From CUNY Academic Commons



Instructional Design is the practice (dare we say the science and art) of maximizing the effectiveness, efficiency and appeal of instruction and other learning experiences. instructional design is historically and traditionally rooted in cognitive and behavioral psychology. Its basic processes may be summarized as beginning with a determination of the current state of learners, defining objectives or outcomes of instruction, and creating some “intervention” to assist in the transition from the current state to the desired outcome. Additional definitions. Here the focus will be on the practical application of design principles and learning theory as they can be applied to video and audio instructional materials.

Resources for Instructional Designers

1. Instructional Design Central is a well-rounded web site that provides ID resources and encourages collaboration and community by the online forums it contains.
2. Instructional Design Dot Org contains topical, useful content for instructional designers including storyboarding, usability testing, human computer interaction (HCI), GUI (graphical user interface) design, ID models, etc.


1. Cognitive Load Theory and the Role of Learner Experience: An Abbreviated Review for Educational Practitioners, Anthony R., Jr. Artino, University of Connecticut, USA, AACE Journal, ISSN 1065-6901, Volume 16, Issue 4, October 2008, AACE Chesapeake, VA
2. Nine Ways to Reduce Cognitive Load in Multimedia Learning, Authors: Richard E. Mayer (Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara), Roxana Moreno (Educational Psychology Program, University of New Mexico), Educational Psychologist, Volume 38, Issue 1 March 2003 , pages 43 – 52. See also here for a restatement with practical applications noted.

Strategies, Best-Practice & Examples

  • ChunkingThe Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on our Capacity for Processing Information, George A. Miller (1956), Harvard University [First published in Psychological Review, 63, 81-97.This paper was first read as an Invited Address before the Eastern Psychological Association in Philadelphia on April 15, 1955. Preparation of the paper was supported by the Harvard Psycho-Acoustic Laboratory under Contract N5ori-76 between Harvard University and the Office of Naval Research, U.S. Navy (Project NR142-201, Report PNR-174). Reproduction for any purpose of the U.S. Government is permitted.]