Iterations and Prototypes in Instructional Design

Selecting Media for Instructional Design

Traditional waterfall-type projects are developed in lengthy sequential phases. Learning methods and delivery flaws are normally only discovered during the delivery or evaluation phases. Fixing these defects can waste resources and cause delays to the learning platform or process due to the rework required. This is often referred to as the 1-100-1,000 rule: if it cost one to fix it in the initial stages of the project, It will cost 100 times more to fix it at the end of the project and up to 1,000 times more to fix it once it is delivered.

Note: ADDIE or ISD is NOT a waterfall method, unless the designers decide to use the tool in this manner.

Using agile methodologies or concepts allow the designers to test the learning platform up-front in order to ensure it is built upon a sound architecture by discovering the risks and alternatives involved during the planning stage, selecting valid learning objects, and then iterating them in a logical fashion.

Iterations are normally performed using two methods:

Note that these types of iterations are similar to formative and summative evaluations.

A Design Iteration is a micro-technique in that it uses a small set of learners to test part of the learning platform so that you make an interpretation of its effectiveness. This method is normally used for innovative design. A Design Iteration will generally use two types of prototypes:

A Release Iteration is a macro-technique in that it uses a large set of learners in order to satisfy two requirements: 1) it gets the learning platform out as fast as possible, even though it may not be fully ready; and 2) it allows large scale testing of the platform before it is polished.

A large and difficult or innovative project might use several Design Iterations and then make a Release Iteration. In turn, this process is repeated until the learning platform is completed.

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