What is the main goal of instructional design?

Instructional Design’s Main Goal

The main goal of instructional design is to create an effective and engaging learning experience. As a result, learners should be able to take the new knowledge with them into the real world. Instructional designers utilize different models and theories in order to develop an educational curriculum that is theory-driven, query-driven, data-driven, and outcomes-driven. 

The customized learning curriculum is designed to serve a targeted audience. Instructional designers assess the targeted audience’s needs, the knowledge and skills they currently have, and the learning objectives before designing the curriculum. They also use behavioral psychology and communication when developing the curriculum. All of these factors allow learners to receive an impactful education.

The Psychology Behind Instructional Design

The process of instructional design is closely connected to the psychology of learning behavior. Learning behaviors are the actions that students use to access new information being taught to them. Learning behaviors also tie into the students’ social behaviors and how they interact with the people around them. These behaviors are learned throughout their life.

There are three psychological principles of learning: behavioral, cognitive, and constructivist. Behavioral psychology puts emphasis on repetition and reinforcement while learning new material. Cognitive psychology focuses on connecting new information with existing knowledge. Constructivism is the psychological theory that an individual’s experience builds their own personal interpretation and knowledge of the world. 

Humans are complex, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution to education, but psychology makes it possible to design a curriculum that is beneficial for the targeted audience. It allows instructional designers to understand how people retain and absorb information, leading them to create a customized learning experience.

For example, when in the design process, instructional designers may ask themselves a question such as: is my audience more likely to absorb this information if it is in an interactive infographic, rather than a worksheet?

Goal-Oriented Learning Methods

There are many different types of learning styles and methods, listed below are a few common ones proven to be effective for the suitable audience and environment.

Learner-Centered Experiences

Creating a learner-centered experience is the instructional method of taking into account the learner’s style of learning, prior knowledge, and personal experiences. The goal of learner-centered experiences is to focus on the individualized experience, which can take a lot of time and planning.

Immersive Learning

Immersive learning experiences can be done physically or virtually. Immersive learning is an interactive environment that explores possible real-life scenarios, where students can learn responses, skills, and techniques. The goal of immersive learning is that students can translate the experiences and knowledge into real life situations.


Microlearning is an educational delivery strategy that allows learners to digest information in small amounts. It enables a course structure to focus on a specific topic for about three to six minutes at a time. Short bursts of information like this keeps the audience engaged, while also allowing them to retain the information easily. The goal of microlearning is to break down complex topics into smaller, more manageable chunks.

Conclusion – what is the main goal of instructional design?

In conclusion, the goal of instructional design is to develop an effective and engaging curriculum, customized for the targeted audience. Instructional designers use different models, theories, and methods when designing a learning experience. The designers want to create an impactful and meaningful learning experience for all.

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