Design an Instructional Plan

You probably know people who seem to know “in their bones” how to do something but cannot explain it to save their life. At the same time, you probably know people who aren’t the best at doing something, but who seem to be able to explain it in a way that anyone can understand. This shouldn’t be a surprise. Being able to do something and being able to teach it are markedly different skills.

For example, an excellent computer programmer may not be the best computer science teacher, and so on. Doing something and teaching that thing requires different skills.

In particular, teaching and designing training requires “pedagogical content knowledge” – which refers to understanding how people can best learn that subject. Don’t worry this document will help you with this area. This includes (but isn’t limited to) things such as:

  • How the project is organized, how it hangs together
  • The subtle aspects of tasks that are often critical to understanding
  • Analogies or conceptual models that facilitate understanding of the tasks
  • Where the stumbling blocks are for people who are new to the project – the aspects of the tasks they’re likely to have trouble understanding
  • Common errors or misconceptions about the tasks and how those errors and mistakes can be corrected

Keep these points in mind when putting together a plan (step 4).

We understand that much of the instruction on LiveEDU.tv is being created on the spot while it’s being delivered. However, putting even a simple instructional plan together in advance will increase the reliability of the quality of the content and will benefit the subscribers learning from your project.

Follow these five steps to designing an instructional plan.

Five steps

  1. Determine the tasks needed to complete your project
  2. Develop learning objectives for each task
  3. Sequence the objectives into instructional units
  4. Put together a plan for each session
  5. A summary and introduction for the training program

Step 1: Determine the tasks

It can be challenging to design an instructional plan without first understanding what the learners should learn. What will your training achieve for someone watching it? Generally, within a project, you will have main tasks that you will complete. These will most likely make up your sessions. Within those main tasks, you will have different steps/subtasks.

For example- Project-Change a lightbulb

       Main Task/Session- Take out old bulb

          Subtask 1- Turn off the power supply

          Subtask 2- Turn old bulb counter-clockwise

       Main Task/Session- Put in new bulb

          Subtask 1- Turn new bulb clockwise in the socket

          Subtask 2- Turn on power supply

Think about your learners when developing these tasks. Because you are an expert, some things just come automatically without thinking. Try to make your list as detailed as possible.

Step 2: Develop the learning objectives

What will the learners be able to do upon learning each of the main tasks? Use your Main tasks to help you write out the learning objectives

After watching this project on “How to Change a Lightbulb,” you will be able to:

  • turn off the power supply
  • unscrew your old lightbulb
  • screw in a new lightbulb
  • turn on your power supply

Step 3: Sequence the objectives

Normally you will be arranging your objectives in the same order needed to complete the project. However, you can also arrange them depending on the skills and knowledge your training addresses:

  • Familiarity – starting with familiar tasks and progressing to tasks that are less familiar
  • Difficulty – starting with easier tasks and progressing to more difficult ones
  • Frequency – starting with tasks that are performed more frequently and proceeding to those that are performed less
  • Criticality – starting with tasks that have particularly significant consequences and progressing to those that are less critical

Step 4: Put the plan together

This is where you determine how best to present the project to your learners. For each of the tasks/Learning objectives develop a strategy for presenting the project, other than merely typing in code while streaming. This is where the “knowing how people learn” aspect comes into play.

For each task, if it applies, write out how to present the task, this means making a note to talk about it while you are doing it:

  • Your learners will be experienced. Write down some ways you can relate the task to what they may already know.
  • The subtle aspects of tasks that are often critical to understanding. For example, is there anything about this task if the learner forgets, or doesn’t implement it will adversely affect the outcome of the project?
  • Analogies or conceptual models that facilitate understanding of the tasks. Can you make an analogy or give the learner a model to look at to get a better understanding of what you are doing?
  • ·Where the stumbling blocks are for people, who are new to the project – the aspects of the tasks they’re likely to have trouble understanding. Can you highlight these and talk about how to overcome these areas?
  • Common errors or misconceptions about the tasks and how those errors and misconceptions can be corrected. Again, highlight these areas and write some notes about how you can talk about this and why people encounter these errors.

Step 5: Add a summary and an introduction

Now that you’ve created a plan for each unit, you can create the summary and introduction for the whole training program.

Training program summary

Describe the summary of the training program as a whole. Just write out how you want to close each session. A point to keep in mind here is that the summary should provide a clear, coherent ending for the training program, a way of wrapping things up.

Training program introduction

Describe the introduction for the training program as a whole. Write out how you plan to introduce the training program to the learners. This should include any opening statements, icebreakers, etc. that you plan to use. Describe the structure for the training program as a whole.

Instructional Plan Template

A. Use this table to specify the overall length of the training project

How long (in minutes) is the entire training program?__ minutes
How many sessions will you include in the training program?__ sessions

B. Target Audience and Learner prerequisites

Who is the course for?Describe what learners need to know prior to course.
__________________________________________________________________

C. Use these tables to briefly (2 – 3 sentences each) describe each element of the training sessions and areas to highlight/ explain to the learner during the instruction.

Introduction to the training project

Write a brief (2-3 sentences) description of the introduction__________________________________________
________________________________________

Session 1:   Enter a descriptive title for each session

Tasks/Learning Objectives of session How much time (in minutes) will be allocated to each task Write a brief (2-3 sentences) description of each task. Provide a few sentences on what to highlight or talk about to ensure understanding of critical or commonly misunderstood areas.
__ minutes
__ minutes
__ minutes

Session 2:   Enter a descriptive title for each session

Tasks/Learning Objectives of session How much time (in minutes) will be allocated to each task Write a brief (2-3 sentences) description of each task. Provide a few sentences on what to highlight or talk about to ensure understanding of critical or commonly misunderstood areas.
__ minutes
__ minutes
__ minutes

 

Session 1:   Enter a descriptive title for each session

Tasks/Learning Objectives of session How much time (in minutes) will be allocated to each task Write a brief (2-3 sentences) description of each task. Provide a few sentences on what to highlight or talk about to ensure understanding of critical or commonly misunderstood areas.
__ minutes
__ minutes
__ minutes

 

NOTE: Repeat this table for each session specified in section A.

The conclusion to the training program

Write a brief (2-3 sentences) description of the conclusion

 

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