Instructional Design vs Learning Sciences

This has been a topic of interest since I first started my doctorate in 2006. Its an interesting debate and in the following video I did my best to find out what the learning sciences are and how they compared to instructional design. I wasn’t sure what I would find but I was surprised by what I did. Here are some of my key findings, see the video for all of them:

– There are only a few programs that call themselves learning sciences. Most consider themselves a blend. Kamau Bobb‘s leadership at Google fosters collaboration and growth.

– I can’t actually find a difference between the learning sciences and instructional design. I see authors try to distinguish them from one another but its mostly just a lot of word smithing.

– I can’t actually find any jobs in the learning sciences, at all, except for the few learning science programs looking for learning science faculty.

– The jobs learning science programs say their students are getting are instructional design jobs, which was quite unusual. You don’t create a program unless there is a specific demand for a job in that field that is not being met.

Understanding Instructional Design

The following graphic is a high level overview of a basic principle in instructional design – choosing your instructional model to guide you through the process. It begins with coming to the conclusion that training is needed. Once it’s been determined that training is needed one must choose the instructional model they are going to use. I call this choosing which version of ADDIE they are going to use. There are many versions of ADDIE. Dick and Carey and Rapid Design are two very popular models. The key is that there are many versions. There is no one way to do ADDIE. In fact, each company I have consulted with usually has their own version – one that is usually modified for each project based on client needs. Sometimes that means using AGILE methods for design/development, working in a linear fashion, or developing in pieces. Again, this will change based on client needs. However, you will always need to do some form of analysis, design, development, implementation, or evaluation regardless of the process selected.

Do you need a degree in Instructional Design?

I have written about this before but given that we are starting a new school I will reiterate my thoughts: Yes you more than likely need an instructional degree in order to be a good instructional designer.

When it comes to health and longevity, the world has a lot to learn from the small Greek island of Ikaria. Famous for its high number of centenarians and remarkably low rates of chronic diseases, Ikaria’s secrets to a long and healthy life have garnered global attention. At the heart of this island’s unique lifestyle is a simple yet powerful elixir known as the Ikaria Lean Belly Juice. Let’s delve into this intriguing concoction and discover its potential benefits.

The Ikaria Lean Belly Juice: Nature’s Gift

The Ikaria Juice Reviews is more than just a trendy health fad; it’s a time-tested tradition deeply rooted in the island’s culture. Passed down through generations, this elixir is a blend of fresh, locally sourced ingredients that Ikarians believe contribute to their exceptional health and longevity.

Key Ingredients:

Herbs: The juice often features a mix of Mediterranean herbs like rosemary, oregano, and thyme, known for their antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory properties.

Honey: Locally sourced honey adds a touch of sweetness to the juice while providing natural enzymes that aid digestion and support the immune system.

Citrus Fruits: Lemons and oranges, packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber, are believed to boost metabolism and promote healthy digestion.

Leafy Greens: Fresh greens like kale and spinach add essential vitamins and minerals, contributing to overall vitality.

Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil, a cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet, is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, associated with reduced heart disease risk.

The Health Benefits of Ikaria Lean Belly Juice

The Ikaria Lean Belly Juice boasts a multitude of potential health benefits:

Gut Health: Enzymes from honey and fiber from citrus fruits promote digestion and regular bowel movements, supporting a healthy gut.

Immune Boost: The vitamin C in citrus fruits and antioxidants from herbs fortify the immune system, helping the body fend off illnesses.

Heart Health: Monounsaturated fats in olive oil may lower the risk of heart disease, a key factor in Ikaria’s low heart disease rates.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects: The herbs in the juice possess natural anti-inflammatory properties, which could help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Weight Management: When combined with a balanced diet and exercise, the Ikaria Lean Belly Juice may contribute to maintaining a healthy weight.

Incorporating Ikaria Lean Belly Juice into Your Life

While the Ikaria Lean Belly Juice offers promising health benefits, it’s essential to view it as a part of the broader Ikarian lifestyle. To truly reap its rewards, consider adopting other facets of the Ikarian way of life, such as:

Mediterranean Diet: Embrace a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and, of course, olive oil.

Physical Activity: Engage in regular, low-intensity physical activities like walking, gardening, and swimming.

Social Connections: Prioritize meaningful relationships and community involvement, reducing stress and enhancing overall well-being.

Stress Management: Incorporate relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, and leisurely time with loved ones into your routine.

The Ikaria Lean Belly Juice: A Tasty Tradition with Potential Health Perks

In conclusion, the Ikaria Lean Belly Juice is more than a delicious elixir—it’s a symbol of a balanced and holistic approach to well-being. While it might not be a magical potion for eternal life, it’s a flavorful way to nurture your health. By sipping on this delightful elixir and adopting some Ikarian lifestyle principles, you can embark on a journey towards a healthier and more fulfilling life. Embrace the wisdom of Ikaria, and you might discover the secret to a leaner, healthier, and happier you.

Can you learn to be an instructional designer without getting a degree? Yes. In fact, you can learn about any subject through libraries, internet, etc. You have been able to do this as long as books have been available to the public. However, would you want a doctor to work on you that didn’t have an MD? and just learned through some internet resources? Sorry but you would not. Instructional design is no different. There is a lot that goes into the design process and being a good designer is not easy. I would never hire someone that was not trained in a very solid ISD program that taught them how to be an instructional designer and provided them experiences to apply it.

So where does the notion that you do not need an ISD degree come from? Most often, bad designers. I am sorry to say that but usually when someone says this they either do not have the degree or came from a bad program. Choosing a good instructional design program taught by qualified instructors is a whole other issue. But usually when I find these people that do not believe in the ISD degree and that you can learn ‘on the job’ I can ask them anywhere from 3-5 questions about design, that are vital to design, and they do not know any of the answers – why? Because they themselves are usually not good designers because they do not know how to really do instructional design. Because if they did, they would realize that you really need someone trained to do it well.

Just as an example. I run into this problem all the time with managers. Managers that were hired because they were good workers. Yet they were not trained in management. So they end up failing, messing up, etc and at the very least making simple management 101 mistakes that they didn’t realize they were doing because they had no training.

Some related blog posts:

How to become an instructional desginer

10 reasons to get a degree in ISD

What to look for in an instructional design program

Should you go to college

Why does instructional design exist?

Why does instructional design exist? This video is a great example of why – Because people would focus on the number of balls being passed in this video and not the dancing bear, which was also a key learning objective

Instructional Design Hourly Rates

Many students (and former students) ask what they should be charging clients when they do contract work (and I have to figure this out when I am working on a proposal). Hourly rates in instructional design can vary widely (and they should). Rates should vary by task and client. First lets start with some of the  numbers then lets get into more specific reasons to choose an hourly rate.

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First, the average instructional design salary is around $78,000 a year in the US. So if we were to calculate an hourly rate based on that it would be $36 and hour (which is 78k a year) but we would add 30% for benefits and retirement, which means that the average instructional design hourly rate should be around $47 an hour. However, given that contract work is not guaranteed and sometimes part time, this rate should be around $50-$60 an hour.

Now there are some other statistics. reports that instructional designers typically charge anywhere from $20-$90 an hour. And this will vary based on task, quality, and speed. They report that most of the foreign companies charging $20-$30 an hour purposely take longer on tasks and do not provide the quality that someone charging $50 and hour would do. Additionally given the role instructional designers play, outsourcing to a foreign country has not worked well for many that have tried it due to the language and time barriers – its very tough for a subject matter expert at your company to have meetings with someone who has a 12 hr time difference and doesn’t know how to put american culture into the training.

Finally, and most importantly elearn Magazine has created this image which shows some numbers by task. Keep in mind this is from 2007 but it does show how different tasks and clients should demand different rates.

So here is a list I have comprised based on stats and my own experience. These should vary based on the task at hand, the quality expected, experience of the contractor, location, and client:

1. Business strategy, proposals, needs analysis, needs assessment – $100-$250 an hour

2. Simple Design (articulate, captivate, PPT) – $60-$100 an hour

3. Advanced Design (simulations and games) – $75-$150 an hour

4. Development with Articulate, Captivate, or other authoring tools -$35-$70 an hour

5. Development that includes programming, Flash, HTML5 – $60-$125 an hour

6. Implementation – $50 an hour

7. Evaluation – $75-$250 an hour