Instructional design/Rapid Prototyping/When to use

The Goals of Rapid Prototyping edit

  1. Efficiency: In the traditional design model, the final summative evaluation might uncover a need to make major changes to the instruction. At this point, the designers must go back to the beginning and seemingly "start from scratch." Using Rapid Prototyping, however, these issues would be identified and resolved much earlier in the process, preventing wasted time and resources. This increased efficiency may result in lowered costs via fewer wasted resources and less time.
  2. Stakeholder and Designer Satisfaction: Since all stakeholders, from the learners and financiers to the designers, are involved throughout the rapid prototyping process, all parties' needs are met.
  3. Effective Instruction: If all stakeholders are satisfied with the final instruction, the opportunity for effective, successful instruction has been maximized to best ability of the stakeholders and designers.

When should we use Rapid Prototyping? edit

You should implement Rapid Prototyping techniques if:[1][2]

  • complex factors must be considered, which may include tasks requiring intense levels of problem-solving, organizational constraints in time and money, or where predicting an instructional outcome is difficult.
  • traditional ISD has produced unsatisfactory results.
  • the designer is unfamiliar with the instructional context, including the learners, clients, and/or environment.

When should we not use Rapid Prototyping? edit

You should not implement Rapid Prototyping techniques if:

  • an inexperienced designer is working with little supervision. "Designers unfamiliar with the discipline required to perform thorough front-end analysis and formative evaluation could actually prolong the process by repeated, unconstructive model building."
  • the scope of the project is undefined or appropriate resources are not available.

Section Review edit

Before continuing, let's verify that you understand when to appropriately use Rapid Prototyping techniques. For each question below, select whether you should implement Rapid Prototyping techniques based on the given condition(s). Answer at least 4 correctly before continuing.

1 Specific milestones,deadlines, and scope requirements are set by supervisors.

Use Rapid Prototyping.
Don't Use Rapid Prototyping.

2 Your previous version produced minor learning gains via the traditional ISD process.

Use Rapid Prototyping.
Don't Use Rapid Prototyping.

3 A team of new designers is allowed to create their own production timelines and milestones.

Use Rapid Prototyping.
Don't Use Rapid Prototyping.

4 The client has very high quality demands.

Use Rapid Prototyping.
Don't Use Rapid Prototyping.

5 Final-stage development resources are limited and cannot be wasted.

Use Rapid Prototyping.
Don't Use Rapid Prototyping.

Once you have answered 4 questions correctly, proceed to the next page.

Back Next

  1. Tripp, S., & Bichelmeyer, B. (1990). Rapid prototyping: An alternative instructional design strategy. Educational Technology Research and Development, 38(1), 31-44.
  2. Jones, M., Li, Z., & Merrill, M. (1992). Rapid prototyping in automated instructional design. Educational Technology, 30(8), 42-47