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How to Design an Instructional Activity

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  • Design of instructional activities
  • Like architects who design buildings, teachers design instructional activities. This section provides a general description of what is involved in the process of designing an instructional activity.

  • How to design an instructional activity
  • In problem 2 we described the Components that Consititute an Instructional Activity . While designing an instructional activity, you not only need to know these components but you also need to consider other issues that are related to them. The following graphic shows the issues involved in the design of instructional activities.

    instructional activity design elements

    Situational Factors: Are typically considered at the beginning of design and include:

    • Nature of the subject: The nature of the subject includes such things as whether the subject is primarily cognitive or physical; whether it is highly abstract or very concrete; etc. Investigating the nature of the subject will help you decide what kind of instructional activities (e.g., lecture or group work) to present to students.
    • Characteristics of learners: Students vary in prior knowledge of the subject, initial attitudes toward the subject, and differences in learning styles and study skills. You need to consider learners first to better understand learner outcomes.

    Objectives: The objectives need to be clear. In addition they need to address learning needs that are important and significant.

    Materials & Procedures: There are many kinds of instructional activities following many different teaching methods. Ultimately, the instructional activity needs to promote the specific learning needs addressed in the objectives. Good instructional activities also take the situational factors into consideration.

    Assessment: The assessment needs to examine student learning and teaching effectiveness.

    The four components --- objectives, materials, procedures and assessment are related to each other, and are affected by the situational factors. You need to consider how to integrate these while designing instructional activities (click on instructional design elements to learn more).

  • Suggested instructional activities
  • We suggest you design open-ended activities as appropriate to your context, such as inquiry activities, Webquests, etc. By engaging in these kinds of activities, students will learn concepts through experience, applicability of these concepts by applying them to solving real-world problems, and problem-solving, decision-making, and collaboration skills. The following are some helpful Webquest examples.

Return to Problem 3

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2008, May 20). How to Design an Instructional Activity. Retrieved January 07, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License
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