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What Is Instructional Design In Education And Business?

Whether you work in education or business, it’s important to know what instructional design means. Quality instructional design is essential to learning and company growth. 

With recent developments in educational technology and the growing popularity of distance education programs, it’s an exciting time for instructional design. This article explains instructional design in education and business and how instructional design is being updated to learning experience design. It also includes an exploration of these questions: What is learning design, and what is an instructional designer?

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Invest in an environmental instructional design for a sustainable future by giving to Unity Environmental University.

What Is Instructional Design?

Instructional design creates instructional materials to make learning more efficient, effective, and appealing. It is valuable in education as well as other industries. It can help companies effectively onboard new employees and teach current employees new systems and technology. The instructional design process will look slightly different depending on the content, audience, and goals, but there are common elements.

  • Learning objectives: Objectives guide all instructional design and student learning. They are usually written as the skills and/or knowledge that students should gain from the instruction. For example, “Students will be able to identify the three pillars of sustainability and explain how they relate to their own lives.”
  • Interactive activities: Engagement is key to effective learning. The more students can interact with learning materials and actively participate in the instruction, the better. Technology is often used to increase interactivity in instruction.
  • Evaluations: Checks for understanding during and after instruction help ensure that the learning objectives are met. Good learning design incorporates the flexibility to shift instruction if needed based on elevations. For example, a section may need to be retaught with different modalities if the majority of students did not meet the learning objective.

Institutions like Unity Environmental University are improving the concept of instructional design by focusing more on learning experience design.

Instructional design emphasizes design of the instructional materials and attendant assignments, and as such, it treats learning as something that happens along a fixed path. Learning experience design frames the process of learning more holistically, encouraging us to focus less on ‘a path’ and more on ‘an open world’ in which students may progress however works best for them.

Chris Malmberg, Head of the Learning Experience Design Team for Unity’s Distance Education

What Does An Instructional Designer Do?

An instructional designer’s job description will vary depending on their company, organization, or institution. In general, instructional designers create:

  • Curricula
  • Training manuals
  • Presentation materials
  • Handouts and worksheets

Instructional designers must have a strong understanding of pedagogical best practices in their subject areas to create effective and engaging materials. They should also be able to integrate technology and gamification into learning experiences where appropriate. 

While some knowledge of the content is beneficial, an instructional designer usually works with subject matter experts, company executives, educators, and other stakeholders to create content. The history of instructional design is rooted in collaboration between education and psychology professionals. 

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Unity is an accredited environmental university dedicated to high-quality instructional design.

Instructional Design Process For Higher Education

What is instructional design in education at the university level? The main goal of any instructional design process is to create effective and engaging learning materials for a specific audience. Universities cater to diverse groups of students from various cultural backgrounds and generations. Adult learners have different learning styles and educational needs that should be accommodated in a program’s design.

Unity Environmental University’s Learning Experience Design For Online Learning

Unity Environmental University uses a multi-step, collaborative process when creating classes. This ensures effective instructional design in both in-person and online learning courses. Unity’s Learning Experience Designers (LEDs) work with subject-matter experts and academic deans to create the best accessible courses and use technology in the most efficient ways for distance education programs. 

All courses are continually reviewed to see if any changes or a refresh is needed. Also, our distance learning courses are project-based so that all students can actively participate, demonstrate their comprehension of the content, and show that they met the learning objectives. 

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a business presentation representing instructional design in business

Unity offers several carefully designed online degrees in sustainable business management.

Instructional Design Process For Businesses

Many of the instructional design processes and practices used in education can also be used in business environments. Here are some instructional design examples in business:

  • New employee training
  • Professional development for employees
  • Teaching a department how to use new software
  • Implementing a new system in the office

The first step of instructional design for businesses is aligning learning objectives with the company’s goals. This helps learning designers keep the big picture in mind with everything they do. Learning designers may work full-time for companies or as contractors or consultants.

The Importance Of Instructional Designers For Sustainability In Business

Instructional design can help existing and new companies implement sustainable business practices, whether as simple as an office recycling system or switching to locally sourced materials. A company’s goals should clearly articulate how it will promote sustainability so that instructional designers can use that as a guide when creating training and educational materials. Learning designers can also play a role in measuring business sustainability outcomes by creating evaluation and feedback forms.

Unity Environmental University’s Instructional Design Prepares Grads To Make An Impact Faster In The Workforce

Instructional designers play an important role in promoting learning and sustainability across industries. Effective instructional design for universities is student-centered and focused on career outcomes. 

At Unity Environmental University, we set students up for success throughout their degree program with experiential learning opportunities and support in finding internships. 59% of our graduates stated that their internship experiences helped secure their employment after graduation. Give today to support the future world leaders in sustainability, business, and education.