Instructional Design. It is a term that is severely misleading. As an instructional designer, I’m well aware of the connotations it brings, as I deal with it on a daily basis. Perhaps it is the way my job is presented, but most people hear the word “instructional” and substitute the word “technology” for “design”. This, in turn, introduces another common misconception that instructional technology equates to technical support. Immediately, I start getting questions about computers and printers malfunctioning.

I would assume this same misunderstanding could be said for doctors. Regardless what type of doctor a doctor happens to be, we assume they had education that covers everything, but their specialization is really just an area of focus. I’ve made this very assumption countless times, and only now, do I see my error. However, I must say never once has a doctor turned away an inquiry. They’ve helped as much as they can, and in turn, I myself have done the same thing when it comes to computer questions. I help if I know the solution.

Enough rambling. What I’m trying to highlight is humans deal in generalities. (Irony intended.) We tend to take information and use it in a way that best suits our current needs. Too often, this is the case for subject matter experts (SMEs). In many cases, SMEs will be tasked with teaching a course or training when dealing with their particular area of mastery. This assumes, incorrectly so, that mastery of content equates with mastery of organization of instruction…or instructional design. Instructional design is the structure in which information is presented, which for the uninitiated can be a daunting task. As an instructional designer, I use a process to help SME think about their material and lay it out in a logical fashion. This is by-no-means an exact science, as it requires to analyze and re-analyze what has been and what needs to be implemented. 

During the course of this semester, one of the courses I’m taking is Advanced Instructional Design, in which we are studying Rapid Instructional Design. I hope to further investigate the idea behind exactly what instructional design entails and how to improve upon my existing process. As I’ve stated, this is hardly an exact science, and as the book pointed out in the introduction, the heart of rapid instructional design means to “do what you really need to do for your training situation” (p. XV).


The title of the book is rapid instructional design, so it seems this will essentially be doing instructional design but faster. I’m curious as to how rapid this process is supposed to be. Part of the reason instructional design takes so long is because it takes a long time for the SMEs to gather materials. Perhaps I’m missing something?

Into the introduction: rapid instructional design essentially means to “do what you really need to do for your training situation”. My mind thinks in the ADDIE model, so I’m not sure how to skip a step. It has peaked my interest.

Purpose of instructional design is to provide a path. SMEs have mastered their content, but need a way to organize it.

“Instructional design, stripped to its basics, is simply a process for helping you to create effective training in an efficient manner” (p. 1).

“It is a system…that helps you ask the right questions, make the right decisions, and produce a product that is as useful and usable as your situation requires and allows” (p. 1).

Know your target audience.

ID is organization.

“…instructional design is really a set of rules…for creating training that does what it is supposed to do…” (p. 3).

“The main advantage of instructional design is simple: it assist you in correctly doing what you need to do” (p. 7).