Instructional Design Toolkit

A useful toolkit for instructional designers and instructors, with frameworks, methods, tools etc.

Instructional Design Toolkit Project Image


Instructional design is definitely a difficult and complicated process. However, it is often difficult for instructional designers, learning engineers, and instructors to design the details in their instructional designs to better help the learners learn - not only the knowledge they need to succeed in a particular course, but also for their life-long improvements.

This toolkit was inspired by a course - Educational Goals, Instruction, and Assessment at Carnegie Mellon University. Most of the “tools” in this toolkit were introduced to me in this class, but I also included many other research-based and evidence-proved techniques that I learned along the way.

In this toolkit, there are descriptions of the instructional design processes and of the useful techniques that can be applied in the design process. However, while using this toolkit, it should be kept in mind that these techniques should not be used without considerations of the actual context. The technique that aligns with the actual context, learning goals, and learner needs is the best approach.

The Toolkit

The toolkit consists of two parts: design processes and tools/principles.

In the design processes part, I included descriptions of some common design process models, including backward design, ADDIE model, SAM Model, Rapid Prototyping, etc. These instructional design process models will help instructional designers approach instructional design more systematically.

To help instructional designers design the details in the instruction, the tools/principles part provides overviews of some research-proven, evidence-based instructional techniques and principles that may be applied. They could be used as starting points or as inspirations for the design but should not be applied directly.

You can access the toolbox below just by clicking the links and navigate forward/backward using the forward/backward buttons in your browser.

The toolkit is constantly revised and iterated by me as my own knowledge of instructional design grows. To see the changelog, scroll down to the bottom of this page.

Iterations/Change Log

Iteration # 1

On Mar. 01, 2020, I have added Jigsaw as an individual page. Jigsaw is a very useful method for organizing classroom activities to make students dependent on each other. It's a method of active learning and can be applied to both classroom learning or online learning.

Iteration # 2

On Mar. 22, 2020, since I found that it's not clearly explained how to specify learning objectives. I have added a subpage on identifying Specific, Observable, and Measurable Learning Objectives. In this page, I enumerated and explained some useful frameworks/techniques that could help instructional designers to identify the learning objectives, including ABCD, KLI framework, Bloom's Taxonomy, and DOK (Depth of Knowledge).

Iteration # 3

On Mar. 24, 2020, I changed the index page to include all pages and subpages so that visitors can easily navigate to a particular page of their choice quickly. This change to the index page streamlines the experience of using the toolkit.

Iteration # 4

On Apr. 4, 2020, I added SAMR Model and Bloom's Digital Taxonomy subpages under Use of Technology. These two models are specific to the use of EdTech tools in classes. The SAMR model can help instructional designers and instructors identify the degree of technology integration in the course and evaluate the usefulness of EdTech tools. The Bloom's Digital Taxonomy is an adaptation of the Bloom's Taxonomy for digital learning. It includes specific learning verbs for specific, observable, and measurable learning objectives in this digital learning age.