A five-step arch leading down from "Analyze", next to "Design", next to "Develop", next to "Implement", and finally to "evaluate".

Curriculum Instructional Design: Importance of Critical Reflection

Importance of Critical Reflection

Teachers function as both the designer and implementer of education. They determine the needs of learners and content. Then they design and develop the materials and schedule. In turn, they teach and revise the course. The methods of critical reflection assist designers to reflect on the instructional design process. An instructional design methodology includes: Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate (ADDIE).

A five-step arch leading down from "Analyze", next to "Design", next to "Develop", next to "Implement", and finally to "evaluate".
Graphic representation of the simplified linear ADDIE process


Generally, the instructional designer integrates course elements.  The elements include content, goals and objectives, delivery methods, and target students.  Then they identify methods of assessment and evaluation to understand what makes a successful experience.  Educators use many processes to build courses and the elements that comprise them.

Interfacing Instructional Design and Curriculum Making

Initially, novice designers may focus on the methods of delivery or content.  However, Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) possessed by the educator plays an essential role in the design. The designer creates a learning experience for the learners. Each learner experiences learning differently.  In addition, the experiences connected with the assessment.  Teachers gain insights into the process in this way.  All of this impacts how lessons proceed.  Educators develop lessons for diverse learners and learning contexts   Teachers must plan for multiple avenues of instruction, learning, expression, and assessment

Curriculum Concerns

Instructional concerns must match the curricular considerations of the content and its organization.  Often, the freedom to adjust curriculum lies outside the control of teachers or designers.  The instructional designer may face situations where changes cannot occur.  Similarly, designers make trade-offs because of limited time and resources However, the overlap in the basic concepts that exist for both can produce a common ground. Teachers exist in this essential interface. An effective educational system relies upon its educators and their ability to design instruction.

Why Critical Reflection?

Educators debate many aspects of educational practice.  Teachers reflect on their practice within their work environment.  One’s view of how learning occurs starts the reflection.  A core philosophy of education informs teaching practice.  The teaching style dictates class interactions.  Teaching and lesson planning occurs as on-going interactive processes.  Teachers refine lessons, adjusting them.  This meets the needs of different learning environments and situations for a wide range of learners and classroom variables.

Steps of ADDIE

“Instructional design examines the steps that bring about education within a system, it focuses upon the interrelationship between context, content, learning, and instruction. Designers work through steps undertaken iteratively and in parallel rather than linearly.”

First the designer analyzes needs.  This examines the instructional goals, learners’ needs, and their prior knowledge.

Next the designer creates a plan and constructs aligned lessons and assessments.  


Then, the designer develops instructional strategies and select instructional media that best facilitate student understanding of new knowledge.  After that, the designer implements the course materials for the teaching/learning experience and assessments. Finally, the designer evaluates the design to determine the connection between goals and understanding, the effectiveness of instructional strategies and media, and alignment with overarching curricular aims.  Afterward, instructors use this information to revise for the next iteration of the course.  Also, they make adjustments in upcoming planned designs.


If you want to cite this blog article, please use the following:

Lipuma, J., & Leon, C. (2020, May 12). Curriculum Instructional Design: Importance of Critical Reflection. James Lipuma´s blog. https://www.jameslipuma.com/curriculum-instructional-design-importance-of-critical-reflection/


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