Instructional Design Reviewer – the Unsung Hero of eLearning Development


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The Instructional Design Reviewer

An Instructional Design Reviewer reviews content to ensure its instructional effectiveness.

While the job that Instructional Design Reviewers do is a difficult one, their effort often goes unappreciated. Usually the management assumes that as an ID Reviewer has to merely browse through already developed content, she should be able to do it at the speed of lightening. This pressure results in superficial reviews that read a lot like, “the flow isn’t right,” “you’ve not chunk-ed it right,” “rewrite these objectives”, and so on. This obviously appears to be more of a list of instructions for the instructional designer than a review. A review should aim at improving the content without pushing it into an endless rework cycle.

ID Reviewer – The Selection Criteria

In my opinion, an Instructional Design Reviewer’s selection should be based on the following:

  1. Experience (both the quantity and the quality of experience, are important.)
  2. Past-Achievements (how her own courses, and the courses reviewed by her performed in the past. There’s no point in getting a reviewer whose own courses didn’t perform well.)
  3. Instructional Design Aptitude (she should have good knowledge of instructional design and she should be able to apply it in her reviews.)
  4. Mentoring Attitude (she should have the willingness to provide constructive criticism and guidance to the instructional designer whose work she reviews.)

Expectations from a good Instructional Design Reviewer

Among other things, a good ID reviewer should review the content to determine whether:

  • the course competencies are written to ensure that the course goal is met.
  • the competencies are phrased correctly.
  • the relevant instructional design principles are applied while designing the course.
  • the examples and other guidance activities are relevant to the learner’s profile.
  • the reinforcement activities are developed in a way that they enable the learner to reach the desired level of competency.
  • the assessment exercises assess the learner’s skills comprehensively in terms of level and scope.

The ID Reviewer should also provide adequate reasoning to help the ID (Instructional Designer) understand where she had gone wrong and how she could avoid such mistakes in the future.