Instructional Design: The Cognella Approach

We provide instructional design support to both prospective and signed authors, as well as to internal departments.

Because we are typically publishing material for a specific audience with identified needs, in our internal practice we usually adopt a forward-moving model. To address these student and instructor needs, our instructional design process includes four main components:

  • A confirmation of authorship (who will be contributing content)
  • A needs analysis, in which we collaborate with the author(s) to review challenges students face and identify top priorities to address
  • A review of planned learning activities
  • The design of proposed activities to achieve learning objectives and outcomes
    • This usually involves a general outline of activities and mapping to title content

A few questions we may ask our authors as a starting point include the following:

  • Which students make up the specific audience for this course material?
  • What challenges do students in that audience face that a text alone cannot solve?
    • What might a student say? (key terms to memorize, real-world application, etc.)
    • What might an instructor say? (basic skills practice, critical thinking, etc.)
  • What types of activities would help meet these needs?

That said, if the goal identified requires use of another approach, just ask your project editor. We’ll ensure the method is a fit. We want instructors to maintain autonomy to guide students toward a fixed goal, adjust as they go, or have students participate in the lesson-designing process as appropriate.

To look more closely at specific instructional design concepts and methodologies, see Quick Guide: Instructional Design.