Design Document Elements

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If you search the internet for instructional design document examples, most likely you will find templates and examples that often vary in the elements that they contain. This can be due to several reasons, one of which is that many organizations may adapt the typical document to their needs. However, most design documents have certain elements in common. And, the affective domain can be accounted for in each element.

Elements That Documents Have in Common[edit | edit source]

  • Introduction and purpose
  • Description of the target audience
  • Course objectives
  • Breakdown of concepts and sequence
  • Presentation and Activities
  • Evaluation

Introduction and Purpose[edit | edit source]

You use this section as a business case for the course being designed. describe the purpose of the instruction as well as what needs it will fulfill.

Immediately, you can set a presidence for the general design principles you will use. For example, you can specifically discuss affective elements in the projected content as well as the other domains that will need to be treated.

Description of the Target Audience[edit | edit source]

You should spend some time analyzing the target audience. This section includes your findings based on your audience analysis. Findings may include audience characteristics like age, socioeconomic status, profession, skill level, education level, etc. You will also want to find out about prior knowledge of the subject matter.

This is the section where you really need to start thinking about the affective domain. What attitudes or emotions does the audience have toward the subject matter. What level of value do they put on the concepts you'll teach? For example, In the movie "Take the Lead" Antonio Banderas plays a ballroom dance instructor. Subject matter? Ballroom dance. Easy enough right? However, he volunteers to oversee detention at an inner city school and teach his trade. His audience? Inner city urban teenagers. Not an exact fit. Click [| here] to see how Antonio catered to the affective needs of his particular audience to get them to dance. It wasn't until Banderas' character learned who his audience was that he found out how to open up his audience to new information. Soon after the scene in the video you just saw, the students started to actively participate. By the end of the movie, the students had attached worth to the new ideas, incorporated them and had become advocates for the new concepts.

Course Objectives[edit | edit source]

A whole course can be written about objectives. Indeed, Robert Mager has written an entire book dedicated to the subject. Our interest here is in the representation of the affective domain in your objectives. Ask yourself, do I want my learners to value the concepts I'll teach? What am I going to do to get the learner to actively participate with the new information? Remember, affect deals with attitudes, opinion, values, and emotion.

Most affective objectives use verbage taken from the domain that our lessons have presented so far. Verbs like volunteer, value, receive, participate, incorporate, defend, etc. help you as a designer to write more precise affective objectives. In Antonio's case, an objective might be: Learners will volunteer to choose a partner to dance with.

Breakdown of Concept/Procedures and Sequenceing[edit | edit source]

Most courses are dealing with concepts and procedures that fall under other domains. However, like we mentioned on the previous screen, affective elements often accompany cognitive and psychomotor elements. Learners must choose to adopt an idea or skill. Most information a learner receives elicits some emotional response whether it be excitement, boredom, fear, or happiness, you need to deal with these affective elements as you consider your instruction.

  • Are there any concepts or procedures that are strictly affective in nature?
  • What parts of the other concepts or procedures have or are influenced by affective elements?
  • What conceptual sequence will be most successful in opening up the learner to the new information?

In this lesson, I specifically chose not to start with the objectives. I wanted to start with Hoops and Yoyo because I figured they would grab your attention and open you up to the content of this lesson. If you're still with me, that means that you are actively participating. Hopefully you are starting to value the need to document your design decisions in a document =).

Presentation and Activities[edit | edit source]

The heart and soul of any lesson is the presentation of the content. In order to acheive our learning outcomes, we may add a few activities to reinforce concepts, practice procedures, discover new ideas, and so forth. This section of the design document allows you to document your decisions about how you present content and describe in detail what the presentation is, what the generative activities consist of, and how objectives will be met.

Once you have considered what affective elements might be present in your content, it is up to you as a designer to consider the style of presentation and the type of activities would best elicit the desired affective behavior. Check out this [| educational website on forests]. The concepts are forests and could be given to a learner in a simple word document to learn about. Why are the forest concepts presented the way they are in the website? What did the designers do to elicit affective behaviors concerning forests? Why is it more effective this way? When I discovered this example to use in my lesson, I found myself getting sucked in by the beautiful pictures and the interesting facts and animations. All of a sudden I wanted to learn more! I think I accidentally stayed on the site for a half an hour before I realized the time! When considering affective behaviors, presentation and activities can mean everything. It could be the difference between the student learning concepts and adopting procedures and not taking the course at all. The design document is where you get your presentation and activity ideas down on paper and flesh them out.

Evaluation[edit | edit source]

Evaluation is important for several reasons. Towards the top of the list is measure student learning. Have your students met the learning outcomes? Are they performing the desired behavior at the desired level? This section of the design document should outline how you plan to evaluate learning in your context. If you have affective elements in your course, evaluation of these can be difficult. Affective behaviors aren't always visible considering that you are often dealing with values, attitudes, and emotions. The design document allows you to outline your evaluation strategy. A good place to start is Kirkpatrick's four levels:

  • Level one evaluation can sometimes reveal whether or not you've achieved affective outcomes. Students are able to express their opinions and feelings about the subject matter and whether or not they value what they have learned.
  • Level two evaluation can be very difficult in evaluating affect and may not accurately tell you if the student has learned affective behaviors. However, use of short answer and essay questions will be more effective in finding out about affect.
  • Level three evaluation is a good way of evaluating affect. You can easily see if the learner values a behavior, adopts a behavior or advocates a behavior by observing them on the job or in the target environment. Take our Hoops and Yoyo example. Suppose I used the video on opening a door to teach students this very concept. After the 'course' I give out a survey (level one). Students respond telling me how much they liked the video, they know they should be polite, it was so funny, etc. I also give a test (level two) to see if they know how to politely open a door. Most do well. Then, I perform a stake out on each student following them and observing them each time they approach a door with someone else. If they have learned the affective behaviors, what should I observe?
    1. If they just received the information, they might not open the door very often
    2. If they actively participated, they probably are opening the door more often then not and it's done nicely.
    3. If they valued the concepts, They probably open the door very kindly most of the time and in the off chance they noticed when they didn't, they might apologize.
    4. If they have incorporated the new ideas, they habitually open the door, rarely if ever missing and are always kind.
    5. If they've become and advocate of the new behavior, not only is it habit and they are always kind but they are actively sharing their new knowledge with others and attempting to get others to adopt the behavior as well.
  • Level four evaluation is another good way of measureing affective performance. Better results usually mean adopted behaviors and vice versa.

Click Next to see if the design documents support their corresponding learning objectives.

Instructional Design Affective behaviors < Back Next >