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Understanding Instructional Design

Instructional Design is the process of using our knowledge of how people learn to guide our choices of instructional sequences and strategies to meet the needs of the learners and desired learning outcomes.

Instructional Design can be applied to anything that involves Human Performance Improvement. The Instructional Designer is a learning expert who can use their knowledge of the principles of learning and instruction to find the optimal method of instruction. This means finding the most effective, appealing and cost-effective solution. The Instructional Designer analyses the instructional problem, the task, learning needs and learning environment. By clearly defining the learning objectives the Instructional Designer can sequence the content and choose strategies to meet the learning goals. These decisions are based on both knowledge of proven learning strategies and practical experience.

Research has shown that particular ways of delivering instructions are more effective than others. Different kinds of learning goals require different approaches to instruction. The Instructional Designer can determine the best instructional conditions or methods to deliver learning outcomes. The Instructional designer develops instructional strategies that are tailored to the learning objectives and the needs of the learners.

The Aim of Instructional Design

The aim of instructional design is to make the instructions effective, efficient, appealing and cost-effective. The instructional designer uses a variety of interactive media to improve learning and address learning objectives. Traditional face-to-face teaching methods can be enhanced by, or even replaced by innovative e-learning methods. The instructional designer is the expert in finding the right technology to support good pedagogy.

The Information Age is making new demands on us all. Education must find ways to face these new challenges. We can no longer see learners as empty vessels that can be filled with information. The information now resides out there, distributed across a vast network and shared between all people. The challenge now is to help people to use this information safely, wisely and productively as they adapt to a rapidly changing world. We need to prepare “students to learn, work and live successfully in a knowledge-based, global society” (Newhouse, 2002). The Instructional Designer is there to facilitate learning in this new epoch, The Knowledge Age.

Instructional Design, Educational Design or Learning Design

The terms Instructional Design, Educational Design and Learning Design can be used interchangeably.  Learn more. 

What do Instructional Designers do?

Instructional Designers draw on adult learning principles to design and develop effective learning programs. This encompasses a wide range of tasks, and will vary depending on the learning solution. We’ve summarised the key job tasks and responsibilities of Learning Designers.

Key Instructional Design Skills

We’ve summarised some key skills and qualities that make a great Instructional Designer.


Influences On Learning Design In The Modern Workplace

Infograghic showing learners preferences in a modern workplace

ADDIE Instructional Design Model

Instructional Design Australia (IDA) draws on the ADDIE model of Instructional Design when delivering its learning design services to clients across Australia. Watch the video below to learn more on how IDA apply the ADDIE model.

Instructional Design FAQs

What instructional design?

Instructional design is the process of apply our understanding of how people learn to drive our decisions of instructional strategies and sequences to meet learning needs. It’s the method of drawing on adult learning theory and instructional design models and principles, to create learning programs that most effectively help learners achieve the learning outcomes.

What is the purpose of instructional design?

The aim of instructional design is to make learning effective, engaging, efficient and cost-effective.

What are three major components of instructional design?

The three major components of instructional design are:
1. Learning objective
2. Instructional activities
3. Assessment

What is the difference between curriculum design and instructional design?

Curriculum design is ‘what’ learners will learn, whereas instructional design is ‘how’ that will learn it. In other words, curriculum design refers to the knowledge and skills – the learning outcomes, while instructional design refers to the learning methods and experiences.

What skills do you need to be an instructional designer?

Exceptional Instructional Designers are learner-focused, creative and have excellent communication skills. They keep project on track, meet deadlines and maintain high quality standards. Instructional Designers are eager learners and constantly explore innovative and evidence-based strategies to improve their practice.

Learn More

Learn More About Instructional Design

Click on the links below to learn more about instructional design.

Learning Materials IDA Create

  • eLearning
  • High Level Training Designs and Training Architectures
  • Facilitator Guides
  • Learner Workbooks
  • Quick References Guides and Job Aids
  • Assessments
  • Pre-and Post-program Activities
  • Manager Embedding Guides and Toolkits
  • Online learning 
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Materials for Accredited Training
  • Any other form of training materials required


What Our Customers Say About Us

I’m so happy to have found Instructional Design Australia to design and develop our bespoke learning program. We wanted to create a program consisting of online learning, face-to-face workshops and on-the-job training. IDA aced it! We’re extremely happy with the end product.


IDA consistently exceeds our expectations. Their learner-focused approach have turned made programs fun and effective! We’ve received outstanding feedback from the participants. Thanks IDA!


IDA was a pleasure to work with – excellent communication, great attention to detail, fantastic ideas for hands-on engaging learning whilst meeting our tight deadlines. We are looking forward to working with IDA on future projects.


Blog Articles

Articles on Instructional Design and Learning Design

Who We Work With

We Have Provided Instructional Design Services For These Organisations

Contact Us

Contact Us

Instructional Design Australia (IDA) provides services to support workplace learning and change. With team members in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth IDA will enable your people to engage, learn and perform.

Contact Details

Ph: 1300 528 736

Michael Peart
Ph: 0434 075 231

Bianca Schimizzi
Ph: 0416 013 623

Online enquiry