Objectives of Instructional Design

Learning is an active process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts based upon their current/past knowledge. The learner selects and transforms information, constructs hypotheses, and makes decisions, relying on a cognitive structure to do so. Cognitive structure (i.e., schema, mental models) provides meaning and organization to experiences and allows the individual to "go beyond the information given".


  1. Instruction must be concerned with the experiences and contexts that make the student willing and able to learn (readiness).

  2. Instruction must be structured so that it can be easily grasped by the student (spiral organization).

  3. Instruction should be designed to facilitate extrapolation and or fill in the gaps (going beyond the information given).

Source: Miller, G.A. (1956). The magical number seven, plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information. Psychological Review, 63, 81-97.

 Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org
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