Instructional Design Demystified: What Is It, and How Do You Do It?

Think about the last time you learned how to do something. Maybe you watched a video on how to smoke a turkey or tie a tie. Maybe you took a photography class or attended a safety training at your workplace. These experiences—and so many more—are examples of instructional design. So what is instructional design?

Consider the basic instructional design definition: designing and developing learning experiences to achieve learning outcomes.

In the case of the smoked-turkey DIY, the learning experience was the video and the learning outcome was being able to smoke a turkey. But whether the learning experience is a two-minute video or a six-month course, effective instructional design is the result of an intentional, thoughtful process that intersects with all industries and takes many forms.

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