In my newest class in the MAET program, Adapting Innovative Technologies to Education, we have been learning about Instructional Design Principles, which are a great set of parameters to follow in order to avoid downfalls in your technology-rich lessons. It facilitates learning by the interaction of the following components (Yelon, 2001):

A problem or a need – there must be a problem of practice or an educational need that should be addressed during the lesson.

A real-world performance – how the learning objectives fit into a real-world activity or need.

An instructional objective – the objectives are based on the final outcome, activity or test. These objectives will each be different for the four types of knowledge; performing skills, recalling facts, identifying examples of concepts, and applying principles.

A set of essential content – the basic ideas and skills that will allow the learner to complete the task or understand the content.

An evaluation consisting of a test or observation – an assessment, observation or product providing evidence that the objectives have been accomplished in the real-world setting.

A method to help participants learn – the method to deliver the content; a lesson.

Other fundamental areas to consider according to my instructor, Dr. Susan Wright, are:

Motivation: Dr. Yelon provides three basic principles of motivation (Yelon, 2001):

Meaningfulness – content and activities must have meaning for the learner

Pleasant consequences – the effects that achieving the goal will have on the learner

Novelty – an attention-getting, humorous or curious manner that relates to the useful information in your lesson

Socialization: A strong motivator for student learning. The Designing Online Learning video on social interactivity by Richard Culatta in the field of educational innovation presents on-line learning as a social activity.

Audience: For what audience are you designing this lesson? Consider the following:


Skill level (including technology skills)

Prerequisite knowledge (including technology background)

What motivates your audience (Cleman, 2006)

Here’s the lesson I created to address these principles: Reveilleau_IDLessonPlanTemplate.doc. Feel free to comment, make suggestions or ask questions.

Featured image: Pyramid, CC By Blondinrikard Fröberg.

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