guidelines, (b) identifying multimedia components and other suitable materials, (c) reviewing course content and providing feedback/suggestions, (d) converting materials to a format suitable for online delivery, (e) uploading materials to the Learning Management System (D2L), and (f) providing ongoing support during the first offering of a newly developed course. 

The ID assists the content developer in mapping out a strategy to complete the required components of the course in the timeframe specified. The ID initiates the process by working with the developer to complete a course matrix based on the objectives provided in the approved course outline:

As part of the course development process, the ID and Content Developer meet regularly (in person or via telephone, email, or Collaborate) to explore ideas, offer feedback, and ensure the timely completion of each unit of instruction.  It is the role of the Instructional Designer to suggest instructional strategies and techniques to make the material more engaging and to ensure all learning objectives are covered. All learning activities, content and assessment items must be relevant and clearly contribute to the goals and objectives of the course.

What is the Role of the Instructional Design Specialist with Respect to Course Development?

The Instructional Design Specialist (IDS) manages all course development projects and works closely with other ID team members to co-ordinate and facilitate the course development process. Once a course has been developed, the Instructional Design Specialist will conduct a final review for quality assurance/quality control purposes.

For more information, contact any member of the Instructional Design Team.