Ed 653, Instructional Design

ED 653 Instructional Design

3 Credits

  • Owen Guthrie, Instructor
  • email: obguthrie+ed653@alaska.edu
  • Phone: 907-479-4768
  • Office hours: Nearly any time by appointment.
  • Office Location: 2175 University Ave. S., Suite 200, or online (Collaborate, Hangout, chat)

Course Description

Instructional Design combines technology skills with application of learning theory to maximize the effectiveness of education. This course explores Instructional Design from a practical perspective. Students will acquire hands-on practice with a variety of computer-based tools while exploring instructional methods and principles of design.

Course Goals

  • Apply the Understanding by Design framework to course design
  • Investigate modern computer-based design tools
  • Explore instructional methods and principles of design

Student Learning Outcomes

Students in the course will:

  • create media-rich educational content
  • write effective, measurable learning objectives
  • create multi-layered rubrics for assessing student work
  • design assessments based on desired outcomes
  • map strategies for learning activities that link to outcomes
  • critically evaluate tools and methods

Required Text

Wiggins, G. P., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design (2nd ed., p. 370). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Required Readings

Choi, H. J., & Johnson, S. (2005). The effect of context-based video instruction on learning and motivation in online courses. American Journal of Distance Education, 19(4), 215-227.

Coombs, Norman (2010). Creating a level learning space in Making online teaching accessible : Inclusive course design for students with disabilities (pp. 1–18). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Coombs, Norman (2010). Making multimedia accessible in Making online teaching accessible : Inclusive course design for students with disabilities (pp. 101–113). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

deJong, T. (2010). Cognitive load theory, educational research, and Instructional Design: Some food for thought. Instructional Science, 38(2), 105–134.

Kirschner, P. A., Sweller, J., & Clark, R. E. (2006).Why minimal guidance during instruction does not work: An analysis of the failure of constructivist, discovery, problem-based, experiential, and inquiry-based teaching. Educational Psychologist, 41(2), 75–86.

Krathwohl, D. R. (2002). A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy: An overview. Theory Into Practice, 41(4), 212–218.

Mayer, R. E. (2002). Rote Versus Meaningful Learning. Theory Into Practice, 41(4), 226–232.

Morain, M., & Swarts, J. (2012). YouTutorial: A framework for assessing instructional online video. Technical Communication Quarterly 21(1), 6-24.

Instructional Methods

A variety of instructional methods will be used in this course, including Internet research, reading assignments, discussion, reflection, presentation, peer evaluation, and hands-on practice.


Student grades will be based upon the following criteria:
100%-90% A, 89%-80% B, 79% – 70% C, 69% – 60% D, 59% and below is an F

Final course grade will be calculated using the following formula:

  • active contributions to class discussion: 15%
  • reflection activities: 10%
  • homework: 25%
  • critical evaluation of tools and methods: 10%
  • projects: 20%
  • online learning module design: 20%

Course Assignments

Class discussions—15%

Students are required to contribute meaningfully to online class discussions and peer review of projects. The minimum quantity of participation is one original post and one response per week. Beyond this minimum requirement, grading will be based on the quality of participation, not on the number of posts.

Reflection activities—10%

At three points in the semester, students will be asked to reflect on their own learning. Scoring for these activities will be based on thoughtful, articulate descriptions of challenges, progress, and focus for sustained growth or improvement.

Homework—25% (five assignments @ 5% each)

  1. Establish or revitalize your personal learning environment (5%)
  2. Identify three enduring understandings (5%)
  3. Write three measurable learning objectives for one of the enduring understandings in homework #2. (5%)
  4. Design and implement a student assessment, complete with a scoring rubric. (5%)
  5. Create one page of text and graphics or one multimedia element. Explain how your design addresses issues of accessibility. (5%)

Critical evaluation of tools and methods—10%

Write a 5-page evaluation paper. Using the strategy map developed in Homework Assignment 2, consider at least three tools (or methods) that might be used to reach the desired outcome. Compare and contrast strengths and weaknesses of each. Cite research-based evidence to support your final conclusions about the most effective tool/methods for use in this instance. Citations and references must adhere to the American Psychological Association (APA) Formatting and Style Guide.

Projects—20% (four projects @ 5% each)

  1. Create an original graphic for use in instruction (examples might include diagrams, photos, annotated screen shots, course banner) (5%)
  2. Create a brief (3-5 minutes) audio podcast for use in instruction. (5%)
  3. Create and publish a brief video or screencast (5%)
  4. Use web-based tools to design a learning activity. (5%)

Online Learning Module Design—20%

The culminating project for the course is the design of an online learning module. It may be presented either in a Learning Management System (e.g., Blackboard, Moodle), or on a web site (e.g., Google Sites), and should include objectives, content, learning activities, and assessment. Scoring will be based on coherence, navigability, thoroughness, clear instructions, and purposeful content.

The Online Learning Module must be accompanied by a strategy map, demonstrating a comprehensive and logical design for outcomes, assessments, and learning activities.


Students enrolled in the M.Ed. ONID program will transfer key assignments to their degree portfolio. The instructor will review and comment on each assignment. Most assignments will also undergo a peer review process before they are included in the student’s portfolio.

Schedule of Topics

Topics will be explored on a weekly schedule (one topic per week). Assignments related to each topic will span multiple weeks, incorporating a cycle of draft, peer/instructor feedback, revision, final evaluation. Weekly topics:

  • Personal Learning Environments
  • Instructional Design Foundations
  • Learning Outcomes
  • Assessment
  • Content Creation: graphics
  • Cognitive Load Theory
  • Content Creation: audio and podcasting
  • Evaluation of Tools and Methods
  • Content Creation: video
  • Learning Management Systems
  • Designing for Accessibility
  • Content Creation: web-based tools