Instructional Design Proposal

Developing Mental Health Training On-line

Through conducting a needs analysis I was able to identify the problems, solutions, opportunities & growth potential of implementing training classes through instructional technology into social service agencies business practices. 

The problems presented included the display of mental health information and the resources provided in various locations that need to be centralized. Training would be constructed to better teach the specifics of what is presented in a different way, through video’s and interactivity so that it will be accepted and retained in a more comfortable way for the learner.  This would ultimately result in the learner having a better understanding of the illness  and have the opportunity to grow as the system was understood and continued to be used making way for the creation of more instructionally designed training programs. This platform would also provide an opportunity for counselors to adopt this as part of their counseling services and would also be an avenue for assessing their client’s mental health issues and concerns.

As instructional designers we have to analyze how people learn in order to design a curriculum that allows them to learn, retain, and use what they have learned. Evaluating learners and how they perform academically is the first step.  A Learner Analysis was also conducted to evaluate learners general abilities, prior knowledge and learning, general motivation, and learning styles.  This is an important concept in the development process. 

Then a task analysis was performed to find what the learner is expected to be able to do when the designed lesson is completed.  Will they be able to reflect what they have learned?  Also it was important to find out what prior knowledge the learner could build on and what new knowledge and information does the learner need.  

Are there set rules that must be established for learning to take place? This question was better answered by designing a chart that listed tasks as they progress into the next task that the learner is supposed to complete and the step process they go through to be able to use and understand the instructionally designed training.  By developing this chart it made it very clear to me how the steps relate and how effective they will be.

It is imperative for the student (learner) to have a new understanding of the material presented based on their interaction with training programs on-line. Educators should focus on making connections between the facts and creating a new understanding for students. This statement reflects the total goal of this learning process.  The Constructivism theory is a good fit for the instructional design of the social services training programs. “Although constructivist instruction can take many forms based on the instructor's theoretical commitments, constructivist teaching at its core focuses on students' active role in their own learning as they build and organize their knowledge.” “Constructivist instructional frameworks, such as those discussed by Lebow (1993), often focus on the following attributes: personal relevance, the opportunity to generate new knowledge, personal autonomy, active engagement, collaboration, the opportunity to reflect on learning, and pluralism.”(D'Angelo, Touchman, Clark, O'Donnell,  Mayer, Dean, 2009)

“Constructivism is a theory or philosophy of learning based on the idea that knowledge is constructed by the knower based on mental activity” (Skaalid, 2014). The basic precepts are:

            -Learning is an active process of meaning-making gained in and through our experience and interactions with the world.

           - Learning opportunities arise as people encounter cognitive conflict, challenge, or  puzzlement, and through naturally occurring as well as planned                problem-solving activities.

            - Learning is a social activity involving collaboration, negotiation, and participation in  authentic practices of communities.

            - Where possible, reflection, assessment, and feedback should be embedded “naturally” within learning activities.

            - Learners should take primary responsibility for their learning and “own” the process as  far as possible. (Reiser, 2014)

The key concepts of this theory work perfectly with the instructional design that I will be doing for social service agencies and the learner outcomes.  Training can be designed by involving learner reaction to what is being taught and changing the program when needed with no set standards. Constructivism focuses on how learners construct their own meaning. Everyone’s situation will be different when counseling on mental health issues.  The leaner’s will indeed use new knowledge and connect with prior knowledge to create new meanings to their specific illness.


Needs Analysis

My project will be to transform mental health information into on-line training programs.  I am a Mental Health Advocate and plan to develop mental health on-line training, along with the expertise of social services counselors, to make information on depression, suicide, and other mental illnesses available in an easy, more understandable way. I plan to target adolescence and college students, who use the internet faithfully.  My hope is that others in need will be able to learn from this vehicle as well. I interviewed one of the counselors at a social service agency where I live and I asked her, “do you have enough mental health information to give to your clients, or for anyone to get when they need it?”  She gave me their web address where I found several listings of information.  But, that information was in PDF form.  A lot of text but not any interactive information.  Not everyone in a serious mental and physical state wants to take the initiative to read and understand what they read.  I asked her to partner with me in order to use the information that they provide and transform it into a well instructional designed presentation that has human interaction and voice representation that would be more welcoming by someone in need. She agreed that more needs to be done to promote mental health awareness because there is a huge need for this information and we all want to be proactive instead of reactive to the situations and circumstances that the agency and its professionals often have to respond to.

      After reviewing the website and the information provided, I felt that it is important to prioritize the information that they have by first centralizing it.  You have to view several different pages to get the information needed to find the care you need which will aid in a person looking for information to lose interest, and move on to a different website.  The information provided by having a link to different websites can be used as part of the instructional design and the person reading would not have to leave the site to get this information.  I believe that the website does not perform well because all of the reading material and not any human interaction.  By adding videos and tutorials, they will provide more opportunities and different learning experiences for those that are seeking information for themselves or a family member.  Counselors can then use this instructional design as part of the recovery process by assigning a client to take this on-line training as part of the recovery process.  This presents a way for them to know more about the specific illness that they may be involved with and find their way to recovery.


Problems Solutions Opportunities Growth
Information Presentation Design Mental Health training through
instructional technology of services provided and resources available.
Provide on-line training to clients to aid
in recovery.


Better explanation and understanding of illnesses.


Offer this training as part of their services.


Hire full-time Instructional Designer to present all necessary education.

Scatter Resources Put resources in a more centralized area to focus on specific illnesses. Cut down on confusion and clutter of website


Information is readily available  and easy to find.

Increase website use do to resource availability and information clarity.
Visual Display Design to be more presentable to users and user friendly.


Display will be more interactive and engaging.



The agency could attract more clients due to the interactive on-line training. Enhance user understanding by having a more personalized look and feel that they can relate to.



Constructive Learning Content would be presented to better teach specifics of what needs to be learned. More opportunities to develop on-line learning would arise. By the start of the new on-line learning the audience would grow and can be assessed on what has been learned.
Assessment Counselors could better review clients knowing that they have a better understanding of their illness due to on-line training. This also presents the opportunity to create additional on-line

assessments for counselors.

Assessment can be used to aid the counselor in a true evaluation of their clients.



Learner and Task Analysis


As instructional designers we have to analyze how students learn in order to design a

curriculum that allows them to learn, retain, and use what they have learned now and in the future. Evaluating students and how they perform academically is the first step in Learner Analysis.

General abilities:

NWEA Scores:

“NWEA is an achievement test in Mathematics and Reading that is taken on the computer, with just one question at a time displayed. The test automatically adjusts in difficulty, according to student performance on each question answered.“ (Woodruff High School, 2014)   Students at my daughter’s school are tested using the NWEA testing.  This lets educators know what level the student is learning at and what they need to improve in. She has done well and has very high scores.

Report Cards:

Report cards reflect what a student has learned, and demonstrates what they have learned according to their grade level reported.

Progress Reports:

Progress reports, issued before report cards, are received to assess student’s progress. It also gives them a chance to see if they need to work harder, ask more questions, or find some other way to learn, and to achieve a good grade.

Prior knowledge and learning:

When a student retains what they have learned they are able to use previous knowledge to help them solve problems and have a sense of understanding about new things that they don’t completely understand, but have a concept about, in order to learn it completely. “Research suggests that working on interesting, compared to neutral, materials may engage deeper cognitive processing, arouse a wider, more emotional, and more personal associative network, and employ more imagery.” (Tobias, 2014)

When getting education on something that interests you, retaining that information is more likely compared to something that you are not.  This research finds interesting points within few words that directly relate to the characteristics of the typical student. What you learn through your emotional and personal feelings will be retained.

General motivation:

Just as prior knowledge and learning, what you like and how you feel about what you are learning will be retained and you will be more motivated about it if it is of interest.  We all are motivated to do different things.  If you don’t like math, or it is not your favorite subject, compared to English where you can write and express your feelings within a great essay.

“Teachers who create warm and accepting yet business-like atmospheres will promote
 persistent effort and favorable attitudes toward learning” (Weller, 2005) “When a student is comfortable with their surroundings they will be more engaged in what they are learning." (Weller, 2005) Also if there is an incentive involved if they achieve a specific learning principal or grade.  That is a definite motivator.

 Learning styles

We all learn differently and have our own style of learning.  If it is studying and
 memorizing what you need to know, singing a song that relates to what you have to learn, as I did, or using technology to help you learn. There is a goal that we have to reach and we all reach for it in various ways.  If it’s not your style to write things down on paper, maybe you will type it on the computer.  Some people retain as they type, which is my style.  Some people find it hard to type and learn at the same time. “Active learners tend to retain and understand information best by doing something active with it--discussing or applying it or explaining it to others.” (Felder, Soloman, 2014)  “Reflective learners prefer to think about it quietly first.” (Felder, Soloman, 2014)  “Sensing learners tend to like learning facts, intuitive learners often prefer discovering possibilities and relationships.” (Felder, Soloman, 2014)



Lesson Objectives:


1.  Given a list of mental illnesses, and a list of signs and symptoms, the student should be able to match the correct signs and symptoms to that specific illness with 90% accuracy.


2.  Given an on-line testing application with multiple choice questions, the student will select the best answer that will identify the triggers of depression with no errors.

3. Given a student that is withdrawn and moody, which is typical for students of any age, the student will use the video and computer simulation to identify these symptoms and what illnesses could be related, three symptoms for each illness should be identified.


Technology Proposal

Microsoft Learning Content Development System Implementation

The educational technology that I will be using will be, “The Microsoft Learning Content Development System (LCDS) is a free tool that enables the Microsoft training and certification community to create high-quality, interactive, online courses and Microsoft Silverlight Learning Snacks.” “The LCDS allows anyone in the Microsoft training and certification community to publish e-learning courses and Learning Snacks by completing the easy-to-use LCDS forms that seamlessly generate highly customized content, interactive activities, quizzes, games, assessments, animations, demos, and other multimedia.” (Microsoft, 2014) 

The students will first be prepared by the educator informing them of all of the objectives and perspective outcomes for the lesson.  The student will be instructed to use any prior knowledge during the lesson without using any other kind of aid.  The educator will be able to better assess what they have learned and retained this way. 

Next, the Microsoft Learning Content Development System will be opened on all of the student computers and the educator will guide the student through its interface to get them familiar with the software.  The educator will move through each screen giving a full description of what it to be done with each part of the test. The educator will ask if there are any questions and make sure the testing assignment is understood.

Finally, the educator will start the testing giving them an allotted time to finish all of the testing in order to achieve the desired results.

Mental Health is one of the many significant issues students face in the United States today.  Creating awareness and developing education and training on how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a mental illness is imperative to their transition from mental illness to mental health.  The stigma associated with mental illness sometimes stops those in need of help from getting the help they need. Developing mental health training on-line, a platform that students are very familiar with, and may learn best, will lead to the understanding and coping with depression, suicide, and other mental illnesses in a more understandable way without the stigma. Prior knowledge and learning skills in conjunction with what the student has retained from the social services counselor will be tested. 

The Microsoft Learning Content Development System allows for video tutorials as well as a variety of interactive testing methods to include multiple choice, true/false, and essay questions. This provides the student more opportunities and different learning experiences. The lesson is set up to provide answers at the end for the educator and also the counselor to assess the students learning experience.  This software can be used in connection with counselor training to provide instructional design as part of the recovery process by using this as an assignment for the student.

Each task will be completed with ease as the student progresses through the system. The student should be able to describe a specific illness, and demonstrate the ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of each, upon the completion of the testing.

Learning in an interactive environment like the Microsoft Learning Content Management system, will be easy for students.  They will adapt to it easily since most of them surf the internet daily interacting with many different systems.  This system will be able to cover all of the objectives presented and thoroughly cover all of the topics presented. Learning is made easy in this environment and again will be a part of the recovery process.  Blended learning involves so many aspects.  This educational technology will be part of a movement towards stamping out the stigma of mental illness, creating awareness and moving towards recovery.


Lesson Plan


add counselors will use to assess students during counseling session to see what they have learned. plus--


Instructional Event Activity
1. Open LCDS         Environment Show the students around the LCDS software
2.  Inform the students of the objective(s). 1.  Given a list of mental illnesses, and a list of signs and symptoms, match the correct signs and symptoms to that specific illness.

2.  Given an on-line testing application with multiple choice questions, select the best answer that will identify the triggers of depression.

3. Given a student that is withdrawn and moody, which is typical for students of any age, use the video and computer simulation to identify these symptoms and what illnesses could be related.

3. Student will be instructed to use any prior knowledge during the lesson without using any other kind of aid. Review previous knowledge of mental illnesses, the signs and symptoms and how people are affected by them.
4.  Give direction through each LCDS test. Navigate through each test.


         5. Provide learning   guidance. For each short answer question, indicate the correct answer by placing a mark in the column to the left.

For coping strategies, indicate which is true by placing a mark in the column to the right.

For each pair of statements, indicate which is true by placing a mark in the column to the right.


6.  Students Take Pre-Test Student demonstrate knowledge of LCDS testing by answering first two questions.


Select True or False:

 Females between the ages of 18 - 24 are most vulnerable to domestic violence.
Females between 70 - 85 are most vulnerable to domestic violence.

     7. Provide feedback.


After students answer the first two questions provide the correct answers explaining both options in detail walking around to see what they missed and why providing an opportunity to ask questions.


8.  Assess the performance. Choose the best answer out of 5.  Ask more of these questions on next quiz. Students seem to have to recall all answers resulting in retaining more information.


What are some causes of Domestic Violence?

Select the correct answer.


  1. Childhood observations of domestic violence
  2. An experience of being victimized
  3. Living in a culture of violence
  4. Exposure to school and community violence
  5. All of the above


Answer: 5


9.  Knowledge
Assess what the student has learned by asking a few questions that were on one of the test they took but in random order.




D'Angelo, C., Touchman, S., Clark, D., O'Donnell, A., Mayer, R., & Dean, D. (2009, December 23). ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT CONSTRUCTIVIST LEARNING AND INSTRUCTION. Retrieved September 27, 2014, from

Reiser, R., & Dempsey, J. (n.d.). Constructivism in Practical and Historical Context. In Trends and Issues in Instructional Design & Technology (Third ed., p. 46).

Felder, R., & Soloman, B. (n.d.). LEARNING STYLES AND STRATEGIES.
Retrieved September 21, 2014, from

NWEA Testing Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2014, from

Tobias, S. (1994). Interest, Prior Knowledge, and Learning. SAGE Journals, 64, 37-54. Retrieved September 21, 2014, from

  Weller, M. (2005). GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF MOTIVATION. Los Angeles Business Journal. Retrieved September 21, 2014, from

Create online courses and Silverlight Learning Snacks with LCDS. (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2014, from