What are the Key Attributes of the Process of Instructional Design?

The method used to create, produce, and deliver learning experiences and products is known as instructional design. The learning experience can include various training sessions, while the learning products include instructional manuals, online courses, learning simulations, video tutorials, etc. Before we go into the key attributes of the process of instructional design, you should know about the basic components of instructional design.

Even though there are many different approaches and frameworks for instructional design, many of their components are the same. They include analysis, design, development, and evaluation.


Assessing the goals and motivations of the learners as well as the need for a training or learning solution are typical components of a needs analysis. It’s possible that training is not the answer and that another method of enhancing performance or a non-training approach will be suggested instead. 

Later in this phase, one starts to formulate the training’s objectives, such as the educational objectives, and chooses how the training will be delivered.

Design and Development

Design and development include choosing the appropriate distribution channels or creating instructional materials. It frequently entails creating lesson plans and curricula, as well as any e-learning, presentations, job aids, user guides, and other instructional resources or materials to be utilized in the training.


How you would decide whether your training or learning solution was successful is examined in this step. Did it have a discernible effect on the learner’s behavior, and did that behavior change result in the expected outcomes back at work?

Here are the key attributes of the process of instructional design that make the entire process of designing more effective:

The process should begin with an end in mind.

The process of instructional design frequently begins with the question, “What do I hope to accomplish?” What educational goals will the content support for the learners? What do learners need to know, comprehend, and apply in practical situations? What will motivate learners to pursue learning and excellence? You can efficiently create educational materials by starting with the end in mind without wasting time or effort. No longer do you have to hop from one place to another simply to discover some missing elements. 

The process should be learner-centered

In a learner-centered learning environment, instructors present fewer lessons, and learners do more exploring. Since the goal is to turn learners into proactive participants, such a strategy makes a great deal of sense. This does not mean that there is no place for the trainers or instructors; they are still a part of the process, but it’s the learner that is at the center of the process. The instructors are expected to take on the role of a mediator or someone who helps pupils learn and apply new abilities.

The process must be refined through continuous assessment and improvement.

You must remember that instructional design is a process and always will be; it’s not a finished product. Additionally, the process never ends. A design is evaluated for potential improvements after it has been accepted. It can be compared to software. Your team and you begin with a set of features. You’ll eventually discover problems or vulnerabilities and fix them. Eventually, your software and, consequently, your course materials may become nearly faultless. The design process, however, will never be complete since it will never be perfect. It will always be in a state of evolution.  

The process usually follows a well-defined system.

The fact that the design process never ends does not imply that it is chaotic. It’s not by accident that instructional design is of high quality. It cannot be produced at will. Different models are used by professionals in the eLearning sector, some of which are more methodical and open-ended than others. Many of them might be based on particular beliefs and tenets. Despite their variations, they all adhere to a sound technique. For this reason, the process of instructional design has a solid system in place that addresses the logical steps of analysis, design, development, application, and assessment.

One should consider the big picture in the process of instructional design.

A thoughtful instructional design is comprehensive. It carefully considers every instruction-related detail without sacrificing the overall goal. The whole is valued more highly than the sum of its parts in this holistic approach to design. And that makes sense, given the intimate connections that are present between all those components, despite their apparent separation. An effective instructional designer can recognize how they relate to one another. By doing this, the common learning issues of compartmentalization, fragmentation, and the transfer conundrum are all resolved.

In the process of instructional design, one should find or create instructional materials.

An effective instructional design would take into account the kind of resources that would work best. Computer-based training that is effective in an office environment may be less effective on a busy factory floor. Above all, the main goal of the process is to avoid creating a barrier to learning by choosing the incorrect format. 

The process should be such that it gives one the scope to evaluate the learners.

Assessing learning in the controlled setting of a classroom can be challenging without a carefully thought-out instructional design. You might not be able to develop a highly accurate assessment tool unless the instruction only addresses procedural knowledge. Multiple choice, matching, short answer, ordering, and problem-solving assessment tools can all be used to improve the accuracy of written assessments. These should be included in the final product that the instructional designers develop.

It should also evaluate the instruction.

A solid instructional design method would allow you to view the instructional material as impartially as possible after it has been utilized for the first time. What was successful and what wasn’t? While in the process, one should ask questions about the topic, the environment, the delivery method, and all other aspects of the instruction. Request feedback from the learners and leave as many questions open-ended as you can. The value of feedback forms that only accept yes or no answers is very low. Even though it takes time, monitoring performance by following instructions will yield useful data. This is a very important attribute of the process of instructional design, as it gives the designers the scope to improve their work.


These are the key components of the process of instructional design. So, the next time you engage with the process of instructional design, you will know what to look for.  

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.