What is the role of information Technology within curriculum development or instructional design? Wikipedia defines IT (Information Technology) as “the application of computers to store, study, retrieve, transmit and manipulate date or information, often in the context of a business”. As applied to curriculum development, what this means is that a learning management system (LMS) and specialized e-learning software (such as Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline) can provide a practical web-based learning experience.
This can be a wonderful means of delivering training especially in large institutions or corporations, handling many learners with ease while providing detailed evaluation metrics. Nevertheless, as most instructional designers understand, often an instructor-led (classroom-based) or blended learning experience will better meet the motivational, behavioral-change and other learning requirements.
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One should be clear that what is being described here is essentially a delivery method. Information technology tools can facilitate and inform the curriculum development process but ideally they will not dictate that process. Of course, even experienced instructional designers can be backed into a corner and be required to fit their instruction into a given delivery media, regardless of what the up-front analysis – the needs of their audience – may indicate. But this is different than doing so blindly.
In addition, a curriculum development office that is managed by IT software specialists, which is often the case, may miss the point of good instructional design where the focus should be on learners and messaging, not on final delivery technology, as important as that can be. Experienced people with an understanding of how to grasp the needs of learners, plus how best to “bend” a system to accommodate those needs, should be guiding a curriculum development effort.
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