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Course Description

Credit Units: 2

Dr Oladotun O.  Olagbaju (B.A(Ed),  M.Ed, PhD English Language Education) Email address:, College of Education and Social Sciences, Department of Education

Course description:

The course is a critical analysis of curriculum in terms of their relevance and National goals. Relationship between curriculum and instruction in terms of objectives specification, selection of learning experiences, learning materials, methods and media of instruction, and evaluation. Also it is an overview of curriculum innovation in a subject matter area with particular reference to the Gambian experience.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the course, student should be able to:

  1. Analyse  a curriculum in terms of its relevance
  2. Explain the relationship between curriculum and instruction 
  3. List and describe the elements of a curriculum

Course content

Curriculum development and instructional design are interrelated, and often taken as terms that are synonymous. While the curriculum is the sum total of what is done at school, especially with reference to the content that the students will learn, instruction deals with how the content is learned by the students. No matter how well-developed a curriculum is, if it is not properly broken into and taught in bits, such curriculum cannot achieve its set objectives. The importance of curriculum development cannot  be  overemphasized  because it is the core of effectiveness  in  teaching. There can be no instruction without the curriculum and the success of a curriculum is dependent on the process and quality of instruction.


Instruction can follow several steps in line with the demands and learning outcomes required by the curriculum. One of the common designs is known by the acronym ADDIE: Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate. The processes in the development of a curriculum and instructional design are very similar and these are some of the processes:

  1. Analyze Requirements: This is probably the most important step of the instructional design process. Design must consider four areas of analysis: audience, including the organization’s needs and the learner’s profile (age, education, experience, roles, technical proficiency, etc.)
  2. Identify Learning Objectives: Next, learning objectives are framed. These objectives help separate what is helpful and what is essential. The expected outcome should be clear.
  3. Develop Design: It involves organizing content into a logical sequence, determining an approach to deliver the course (such as through stories, games, problems or videos) and implementing engagement points like motivational videos or reflection questions. The design must be consistent in all modules and resource materials.
  4. Develop a Prototype: Before starting development, a functional prototype is created, using four to five unique pages of different types. This helps visualize how the topics will be made into a functional module.
  5. Develop Training: After the prototype is complete, training can be created in the learning management system. Training includes graphics, interactive elements, assessments, recordings by a voice-over artist and more, based on the prototype.
  6. Deliver Training: Developers should ensure that the course is compatible with the learning management system. They should also understand certain features, like how to track learners’ progress and assessment performance, how to generate course completion reports, and how to add pre- and post-training resources.
  7. Evaluate Impact: Evaluation takes place at two levels — the learner’s level to see if training is engaging and useful, and at the organization’s level to determine if training positively impacts the business and fulfills the goals of the training.

Recommended references for further reading

Gustafson, K. L., & Branch, R. M. (2002). What is instructional design. Trends and issues in instructional design and technology, 16-25.

Branch, R. M., & Kopcha, T. J. (2014). Instructional design models. In Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (pp. 77-87). Springer New York.

Driscoll, M., Carliner, S. (2005) Advanced Web-Based Training: Adapting Real World Strategies in Your Online Learning, Pfeiffer. ISBN 0787969796

Cite this article as: Kurt, S. “Instructional Design Models and Theories,” in Educational Technology. Available online from

Nesse,  B.  (2018). Curriculum Development and the Instructional Design Process. Available on


Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management

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