An exemplified instructional design process

  • exemplified instructional design proces

Instructional design is one of our three main services we provide as a game-based learning company.

We design innovative experiential programs and other learning solutions that produce lasting changes in peoples’ behaviour. They also make participants more engaged in their own learning process.

The instructional design process exemplified here is based on a game-based coaching tool for a dear client of ours.

The process we follow in creating innovative learning solutions

We follow a highly effective instructional design process that has 6 steps:


1. Empathizing
2. Defining
3. Ideating
4. Prototyping
5. Final version
6. Transfer


It helped us deliver great products so far as it offered us a simple framework that allowed our creative team to work organized. ‘Cause creatives can sometimes work with their heads in the clouds, as we all know.

Having this process well implemented made us more efficient, we got to know our roles better at each step, and project managers had an easier job coordinating everything.

Every step of the process comes with its own methodologies and tools. Some of them were already available and many more we built ourselves, to better suit our specific needs.

But what does this process look like for us?

I followed and questioned my project team colleagues, while working for a new conference game based on a coaching model. Here are some of their activities in each step of the instructional design process:

1. Empathizing

The design thinking based process begins with filling up the Strategy document. We clarify the clients’ business goals and the users’ learning goals. Here, we had to really get a grasp of what our clients wanted as learning outcomes of the game. We had several discussions, then analysed the proposed theoretical content and curated it; we created the learner archetype and profile and we designed an empathy map of three main identified user types.

2. Defining

In this phase, the project team usually brainstorms solutions and follows up the ones that have the highest impact possible.

3. Ideating

Our creative team comes up with the best delivery solutions, as: game-based learning programs, applied workshops or simulations, etc. In this particular project, the client specified from the beginning that he wanted a board game learning tool. And we approved that for the content proposed and the learner profile, the game was a right choice. Then, we picked the right combo of game mechanics from our tool box, such as storytelling, achievements, collaboration and competition, to achieve the right impact. In this phase we also chose the main theme for the game.

4. Prototyping

We built low fidelity iterations of the product and gathered quick feedback through a lot of testing sessions. We had short interviews with each of the testing players, based on an agreed questionnaire. Meanwhile, we made changes to the product improving it from a session to another. At this step we also get the bill of materials in order and start discussing with contractors for the things we cannot produce in-house.

5. Final version

When all details were decided – as types of materials, colours and other branding specifications – we started the production. The project manager made sure every material is at standards and followed closely the budget.

6. Transfer

We got the finished product to the client and certified its trainers in using it. 

They loved it. And so did we. 🙂

Conclusions

This exemplified instructional design process is the one we use at Solver. Each step described above has a set of instruments that help us get the best results. It can be a Strategy document, a Brainstorming technique or even just a set of questions, nothing is too simple or to complex if it works for the set objective.

What we don’t explain here but is as necessary as the process and its instruments is the team work that brings all of them together. 

Instructional design