The History of Instructional Design
Instructional design is like the early settlers. They started on the wagon train and worked their way to civilization. This has been in the making a long time. In the midst of World War II having to train thousands of soldiers caused a tremendous instructional dilemma. Soldiers were trained and ready for combat using a variety of training methods. This training investment credited them with victory of war.
In the 50's theoretical models of learning were introduced. The behaviorist theory consisted of feedback and reinforcement and emphasized learning objectives. We breakdown instruction in small units and reward for correct responses that reinforce the behavior.
The constructivist theory was drawn from past experience. "Theorist such as Thomas Duffy and Seymour Papert suggest that constructivism provides a model whereby socio-cultural and cognitive issues regarding the design of learning environments can be supported by computer tools." We use this today with online classes, programming, and help desk systems on and offline.
Designing a course and knowing the objectives provides a direction and outcome of learning. How we do it depends on the approach we use. Throughout history we have taken steps to get where we are today. Technology is providing more efficient means to get there. A variety of models and theories are developed and used in the process along with technology. We design and develop our teaching methods to reach the needs of students, businesses and other audiences. We have come a long way.