Instructional Development has not always been regarded as it is today and was once historically considered to be an artistic endeavor which was carried out in a cottage industry setting (Molnar, 1971). In the search for better ways to handle the problems associated with Instructional development, important tools, use of well defined behavioral objectives and sophisticated measurement and evaluation methods were developed and with the aim of protecting against the consequences of poor training, more reliance was placed on empirical methods, which involved repeated tryout and revision of materials (Merrill & Boutwell, 1973).
Perhaps the most important part of this process is the documentation process. For a team of specialists to work efficiently and effectively together, the procedures at all levels of the Instructional Design Process must be very well documented. The relevance of documentation to the Instructional Design Process is the fact that it allows for peer review, process control and more possibilities of streamlining the process over time (Gibbons 1998). The documentation process also helps standardizing the output of the different members of the team who are engaged in the performance of the same tasks.
It also helps in alleviating the training burden that the addition of new team members brings. More importantly, the documentation process serves as the quality control device and also serves as developmental tools. While, traditionally, documentation has always been an essential ingredient of systems design in general, it has extreme value in ISD in particular (Gibbons 1998). The Instructional Systems Design approach, with its potential for self improvement and its engineering discipline has taken instructional development from the productivity of the individual artisan to the productivity and quality control of the factory.
It is limited only by the imagination and discipline of the practitioners.
References: Gibbons, A. S. The influence of instructional systems development (ISD) on simulator design. Wicat Systems, Orem, Utah, 1988. Molnar, A. R. the future of educational technology research and development. Washington, D. C. : National Science Foundation, 1971. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 054 642) Merrill, M. D. , & Boutwell, R. C. Instructional development: Methodology and research. In F. N Kerlinger (Ed) Review of research in Education (Vol 1). Itasca, Ill. F. E. Peacock, Publishers, 1973.