A systematic program plan is a generic term that refers to a documented process to create or revise educational programs, workshops, or courses using the interrelated components of analysis, design, development, implementation, assessment, and evaluation. It is typically required to develop most types of instruction. (See Fig 1).

Instructional systems design (ISD) is one example of systematic program planning. ISD is defined as the systematic analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of instructional materials, lessons, courses, or curricula to improve student learning and teaching efficiency. Based on information processing learning theory, ISD focuses on the design of effective instructional materials, lessons, units, and courses, with the goal of insuringthat students learn.

Fig 1 Systematic Program Plan

The wide variety of ISD models available share four basic processes (see Figure 2) that address the following questions:

    • Conducting a needs assessment. What, if anything, do students need to learn to perform effectively and proficiently on the job? 
    • Specifying objectives and test items. What measurable or observable competencies must students master to be proficient?
    • Developing learning activities, strategies, and media. How will content be taught to the students?
    • Conducting program evaluation. How successful has the program been in promoting student learning?

Fit 2 ISD Processes

In addition, systematic program planning models incorporate the following principles:

    • The development process is dynamic and iterativenot linear. (Models are often shown with the components in a straight line. However, the models have interconnected components.)
    • All the components must be aligned for the process to be complete. 
    • The basis for the model is what students need to learn in terms of performance, with the desired outcomes and competences clearly stated.
    • Decisions about how to present information, topics, and content to students are made after performance goals are defined.
    • Learning activities and strategies should directly support the performance goals and competencies.

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