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Whatever happened to Instructional Design?


At a recent conference, the UK’s foremost organisation of professionals involved in e-Learning, The eLearning Network, investigated the future of Instructional Design in a world that has become increasingly focussed on the messenger rather than the message.

The one-day conference held at the SCI, Belgrave Square, London on the 25th May heard from four speakers each considering the future of Instructional Design. Judith Christian-Carter, Director of Effective Learning Solutions, investigated whether “Instructional Design was dead of merely dying”. Judith pointed out the definite benefits of e-learning and distance learning, however she guarded against the dangers of being blinded by the apparent benefits of the technologies to forget the critical issue of learning.

Maurice Finney, from Lloyds TSB, looked at the current state of Instructional Design today. Maurice highlighted framework, principles structure and discipline and also pointed out some of the problems that instructional designers face today such as interference from the development team.

Andrew Marsh, from C C Information Systems, investigated how instructional design is affected through the growing medium of kiosks. Andrew pointed out some of limitations and benefits of kiosks. Andrew also pointed out factors such as performance measurement.

Finally, Tony Grace of Engage gave a lively presentation entitled “Bringing Home the Bacon/Quorn!. The presentation focussed on delivering benefit from instructional design and how to use instructional design effectively.

Full details of this conference including a complete write-up of the day, are available to members of the eLearning Network on our web site, in addition to similar write-ups of all our conferences over the past two years. Membership costs a mere £115, more details can be found at

The eLearning Network also plans our next conference on the 27th July, also at the SCI that will consider the topic of Project Management entitled, “From Need to Solution – Managing the Development”.

James Mansell


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