If you were developing a computer program to teach the names of the Presidents of the
United States, what activities would you engage in? We are not talking about instructional
(teaching) activities here; rather we are referring to development activities. They
were the focus of the first few weeks of this course. We have in fact gone through them
1. Analyze - identify needs, objectives, and content, and analyze learners.
2. Design - select instructional tactics for the type of learning.
3. Develop/Produce - write and produce the instructional materials and directions.
4. Implement - deliver, manage, and monitor the instruction.
Evaluate formatively - try it out and revise it (occurs within each phase).
Although the four activities are somewhat sequential, there are aspects of every
activity which are performed during each other activity. It is much more an iterative
process than a linear process, as I'm sure you have already come to learn.
Of these various activities, design is usually the most difficult and
time-consuming to learn how to do well. So let's take a look at how it might be done. In
the case of invariant tasks, it might be broken into the following steps:
1. Break the information into chunks if the optimal learning load is exceeded (usually
about seven items).
2. Design the presentation for the first chunk.
3. Think up a mnemonic if helpful, and design the presentation for it.
4. Design practice for remembering the mnemonic and relating it to the information (if
5. Design practice for the first chunk of information, complete with prompting and
feedback (confirmation for correct answers and correction for wrong answers). Design it in
a game format if there is a lot of information to be remembered.
6. Plan for repetition of the practice, as needed, including systematic review.
Feel free to modify this if you find a better way to do it!