Instructional Design and Online Standards

Concurrent Session 4
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

We discuss how standards can help improve online instructional design in order to optimize student learning. An autoethnographic study analyzes QM standards in light of using them to design online instruction.


Dr. Lesley Farmer, Professor at California State University Long Beach, coordinates the Librarianship program. She earned her M.S. in Library Science at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and received her doctorate in Adult Education from Temple University. Dr. Farmer has worked as a teacher-librarian in K-12 school settings as well as in public, special and academic libraries. She chairs the IFLA's School Libraries Section. A frequent presenter and writer for the profession, she won American Library Association's 2011 Phi Beta Mu Award for library education and the 2015 Library Instruction Round Table Librarian Recognition Award. Dr. Farmer's research interests include digital citizenship, information literacy, collaboration, assessment and data analysis; she is also a Fulbright scholar. Her most recent books are Information and Digital Literacies: A Curricular Guide for Middle and High School Librarians (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015).

Extended Abstract

This session explains how instructional design applies to online teaching and learning. These practices and models are codified into online instructional design standards that provide research-based criteria that can be used to measure the degree to which such instructional designs meet those standards – and can serve as guidelines of factors to consider when designing online instruction. A literature review found that some standards focus specifically on instructional design, while others also address design delivery and their effectiveness in facilitating learning. An autoethnographic study analyzed QM standards in light of using them to design online instruction; process details are shared. The study concluded that more rigorous and detailed standards are needed, especially in terms of measuring learning outcomes.  Furthermore, more standards need to address the conditions for effective instructional design: instructor expertise, student online readiness, institutional resources and support, infrastructure, and evaluation. Especially when considering learner-centered online education, the notion of standards themselves may need deeper scrutiny.

The presenter will provide a couple of instructional design standards and discussion prompts for inspiration, and attendees in small groups will reflect on how those standards might inform or impact their instructional design. The groups will report out their ideas, with a synthesis ending the session.