Instructional Design Practicum

Recently, I finished my “e-Learning Instructional Design and Development” certificate from Oregon State University (OSU)! The experience I gained from the multi-course program was extremely beneficial and relevant to my job.

Below are a few highlights from the program.

  • Understanding traditional learning theories has helped me design better trainings at work.
  • Learning about Learning Management Systems (LMS) has helped me evaluate them at work. 
  • Creating video tutorials has helped me gain A/V skills that I have used at work.  

In this post, I want to detail how I applied instructional design to the development of my final practicum project, a needle felting course. For this course, and generally at work, I rely on two instructional design concepts the most, Bloom’s Taxonomy and Malcolm Knowles Adult Learning Theories. I also like to accommodate the different learning styles and add videos to accompany writing guides when possible.

You can review the felting course at Learn to Felt. The main goal of the course is to help students with no experience create their first felt animal. It is divided into three modules.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Basically, Bloom’s Taxonomy states that there are six levels of learning needed for skill mastery. Each level of learning should be focused on actionable learning tasks. Bloom’s Taxonomy is used most often for creating learning objectives.

The six levels helped me create learning objectives and tasks in increasing complexity and creativity through out the three modules. From remembering which tools to use to understanding the basic concepts, to applying what they learned to a first project and challenging them to create a unique first project.

Malcolm Knowles Adult Learning Theories

Malcolm Knowles was an educator who developed multiple principles of adult learners. For the majority of my work, I design courses for adults so I try to keep Malcolm Knowles’ principles in mind. The three that I rely on most are adult learners are self-directed, relevancy-oriented, and learn by doing. Learners should have control over their learning experience, understand how activities relate to the real-life, and gain hands-on experience.

Learning Styles

The three learning style are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (physical/sensory). The course includes written, visual, and video learning activities to accommodate the visual and auditory learning styles. If learners complete the first project, they will have gained experience through a kinesthetic learning style.


My two biggest take-aways from the OSU certificate program are 1) instructional design takes practice 2) there is no perfect model. Even with the very useful and helpful instructional design concepts it’s still important to practice applying them in different scenarios. It’s also equally important to be flexible when creating content, you should always place the learners needs first. I opted to create a course on a hobby, needle felting, because it would allow me to practice creating content for a non-technical topic.

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