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Vol. 2, No. 1      January 10, 2006    

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Contact DSA
Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc.
One Cielo Vista Place
Monterey, CA 93940
Phone: 831.649.8384

Voicemail: 800.650.SINK (7465)
Fax: 831.649.3914
Workshops: Jane Sink, Vice President of Marketing

 

Today's Tip
Create a Better Message

Ever been asked to improve the visual design of an instructional Web site? Have you ever looked at an instructional module that seems to contain some good instructional design elements, like practice and feedback, but it seemed very disorganized? How about those flight cards on the airplanes. Ever notice how they are hard to follow and way overloaded with information?

How can you help make constructive suggestions for improving an instructional product? How can you create a better instructional message?

Fortunately, we don’t have to be expert graphic artists and visual designers to be helpful. We can apply instructional message design principles. Instructional message design principles are derived from the behavioral and cognitive sciences. These principles are based on empirical evidence and are consistent with the ways students learn.

There are seventeen principles provided on the DSA web site for message design that you can download and print out to use as a checklist. Along with each principle you will find specific suggestions related to what can be done to avoid violating the principle. With a little help from my graphic artist, here are a couple examples to give you the idea.

Principle #1 of 17:

The more clearly we perceive an object, person, event or relationship, the better we remember it.


Suggestion: Keep it neat and uncluttered.

Click to view larger image...

Principle #11 of 17:

Simple line drawings are easier for beginners than photos.

Suggestion: Start with simple drawings.

Click to view larger image...

Effective instructional design is best achieved when the design is aligned with both the elements of good instruction and good message design.

Using these instructional message design principles and the specific suggestions to avoid violating the principles you will be able to explain what principle is being violated and what can be done to improve the situation. Go ahead give it a try. Happy New Year!!!

Until next time,

Darryl

Article 2006 Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc.

Learning and Performance Tips

Welcome to Learning and Performance Tips
, a DSA newsletter for Instructional Designers and Performance Consultants. Each issue will include at least one proven tip to help you get the most out of your development and consulting efforts.

Did you miss out on a past issue? For access to all tips newsletters, send your top "Tip" to jane@dsink.com.

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Copyright, Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc.
Monterey, California

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