https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781351258722/448f864e-357e-4c5d-92ca-d08065046ad7/content/fig1_0.tif"/> You are wired to learn, and that’s a good thing. Learning helps you adapt and survive in a world that is changing at an ever-increasing rate. In this era of information overload, the new currency is the ability to learn. As a result, learning is a key concern for:

Businesses with changing products, services, competitors, and business conditions;

Governments struggling to ensure an adequate quality of life for their citizenry, while adjusting to changing economic, political, and societal factors;

Military organizations faced with global political changes, and new technologies and methods for securing populations;

Institutions of higher learning tasked with anticipating and communicating an evolving knowledge base and meeting the changing needs of society, students, and future employers;

Health care organizations challenged by changing health needs, demands for research, the application of new knowledge, and the implementation of new methods; and

K-12 educators who must not only learn new knowledge and methods, but must also prepare future generations to learn and adapt in a constantly changing world.

Change characterizes every aspect of life in the 21st century. Consequently, lifelong learning is crucial to the survival of individuals and societies, resulting in an on-going, critical need for effective learning experiences and environments. The field of Instructional Design and Technology (IDT) has evolved to address this critical need. Yet, instructional designers do more than just design. They also:

Analyze problems to determine if instruction is a valid solution;

Identify and limit the scope of instruction to ensure its relevance and ability to meet critical needs;

Select appropriate media and delivery modes; and

Develop, implement, and evaluate the success of instruction.

With such a broad range of responsibilities, it’s easy for instructional designers to become mired in complexity and discouraged from taking a creative approach. That’s why it’s important to know how to design effective instruction, and when and how to streamline the process.