Instructional Design Templates

The following templates are sample documents that already have some details of the instructional design process in place. These templates can be adapted to meet the needs of your training. Once the templates are completed, you can edit, save and manage the result as a Microsoft Word document.

Project Description-Goal and Timeline Template

This template includes a brief executive summary in a business format that clarifies your project to organizational members. These may be staff members within the organization who are not aware of your project or its scope. You may need these individuals and their support. This template includes:

  • A project title
  • Organizational need that identifies the performance problem and why training is an appropriate solution
  • A written statement of the instructional goal for this project.
  • Project description
  • A project timeline that lists a projected completion date for each step of the instructional design process
  • .

Instructional Analysis Template

This template includes information about the subject training and the learners. It includes: includes:

  • A learner and context analysis that 1) is thorough, 2) is based on direct information, and 3) uses the information gathered to prescribe training activities
  • A task analysis that is 1) accurate, 2) complete, 3) arranged in a hierarchical (outlined) format, and 4) is based on outside research, and lists sources of information used.
  • A  list of instructional goals (for the overall training topic and for each main task).


Instructional Plan Template

This template includes a design document or “blueprint” for the training program that

  • Clearly describes the sequence of training activities,
  • Classifies each activity as one of the “events of instruction”,
  • Is coherent and congruent,
  • Labels the instructional approaches and media to be used, and
  • Is clearly consistent with the relevant foundation theories.

Instructor Guide Sample Template

This template provides the format and lists the required information for an instructor-led training. Use the template as a starting point for developing your guide.

Formative Evaluation TemplateFormative Evaluation Checklist for Evaluator, and Formative Evaluation Form for Evaluator

This template will require you to select three reviewers for triangulation. It includes:

  • A description of the reviewers and methods used to gather information from them. Enough specific comments and suggestions from a triangulated set of reviewers.
  • A summary of the comments and suggestions that 1) references the comments and suggestions by page number, and 2) clearly indicates your decisions about incorporating the suggestions.
  • The “raw data” from the reviewers is to be kept in your project binder.
  • Each reviewer should be asked to answer the following questions about your project:
  • Are the instructional materials appropriate for the identified learning outcome?
  • Are the instructional materials sequenced and clustered in a logical manner?
  • Are the instructional materials and instructor’s guide clear and easily understood?
  • Is the time frame allocated for each instructional activity reasonable?
  • Are the evaluation tools appropriate to measure learning outcome?


What is a Task Analysis?

The ADDIE Instructional Design Model: Discussion of the Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate Phases

This video discusses the events that take place during the Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate phases of the ADDIE Instructional Design Model.  For more information on the ADDIE Model, please click the following link:

The Analyze Phase of the ADDIE Instructional Design Model


This video provides a brief overview of the Analysis Phase of the ADDIE Instructional Design Model.  Click here to learn more about conducting an instructional analysis

Workplace Training and Development

The workplace is progressively becoming a place where organizations can foster, enhance, and encourage the potential and capabilities of employees.  One way in which organizations foster these talents is by implementing training and development programs with the goal of preparing employees to better meet the challenges of today’s competitive workplace.  However, unless training programs are carefully designed and developed, such programs are unlikely to meet the demands of the competitive workforce as well as the needs of the employees and the needs of the organization.

Designing a Training Program

When designing a training program, it is important to keep in mind that the goal of training is for the employees to acquire new knowledge, skills, and/or attitudes (KSA).   A good training program must be detailed enough to meet the goals of the organization with comprehensible specifications of the purpose and goals of the training program.  Any effective training program must have specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound (SMART) goals in which a clear definition of the goals is communicated to the employees (learners).  The employees’ needs are determined in the context of the nature of work.  It is also very important for the management to define the goals of the training program to make sure that the training program is aligned to the organizational values.  The content of the training program as well as the learner activity, which is central to communicating the course content, is very necessary and should be determined prior to the start of the course.   

Training Evaluation

The success of a training program is not entirely dependent on organization and the content of training, but rather, on the execution and follow up after the training.  This is where evaluation of the success of the training program comes in.  It is imperative that management obtains  feedback for the training from the participants (employees).

By Shirley J. Caruso, M.A., Human Resource Development

HRD Is Essential to an Organization’s Overall Corporate Strategy

Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) refers to the future aspirations and plans of the organization with regard to human capital. SHRM includes efforts on behalf of the management that employ a course of action for the recruitment and professional development of human capital and the alignment of worker interests with strategic organizational objectives.

Expectations from Human Capital

It is essential for an organization to bring together its fundamental business activities and objectives with its expectations from human capital in order to realize an integrated plan for training requirements. One way to accomplish an increase in performance levels on the whole is through  entrustment and empowerment at subordinate levels. Therefore, a necessity for SHRM is an extremely qualified and empowered group of individuals focusing on the training needs of the entire organization.

An organization’s operation depends on the capability of its employees to think and perform. To assure success, organizations have been persistent in developing and their human capital. The need to continuously develop human capital made human resource development one of the main focuses of research and investment by the corporate world in order to enhance competency and stay abreast of the rapid changes in the environment.

Delivering and Implementing Effective, Efficient, and Appealing Training Processes

The human resource development (HRD) department of an organization also places its focus on training and development in the creation and sustenance of the required skills, knowledge, and attitudes (SKA) that help in the achievement of the organization’s strategic objectives. HRD may be described as bringing out the best out of every worker through systematic instruction and continued professional development and thus creating synergies at every level of the organization.

The responsibility of the HRD department is to deliver and implement effective, efficient, and appealing training processes. In order to accomplish this, the HRD professional must comprehend the intellectual aptitudes of the organization’s workforce together with the  appropriateness of a specific training course.  By conducting an instructional analysis, the HRD professional is able to define what learners must be able to do once they have completed the training.  An instructional analysis ensures that the course will:

  • Incorporate all information and steps that learners will need to know
  • Leave out information and steps that learners already know
  • Leave out information and steps that learners don’t need to know

The more accurate the instructional analysis, the easier the training will be for the learners.  Some employees need a great deal of support or encouragement when using new skills or applying new knowledge. Others must relearn skills in a safe environment. HRD professionals and managers can work together to facilitate individual development thereby building strengths and managing weaknesses. Their efforts improve performance and assure that the cost of learning new skills gives the organization a return on investment (ROI).


HRD needs to be a component of an organization’s overall corporate strategy (SHRM) to ensure the quality of its human capital, which can be greatly enhanced through the effective, efficient, and appealing training it delivers and implements.

By Shirley J. Caruso, M.A., Human Resource Development

The Instructional Design Process

Instructional Development or Instructional Design (ID) is training design. ID is associated with the systematic approach of analyzing human performance problems, identifying the underlying causes of those problems or gaps in performance, choosing solutions that address performance gaps, and implementing interventions such as training, performance support tools, organizational restructure, and employee reward programs.

According to Gilley, Eggland, and Gilley (1989), the instructional design process consists of seven interrelated phases with each phase serving as a basis for the others. The seven phases are philosophy of teaching and learning; organizational, performance, and needs analysis; feedback; program design; program development; evaluation; and accountability.

The Seven Phases of Instructional Design

Instructional Development or Instructional Design (ID) is training design. ID is associated with the systematic approach of analyzing human performance problems, identifying the underlying causes of those problems or gaps in performance, choosing solutions that address performance gaps, and implementing interventions such as training, performance support tools, organizational restructure, and employee reward programs.

So that instructional designers can perform their jobs effectively with the available information, they adopt models of the Instructional Systems Design (ISD) process. The ISD process is a systematic approach to teaching. It considers the environment in which learners are expected to perform, characteristics of the learners, and characteristics of the learning environment that could impact the effectiveness of the instruction. ISD is also a series of steps that explore the purpose and delivery method of the instruction and facilitate its effectiveness through formative evaluation and careful implementation. The IDS method helps ensure that the instruction will actually be able to solve an identified problem or achieve a desired organizational goal.

According to Gilly, Eggland, and Gilley (1989), the instructional design process consists of seven interrelated phases with each phase serving as a basis for the others. The seven phases are philosophy of teaching and learning; organizational, performance, and needs analysis; feedback; program design; program development; evaluation; and accountability.

Phase 1: Philosophy of teaching and learning

Phase 1 includes the identification of the instructional designer’s own personal training style and the learning styles of participants to assure that the most appropriate training style will be used for a diverse group of learners.

Phase 2: Organizational, performance, and needs analysis

When you wish to improve organizational performance or resolve a problem that has been observed or brought to the attention of members of an organization, a performance analysis is warranted. The initiative behind a performance analysis is to review the system, recognize a need, assemble an evaluation (measurement instrument) that identifies the objective, choose the intervention, and then develop content and context that will close or significantly narrow the gap between the need and the objective.

Phase 3: Feedback

The feedback process ensures that the chosen intervention will be supported and promoted by others in the organization. The feedback process helps build necessary and influential partnerships within the organization, improving the operation of Human Resource Development (HRD) and securing the future of learning in the organization.

Phase 4: Program design

The design phase is based on the information discovered in the needs analysis phase and should include learner characteristics, knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSA) requirements, causes of the performance deficiencies, and task analysis.

Phase 5: Program development

During the program development phase, the designed intervention is translated into actual training materials and strategies. The out puts for this phase include lesson plans, instructional strategies, instructional media, and learner materials.

Phase 6: Evaluation

The purpose of this phase is to determine if the program accomplished its objectives in helping participants develop adequate KSAs used to improve their performance or to implement appropriate organizational changes. Each intervention should be evaluated to determine whether the appropriate design was used, the instructional designer developed the intervention properly, and the intervention was implemented appropriately.

Phase 7: Accountability

During the accountability phase, instructional designers use the information gathered in the evaluation phase to implement necessary changes. The learner, the organization, the manager, the instructional designer, and the facilitator are held accountable for their actions during this phase.


Gilley, J., Eggland, S., and Gilley, A. M. (1989). Principles of human resource development. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Organizations Are Focusing Their Attention in the Direction of HRD

Human Resource Development (HRD) Professionals are responsible for encouraging employees to participate in performance management and customer satisfaction. This is accomplished by creating and implementing a system that identifies competencies, established goals, and projects the expected outcome. Establishing a problem solving procedure and setting standards for employee performance are two crucial strategies for the improvement of organizational performance.

Many organizations are focusing their attention in the direction of HRD to enhance organizational performance to remain viable and profitable. The role of the instructional designer surfaces to identify performance discrepancies and design and develop performance improvement interventions. Instructional designers are crucial to the design and development of interventions that result in lasting changes in behavior and improved organizational effectiveness. Instructional designers take on the roles of program designer, instructional writer, media specialist, task analyst, and theoretician. These roles are often interrelated.

As a program designer, the instructional designer identifies performance objectives, selects learning activities needed to achieve the performance objectives, and selects the most appropriate media, materials, and training aids needed.

Taking on the role of instructional writer, instructional designers develop written materials such as training manuals, modules, PowerPoint presentations, handouts, assessments, and other materials used during training.

The instructional designer also takes on the role of media specialist in the identification and selection of audiovisuals and training simulations that are most appropriate for the interventions. When selecting these types of media, it is important to take into consideration such factors as availability of time, costs, group size, learning styles of participants, and physical features of the training facility.

As a task analyst, the instructional designer breaks down a job into small components so the learners are give a step-by-step account of what the task they are expected to perform on the job. During a task analysis, instructional designers measure employee performance on each part of a job and focus on what should be taught and how it should be measured.

When developing models and theories related to the learning and development process, instructional designers are acting as theoreticians. Instructional designers must have the ability to imagine nonrepresentational ideas in order to approach problems from a unique perspective. This role requires the instructional designer to possess advanced knowledge of adult learning theory.

The role of the instructional designer is equally important in all organizations. Learning is a continuous process. Rapid changes in technology, demographics, and globalization dictate the need for instructional design. As new skills are required, organizations depend on instructor-led training programs to develop these skills and put them in practice.

Developing an Effective Plan for an Audience Analysis

An audience analysis is needed to identify the characteristics that affect trainee learning. The analysis includes information about learners’ educational background, previous training/learning experiences, relevant work experiences, and motivation for training/learning. This information helps instructional designers customize training for the intended audience.

Audience analysis also identifies training/learning requirements and training/learning outcomes. Training/learning requirements are the knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs) that must be taught during training. Training/learning outcomes are the tasks that learners must demonstrate to ensure competent performance.

The purpose of the audience analysis is to determine instruction methods, materials, and media that will appeal to all learning styles.  The objective is to describe the target population’s specific characteristics and entry level skills.

An effective plan for an Audience Analysis will focus on the following:

  • Entry Behaviors.  It is important to know what the learners should already know how to do in order to be able to achieve the established goals for the course.  Entry behaviors are skills related to the learning goals that must already be mastered.  Entry behaviors may not be specific to the learning objectives, but they may be required in order for the learners to achieve the new learning objectives.
  • Prior Knowledge.  Prior knowledge has to do with what the learners must already know about the subject matter. 
  • Attitudes Toward Training.  It’s important to know what the learners think about the subject matter.  They may come into a training session and consider the topic unimportant or irrelevant to their jobs.  Learners must be able to see that training is relevant.  If they don’t, it is the responsibility of the instructional designer to build the “what’s in it for me” factor into the training. 
  • Motivation.  Learners must have some motivation to learn the subject matter.  Using the ARCS model can gain attention, state the relevance, give the learner confidence that they can achieve the learning goal, and satisfaction that the learning goal has been obtained.  It is important to ask the learner about their personal interest in the learning goal.
  • Prior Achievement and Ability Levels.  It is important to find out what the learners have already accomplished that is related to the learning goals.  This is important to know so that the course does not begin at a level at which the learners have not yet achieved (the learners will become confused and frustrated), or at a level at which the learners have already achieved (the learners will become bored and uninterested).
  • Health or Special Needs.  Learners should be asked about health or special needs so that appropriate accommodations can be made.  Learners with visual or hearing impairments may need to be seated at the front of the class, for example.
  • Learning Preferences.  All learners have their own individual learning preference.  It is important to be aware of the individual learning preferences so that a learning context is created that is comfortable and conducive to learning.  The instructor must be careful not to impose his/her own preferred learning style onto the group.  It is also important to take adult learner characteristics into consideration when designing training.
  • Group Characteristics.  Group characteristics are also important.  Finding out individual learner characteristics helps to identify diversity that may require special training accommodations.