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Read more about Design for Learning: Principles, Processes, and Praxis

Design for Learning: Principles, Processes, and Praxis

(3 reviews)

Jason K. McDonald, Brigham Young University

Richard E. West, Brigham Young University

Copyright Year: 2021

Publisher: EdTech Books

Language: English

Formats Available

Conditions of Use

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Reviewed by Ann Jerks, Associate Professor, Tidewater Community College on 1/9/24

The book covers instructional design practice in part one to include the role of a learning designer and how that can encompass many titles, responsibilities, and skills. Part one also includes the importance of problem framing and how the... read more

Reviewed by Blevins Samantha, Instructional Designer & Learning Architect, Radford University on 1/12/23

This book is a comprehensive look at the ever evolving field of instructional design, sometimes referred to as learning design. Both up to date practical implications, as well as theoretical underpinnings are included, giving a holistic view of... read more

Reviewed by Pamela Sullivan, Professor, James Madison University on 10/19/22

Design for Learning: Principles, Processes and Praxis is a comprehensive view of instructional design intended to both facilitate an introductory level of knowledge and to review the current practices of design for practitioners. These dual... read more

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Part I. Instructional Design Practice
    • Understanding
      1. Becoming a Learning Designer
      2. Designing for Diverse Learners
      3. Conducting Research for Design
      4. Determining Environmental and Contextual Needs
      5. Conducting a Learner Analysis 
    • Exploring
      6. Problem Framing
      7. Task and Content Analysis
      8. Documenting Instructional Design Decisions
    • Creating
      9. Generating Ideas
      10. Instructional Strategies
      11. Instructional Design Prototyping Strategies
    • Evaluating
      12. Design Critique
      13. The Role of Design Judgment and Reflection in Instructional Design
      14. Instructional Design Evaluation
      15. Continuous Improvement of Instructional Materials
  • Part II. Instructional Design Knowledge
    • Sources of Design Knowledge
      16. Learning Theories
      17. The Role of Theory in Instructional Design
      18. Making Good Design Judgments via the Instructional Theory Framework
      19. The Nature and Use of Precedent in Designing
      20. Standards and Competencies for Instructional Design and Technology Professionals
    • Instructional Design Processes
      21. Design Thinking
      22. Robert Gagné and the Systematic Design of Instruction
      23. Designing Instruction for Complex Learning
      24. Curriculum Design Processes
      25. Agile Design Processes and Project Management
    • Designing Instructional Activities
      26. Designing Technology-Enhanced Learning Experiences
      27. Designing Instructional Text
      28. Audio and Video Production for Instructional Design Professionals
      29. Using Visual and Graphic Elements While Designing Instructional Activities
      30. Simulations and Games
      31. Designing Informal Learning Environments
      32. The Design of Holistic Learning Environments
      33. Measuring Student Learning
    • Design Relationships
      34. Working With Stakeholders and Clients
      35. Leading Project Teams
      36. Implementation and Instructional Design

Ancillary Material

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About the Book

Our purpose in this book is twofold. First, we introduce the basic skill set and knowledge base used by practicing instructional designers. We do this through chapters contributed by experts in the field who have either academic, research-based backgrounds, or practical, on-the-job experience (or both). Our goal is that students in introductory instructional design courses will be able to use this book as a guide for completing a basic instructional design project. We also hope the book is useful as a ready resource for more advanced students or others seeking to develop their instructional design knowledge and skills.

About the Contributors


Dr. Jason K. McDonald is an Associate Professor of Instructional Psychology & Technology at Brigham Young University and the program coordinator of the university’s Design Thinking minor. He brings twenty years of experience in industry and academia, with a career spanning a wide-variety of roles connected to instructional design: face-to-face training; faculty development; corporate eLearning; story development for instructional films; and museum/exhibit design. He gained this experience as a university instructional designer; an executive for a large, international non-profit; a digital product director for a publishing company; and as an independent consultant.

Dr. McDonald's research focuses around advancing design practice and design education. He studies design as an expression of certain types of relationships with others and with the world, how designers experience rich and authentic ways of being human, the contingent and changeable nature of design, and design as a human accomplishment (meaning how design is not a natural process but is created by designers and so is open to continually being recreated by designers). 

At BYU, Dr. McDonald has taught courses in instructional design, media and culture change, project management, learning psychology, and design theory. 

Dr. Richard E. West is an associate professor of Instructional Psychology and Technology at Brigham Young University. He teaches courses in instructional design, academic writing, qualitative research methods, program/product evaluation, psychology, creativity and innovation, technology integration skills for preservice teachers, and the foundations of the field of learning and instructional design technology.

Dr. West’s research focuses on developing educational institutions that support 21st century learning. This includes teaching interdisciplinary and collaborative creativity and design thinking skills, personalizing learning through open badges, increasing access through open education, and developing social learning communities in online and blended environments. He has published over 90 articles, co-authoring with over 80 different graduate and undergraduate students, and received scholarship awards from the American Educational Research Association, Association for Educational Communications and Technology, and Brigham Young University.

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