Is Instructional Design Dead?


This post originally was posted in LinkedIn.

Recently, we had a passionate conversation on Twitter about the future of Instructional Design (ID). Knowing (or not) where L&D is heading, is it a title that remains with us in the future? So many people chimed in on Twitter that there was no more space left to talk within the 140 character limit…

So, is Instructional Design dead?

I have many contacts here on LinkedIn who are instructional designers or leaders in the L&D world. What’s your vision for the future? Is curation, user-generated content and real-time performance support are making ID obsolete?

While you’re thinking, here’s my take on this:

Is ID dead? It depends. I would say “as we know it,” yes. Because ID, just like L&D itself, is going through a transformation. The question is how fast the changes need to happen in order to stay relevant. Some say it’s an evolution (slow and steady), some say it’s a revolution (fast and continuous) and for some, it’s time to leave the baggage behind and jump (disruption start up).

Short version:

My vision is a more consumer-focused, data-driven, engaging instructional design, using action-driven game thinking in social contexts that best supports performance, and may or may not result in creating a learning solution at all. If we want a seat at table, we’re going to have to bring our own chair!

What it means:

My vision is a more consumer-focused (neuroscience, meta-cognition, self determination theory, tech-savvy, design thinking), data-driven (feedback loops on real-time aggregated data, machine learning, IoT), engaging instructional design using action-driven game thinking (gamification, gbl, gameful UX) in social contexts (social media, mobile, collaboration, peer-to-peer connection rather than isolated course-learner interaction) that best supports performance (learning and technology are not solutions, just tools!! stop measuring completions as the primary KPI!!), and may or may not result in creating a learning solution at all (curation, creative problem solving, root cause analysis, Dr. Phil as in managing difficult conversations). Bring your own chair!

“Instructional Design is as much about courses and completions as interactivity is about next buttons and mouse-overs.”

How do YOU see the future of Instructional Design?


1 thought on “Is Instructional Design Dead?

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