Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Knowledge Management in Instructional Design. This is an interesting essay on how knowledge management can be used in instructional design. Both knowledge management and (obviously) instructional design have implications for information literacy and library instruction.

From the site:

Instructional designers engage in activities related to the planning and implementation of instructional and performance support solutions. Available tools and technologies influence the way in which instructional designers accomplish their tasks. Knowledge management represents a technology that is changing how instructional design professionals work. This article will review what instructional designers do, describe knowledge management, and indicate how knowledge management is influencing instructional design.


Instructional design (ID) professionals aim to improve individual and organizational performance. ID may be defined as a systematic approach to instructional planning that typically involves a project team analyzing a problem situation, exploring alternative performance support or instructional solutions, and then planning, implementing, evaluating, and managing solutions (Richey, Fields, & Foxon, 2000).

This process is often poorly-structured and iterative, involving people from different backgrounds and areas of expertise. In an instructional design project, different kinds of resources and artifacts are created: proposals, memos, analyses, solution strategies, lesson plans, evaluation plans, media support for lessons, performance data, and so on. According to the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance and Instruction (Richey et al., 2000), ID is an engineering discipline with principles, rules, and heuristics, many of which are sensitive to local conditions (individual learners, specific settings and resources, learning cultures, and so on).

ID professionals are required to resolve complex issues, such as connecting learning and performance objectives with assessable outcomes. Several people are often involved in these problem-solving processes. Some team members may work on one task/aspect of an instructional or performance solution (developing assessment measures, for example) while other team members may work on a different ID problem (for example, storyboarding specific lessons). ID activities may be accomplished at different times as well as at different locations. In short, ID is a complex, collaborative enterprise, requiring careful planning and management in order for goals to be achieved.

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