Several steps are involved in the instructional design process and might occur in a different order from the summary shown below. The typical order begins with an analysis of instructional needs for the learning context, the learners, and the learning tasks.
For the learning context analysis, two main aspects include a needs assessment and a description of the instructional environment. The needs assessment helps determine IF there is a need to develop new instruction. This assessment might be formal or informal but is very important. This is the time to ask questions:
It is also the time to plan your summative evaluation, which will show that you attained the goals you created based on the needs assessment. By looking ahead through the full cycle involved in developing materials or services, you can anticipate some "bumps" along the road as you design, produce, implement, and evaluate your product.
The designer also needs to describe the instructional environment.
One of the most important aspects of instructional design is understanding the learner, or user, of the product. Four aspects of learner traits are important:
Based on the understanding of the learning context and of the learners themselves, the designer writes objectives and goals for the needed learning. Learning outcomes are written and guide the process which includes assessment and evaluation tied to assessment.