May 12, 2022

The ATD Talent Development Framework: Instructional Design

ATD developed the Talent Development Framework and Puzzle to help practitioners understand the different components of talent development and how organizations can create their own frameworks to meet their unique needs. This blog series explores each component of the talent development framework, why it matters to the field, and what resources ATD offers practitioners who want to learn more.

Instructional design

The goal of instructional design is to create formal and informal learning solutions using a variety of methods, so that learners acquire knowledge or skills more successfully than they would without the instruction. The designer strives to restructure content with the learner in mind while incorporating a range of learning strategies, tools and approaches to engage learners. The instructional design emphasizes outcomes over content and interaction over questions, and aims to maximize both learner motivation and application. An instructional designer must also keep in mind the ever-changing trends, conditions, and pace of the global workforce.

Instructional design is changing in the technological age. While traditional classroom learning remains the most widely used type of education, online learning and mobile content delivery are on the rise. These present new challenges, such as figuring out how to make content interactive and engaging without in-person instruction. Competence in different pedagogical approaches facilitates this transition from face-to-face to virtual for the designer and the learner.

the ASTD Skills Study identifies the skills that talent development professionals need to be competent in instructional design:

Conduct a needs assessment.
Identify an appropriate learning approach.
Apply learning theory.
Collaborate with others.
Design a curriculum, program or learning solution.
Design teaching materials.
Analyze and select technologies.
Integrate technology options.
Develop teaching materials.
Evaluate learning design.

Good instructional design is an essential part of effective training that engages, motivates, promotes learning retention, and creates business impact.

We’ve put together a few more resources for you to explore:


Check out this research report on instructional design in the modern age.


Stay up to date on current trends and skills for delivering fresh content.


Expand your capabilities as a mobile learning designer.


Boost learner motivation with seamless e-learning design.


Enter the new era of instructional design technology.


Brush up on your design skills to keep learning interesting.


Keep pace with change and technology for instructional design.


Learn about the three types of instructional design prototypes.



Models for the management of training projects by Willis H. Thomas



The Accidental Instructional Designer by Cammy Bean



ISD from scratch,
4th edition by Chuck Hodell



ASTD Manual,
2nd edition


Dive deeper into instructional design and enroll in ATD’s e-learning instructional design certificate program.