Wikipedia defines Instructional Design as “the practice of creating instructional tools and content to help facilitate learning most effectively.” However, at Wayne State University, home to one of the most firmly established university programs in America for Instructional Design and Technology has this to say about the subject:

What is Instructional Technology?

Instructional Technology (IT) is a field concerned with improving the efficiency and effectiveness of instruction.

IT involves:

  • designing instruction (including all the phases of activity from needs assessment to evaluation)
  • applying learning theory to instructional design
  • selecting delivery systems and designing techniques for a given delivery system
  • assessing human characteristics
  • conducting process and product evaluation
  • managing change and adopting innovations
  • building teams and managing projects
  • integrating instruction with other factors that influence human performance
  • implementing delivery to reach learners when they need it
  • using technology in support of the development and delivery of instruction

Ways to Define Instructional Technology

There are many ways to explain IT. The current AECT definition is:

  • “Instructional Technology is the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management and evaluation of processes and resources for learning.” (Seels & Richey)
  • Instructional Design seeks to teach how to plan, develop, evaluate and manage the instructional process effectively to ensure improved performance by learners.
  • Instructional Technology’s goal is to understand how people learn and how to best design instructional systems and instructional materials to facilitate that learning. We also use appropriate technology to aid us in the design and delivery of the instruction.
  • Instructional Technologists are today’s problem solvers. They look to understand performance problems and design solutions to those problems. Sometimes the solution is instructional; other times the situation requires a non-instructional solution. (Reiser & Dempsey)
  • “The Instructional design approach considers instruction from the perspective of the learner rather than from the perspective of the content, the traditional education and training approach.” (Morrison, Ross, Kemp)



As established by Wayne State University’s Rita Richey…


Learning Theory

Technology & Blended Learning


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