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Random Thoughts on Instructional Design

Guide to Planning Online Courses – Part 3 of 11

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Outline the Course

Make an outline that matches each course week or module with associated date, lecture materials, labs, assignments and corresponding items. This comprehensive outline can be very helpful when you go to build your course skeleton. Also detail which artifacts will be used for what module.


Week 2 – Foundations of Instructional Design


  • Explore future technologies and identify their impact on instructional strategies
  • Explore learning theories and their impact on online and multimedia enhanced education

Items to Think About

  1. In your view, will future technologies (e.g., those related to artificial intelligences) more effectively combine learning styles and instructional strategies? Support your response with citations to printed materials or links to the Internet.
  2. You have been hired to design a training course for a topic in your area of specialization. Using Table 6.2 in the textbook as a template, what would you incorporate into each subcategory to motivate learners?
  3. Events that occur at one point in time are likely to influence theories that are developed sometime thereafter. For example, the theory Gagne` first put forth in the 1960s was most likely influenced by his work designing military training during the 1940s. Think about present-day events and how they may shape future views of learning and instruction. On the basis of your ideas, describe an instructional theory that may appear in the next twenty years and discuss the events today that are likely to shape that theory.


  • Review the Learning Theory concept tutor
  • Identify the area that you would like to research for the portfolio project
  • Read Chapters 6 & 7 in the textbook
  • Participate in the weekly discussion

Moderator Instructions

Please lead a discussion of  items 1 & 3 listed under the "Items to Think About" section this week.

  • Start the discussion by putting a message in the Discussion room that has the week and title of the activity. For example: "Week 2: Future Technologies"
  • Start the ball rolling by starting the activity no later than Sunday midnight, and making your own contribution, or by acting as cheerleader and encourager to entice messages from your classmates.
  • As people answer, chime in, see other ideas, and generally keep the conversation moving. This is like being the convener of a meeting at work, where you have an agenda, and you need to get input from everyone.
  • At the end of your week, summarize and close the discussion. Once the job is done, you have earned your points.

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This entry was posted on March 14, 2006 by in Distance Education.

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