Instructional Design for Distance Education

Instructional Design

An instructional design team experienced in video, audio, and computer conferencing should design or adapt a course for the interaction model. Instructional design should be based on adult education theory and techniques, self-directed learning, learning styles, collaborative learning, team based exercises and interaction projects based upon the content. Some members of the design team may need additional training.

Mix of Media

The use of video, audio and computer conferencing forms the basis for a move toward multimedia. As students and faculty become familiar and comfortable with the existing but separate mix of media, they are preparing for the use of multimedia that will be available over wideband transmission lines. These new hypertextual environments will be interfaced with computer conferencing systems to produce a more advanced communication and education medium. This is a new learning domain which will enable educators and students to engage in learning interactions more effectively, and will develop new and different forms of educational interactions. Because the mix of media and multimedia appeal to a variety of learning styles, students will learn more effectively than they would from any one medium alone.

Faculty Training

Faculty need to be trained in video, audio, and computer conferencing technologies and the methodologies and techniques that will work well in these media. Faculty need to be trained in adult education theory and application so that the student is encouraged to become self-directed and take responsibility for initiating interaction. Faculty should be trained to facilitate students who have become self-directed. Faculty should be given access to the learning style instruments completed by students and trained in learning styles.

Student Training

Students need to know how they learn based upon learning style instruments that are administered by the distance learning division (such as the Canfield Learning Style Instrument). Students should be given information about their learning style, self-directed learning, adult education, and group based collaborative learning. Students should be given information about interaction, instructor expectations about their level of interaction, and guidance in how to interact through video, audio, and computer conferencing.

from "The Distance Learning Technology Resource Guide," by Carla Lane