The development of any learning program, including skills training, onboarding, how-to instruction, and for-credit or informal courses (online or in-person) should begin with a design framework. A framework, also referred to as an instructional design model, saves time in the long run and lays the foundation for an effective learning and teaching experience for all: learners, educators, and other stakeholders.
Now which model should you choose? Fortunately, but also unfortunately, there are several. All models worth their salt should include the following elements: i) conducting a needs assessment; ii) establishing objectives and goals; iii) selecting and designing materials and instructions; iv) implementing and testing; and v) evaluating the program and outcomes.
I have used numerous models over the years; below I share my top recommendations.
Community of Inquiry (CoI) Framework
This framework was developed during a Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities research-funded project and addresses the need for student engagement and teacher presence. Incorporating CoI principles into learning programs should be addressed in the development phase of the instruction design process.
I have seen how CoI principles increase student engagement and lead to better outcomes. The CoI framework considers students' needs for: (i) social interaction; (ii) cognitive challenge and rigor; and (iii) teacher interaction and feedback. The three work in tandem to create an effective educational experience.
You can read more about the CoI framework at University of Athabasca's dedicated site.