Friday, February 08, 2013

instructional design


How instructional design will improve teaching and learning in the classroom?

The modern education system aims at enhancing the skills and strategies of teaching and learning in the classroom to make it effective and appealing than traditional methods of teaching. Instructional design is just like an accelerator in learning and teaching, giving proper flow and structure to the instruction throughout the courses. But before this, let me eplain what an instructional design is? Instructional design is a process by which instruction is improved through the analysis of learning needs and systematic development of learning materials. Instructional designers often use technology and multimedia as tools to enhance the instruction (Kearsley, 2011). I feel that instructional design is very essential part of classroom teaching and learning if you want to have the good learning outcomes at the end. If the instruction we have for our learners are well designed, it is going to guide us throughout our instruction delivery.
The instructional design is guided with different learning theories and models which make it so effective to be used in the classroom. Effective instructional design can create environments that lead to deep learning and provide students with opportunities to reflect, discuss, and learn actively. An essential characteristic of this design process is that it never finishes because only by continuously improving and assessing the instructional design and its implementation will enhance learning experiences which will definitely become stronger and more effective over time.
This instructional design has tremendous affect on classroom teaching and learning which I am going to explain in detail in this assignment. This assignment will also take us through advantages of use of instructional design in the classroom teaching. This assignment is not mere lay down of my opinion; it contains the ideas of some other experts with my own perception. 

The government today has realized that the use of instructional design should be increased in the education system because they have found it effective and appealing to education so called modern education. “Instructional design affords educators, administrators, and curriculum developers the opportunity to observe problem areas in the current curriculum, and systematically make the necessary changes that will improve student performance” (The Utilization of Systematic Instructional Design). As classroom instructors, we are in a constant state of revising and editing our daily lesson plans to reflect and address the needs of our individual students.  Sometimes, this is enough to see improvement in student work.  However, more often than not, the problem is part of a much larger issue; one that cannot be rectified by simply altering a daily lesson plan.  The process of instructional design specifically focuses on identifying problem areas in student performance and systematically develops possible solutions. This can be achieved through providing proper training to the teachers so that they can implement this in the field.
I being one of the educators of the future generation, I strongly feel that the use of instructional design will help the teacher to come out with good delivery strategy which is going help students understand the concept better. The instructional design also focuses on type of learners and helps us come out with appropriate strategies and teaching learning materials. Instructional design also acts as the guidance to the teacher throughout the whole process. Since, instructional design makes the learning process cyclical, it helps us to evaluate and assess the learners at the end of the lesson.
The following are some of the reasons how instructional design help to improve classroom teaching and learning;
Instructional design encourages the advocacy of the learner (Smith, 2000). It is very important here that learners are considered to be the focus of the instruction. Designer mainly focuses on the learners and tries to find out more information about the learners in the beginning of the stages. Information about the learners should take precedence over other factors that might drive design decisions, including the content itself (Smith, 2000). Today even in our Bhutanese education system, advocacy of the learners are highly taken care. We look at the stage of learners and accordingly we come with the appropriate teaching strategies and other aspects of learning.
Shift the balance of power toward the learner.  The use of instructional design will make learning more meaningful. The power of students’ understanding on different concepts presented to them by their teacher becomes easy to understand. Using of instructional design can help facilitate the transfer of power and give students opportunities to practice mastering the material at their own pace. They know the real day to day application of what they learnt and in this way learning takes place at a high capacity ( Rothwel, 1996).
Use content to organize activities. Students appreciate a structured, logical flow to their courses, and how you organize your assignments and activities can go a long way in minimizing confusion (Mager, 1997). The logical sequencing of teaching learning materials, the content to be taught, learning activities in the class, etc. determines the effectiveness of learning. The technologies that support how you organize and communicate course materials and expectations could include instructional design.
Think of teaching as facilitating learning. Instructional design always tries to eradicate the traditional method of teaching and learning. It helps the students to actively participate in the learning process and construct their own knowledge.  Teaching with technology enables the instructor to create learning experiences that will gain the attention of all the learners. Gaining attention is one of the most important components of good learning.
 Responsibility for learning rests with the learner. The main person behind their learning should be themselves. The individual accountability is very important in modern education system and this can be seen in instructional design. Learner-centered teaching means creating assignments that allow students to practice building connections with the material, and evaluate their learning. In this way, we do not have to teach them; instead they will come with different interpretations, which indicate learning.  
 Evaluation provides a way to foster learning. It is important that we evaluate the learning at the end of the lesson so that we know child’s understand and go further accordingly. This helps us to revise or modify the instruction if it is not so well according to the learners.
Lastly, if I relate instructional design in our own context, it is very near to our eye that we are  perceiving the differences between the education of yesterday and today in our country. The quality of teaching and learning has rapidly improved today as compared to yesterday. The main reason of improvement comes from the use of appropriate instructional design tools in the classroom teaching. 
We the teachers are provided ‘instructional design’ as a separate module in the college to study thoroughly and put in practice when we go to the field. The Bhutanese education system’s curriculum and lesson are embedded with instructional design, making teaching and learning more of student centered. Thus, we can proudly say instructional design not only improves the classroom teaching and learning but it also guides the tutor throughout the course throwing us with optimum benefits.

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