What is an Instructional Plan?

An instructional plan is a clear and well-designed guide which contains valuable instructions that demonstrate how to act when a sudden event occurs, how to operate a particular object or device, how to manage a team or department, how to teach the class, and many more aspects when it comes to providing fundamental instructions to assess the needs of the people . This plan is an effective management tool with the purpose of facilitating the growth, development, and performance of the people in the school, business, or organization, especially in giving the right directions for their safety.

According to the Virginia State Department of Education Guidelines for Science, setting up an effective instructional plan enables success in teaching and maximizing student learning. It shows that 50% of instructional time must be provided to the students to help them adhere to the rules and regulations which will develop their problem-solving abilities, check alternative ideas, and demonstrate concepts.

Thus, all kinds of educators, tutors, counselors, trainers, supervisors, teachers, mentors, consultants, managers, and other key instructors in a particular educational institution or organization must effectively create a compelling and realistic instructional plan for the better improvement and growth of the students and other learners.

Different Types of Instructional Plan

The book Where Great Teaching Begins: Planning for Student Thinking and Learning explains that deep work of teaching is an instructional design that takes teachers deep into content and deep into consideration of their students’ learning. This type of approach is unique in terms of extending past the teacher’s performance to  demonstrate student learning. Here we will explain to you about the different types of instructional plans below:

1. Instructional Development Plan

This type of instructional plan consists of steps and methods that provide learning outcomes and any other goals and objectives of an educational program, school, and district. It is mostly used by teachers, school administrators, counselors, tutors, and other teaching professionals  to assist them in further developing their existing skills and unlock their other competencies and skills in teaching. A research paper explained that instructional development plans are “instructional activities specifically planned to improve quality of teaching in higher education by enhancing academics’ instructional approach to support student learning.” 

2. Individual Instructional Plan For Students

If there are several students who are having challenges and difficulties in understanding a particular subject or if they need to be informed about a specific program or event at school, then it is essential to construct a simple and concise individual instructional plan. When you assign the students individual tasks and responsibilities for a certain school program or event, you must prepare this document to guide the students on the right track. 

3. Field Trip Instructional Plan

Simon Sinek said: “Directions are instructions given to explain how. Direction is a vision offered to explain why.” Field trips are exciting and inspiring events to facilitate observation for education, especially in non-experimental research that provides students with meaningful experiences outside their common daily activities. That’s why it is very crucial to create an instructional plan to give directions while explaining how and why the students must follow them. Emphasize the benefits when they follow the instructions like safety and improvement. 

4. Secondary Schools Reopening Instructional Plan

In the midst of COVID-19 pandemic, many school systems around the world, specifically in the US, have mostly left their remote or virtual teaching as they aim now in shifting to reopening schools for live instruction or physical classes in the upcoming academic year. An article published by Brookings stated that schools are considering a wide range of scenarios for reopening, with many hybrids in between designed to have fewer students in the building. If your secondary school is preparing to reopen, you need to develop a consciously-written instructional plan to help students in their studies, especially those who have fallen behind during school closures while protecting them from the virus. 

5. Instructional Management Plan

Are you planning to organize the management of your class? This is important so that you are able to set out the proper structure of your plans and explain the rules and procedures to the students without repeating to them verbally. Establishing and communicating a clear behavior plan for your class at the beginning of each academic year will help your job easier. Plus, you will enjoy your teaching a lot more than before. Remember that your management plan for the class should not be complex. You simply need to lay down the basic rules and consequences. Micahel Linsin said: “My number one goal at the end of the first day is not that they know the rules and consequences. It’s that they’re excited to be part of the class. That they run home to their parents and say, “Oh my gosh. I have the best teacher. I have this awesome class. It’s going to be great.”

6. Emergency At Home Instructional Plan

If your home is devastated by a flood or fire, you and your family need to take important emergency measures. So, before a disaster occurs, we recommend that the head of the family or household should develop an emergency at home instructional plan to deal with a real-time emergency situation that may possibly happen in the future. Allison Stewart wrote in the book In Case of Emergency: The Family Disaster Organizer: “Being prepared for emergencies is an act of self-empowerment. By understanding the risks that we face and responding with intelligence and readiness, you prepare yourself to stand up against the situation and make the best of it.”

Benefits of Using an Instructional Plan

A quote from the book Designing Instructional Systems stated: “‘Training’ is akin to following a tightly fenced path, in order to reach a predetermined goal at the end of it. ‘Education’ is to wander freely in the field to the left and right of this path – preferably with a map.” The major part of training involves some unplanned learning while education involves some planned, goal-oriented teaching. Thus, using an instructional plan pertains to a goal-directed teaching process that is more or less pre-planned. To fully strengthen your determination and effort in providing instructions, know more about the benefits of using an instructional plan:

1. Establish Systematic Thinking and Analysis

Incorporating concepts of systems thinking and analysis in instructional planning is beneficial to avoid the potential confusion of an eclectic number of approaches and techniques. So, you need to define a system in your teaching and choose to consider it as that while drawing the boundary that limits the extent of the system so you are able to identify the components or subsystems in teaching. Try your best to be resourceful in adapting instruction, guiding, explaining, demonstrating, motivating and many more methods to help the students.

2. Aims on Formulating Effective Solutions

Through a comprehensive instructional plan, it fully helps the instructor to aim on formulating effective solutions to assess the problems, issues, and other concerns of the students or the entire class. For example, there are several students who have their strengths and weaknesses that can be seen by the teachers and other people at school. You may integrate the strengths of the students to help other students who have weaknesses in their studies or in understanding the instructions concerning a particular program or event.

3. Clear Communication and Delegation

It is very crucial that you clarify on the roles and responsibilities of the people inside the class or organization. Using an instructional plan will assist you in communicating and delegating the essential tasks and processes that must be accomplished to the capable person depending on the demands of the projects. Plus, it can help you monitor and manage new developments which can be useful when the class, team, or department needs to have necessary adjustments. 

4. Achievement of Goals and Objectives

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination,” Jimmy Dean said. Thus, writing a structured instructional plan will deeply propel you to achieve your goals and objectives in providing instructions more effectively and believe in your vision that you will succeed in your teaching.

Basic Components of an Instructional Plan 

In this section, you will learn how to construct a well-written and systematic instructional plan. However, an instructional plan has different kinds of components. Include the following elements for you to create a professional piece of writing:

Overview: This part is the introductory section of the content of the instructional plan. It provides a simple and cohesive overview about the activities and tasks that must be accomplished in a specific project, work, program, or business. Being the compelling part of the plan, it describes the main purpose of the plan. Another element to incorporate in this section is the significance, implications and other contributions that the instructions will deliver for the target readers.Goals and Objectives: What does the instructor hope to achieve in the implementation of the plan? This is an essential part of the instructional plan as it contains significant information concerning the specific goals and objectives of the executives, managers, particularly educators, school administrators, counselors and teachers working on the school or other educational institutions. Subject/Main Topic: Indicate the subject or main topic of the instructional plan. This will be the central theme of the entire plan which will help the instructor to structure the contents in the right order and guide the readers on the part where they should aim their attention.Materials and Devices: This section contains some information about the materials and devices that will be used in the instruction plan. Describe the usage of the materials as well as the parts and other components. Write the integral areas and functions. Be specific and clear as possible. Time Frame: Specify the time frame or duration of the implementation of the instructional plan. Include the number of hours, time, day, and date.Anticipated Risks and Procedures: Demonstrate how to assess the anticipated risks if there happens to be a sudden turn of events while implementing the instructions. Create a list showing the flow of procedures involved in the plan.

How to Write an Instructional Plan

Below are some easy-to-follow tips that indicate how to write a clear and structured instructional plan, as well as designing the blueprint of the core activities, strategies, assessments, surveys, and other aspects for the entire class, team, department, or management.

Step 1: Establish clear goals and realistic objectives

Appropriate methods and strategies should assist the instructor in establishing clear goals and realistic objectives that will help in assisting the students,  or learners in attaining knowledge, insight, and wisdom. A study conducted in 1949 stated that a student must be provided experiences which give him the opportunity to practice the types of behaviors implied by the goals and objectives. So, take your time to conduct research and establish the goals and objectives of your instructional plan. 

Step 2: Assess the needs of your target audience

In order to assess the needs of your target audience like the students, you must gather data that will help you in measuring the progress and determine whether you reached the goals. Make use of relevant student data, observations, assessment data, teacher surveys, discipline data, and curriculum data while developing your instructional plan.

Step 3: Formulate Solutions and Outline Methods

While formulating solutions, you need to consider reflecting the goals and objectives of your instructional plan to prevent potential risks. After that, outline the necessary procedures for implementing the instructional plan. So, provide a broad outline of what is likely to happen during teaching. In this way, it will guide the learners to smooth transitions between activities and other tasks. Based on a study conducted by Haigh in 1981, teachers felt that planning provided security in their lessons and that security stemmed from their knowledge that at any point they would know what they might or should do next.

Step 4: Create an Evaluation  

Taylor and Morine-Dershimer and Vallence reported in their studies that little attention is given to evaluation during planning stages even though important instructional decisions are made by classroom teachers based on assessment of students’ achievements. Thus, we recommend that you create an evaluation during the planning process. 

Step 5: Proofread and Prepare the Overall Plan

Carefully review your entire instructional plan and make sure to fully include all the important points in your plan. It should reflect the connection between the established objectives, materials, strategies and methods, activities used for implementing the objectives, and the evaluation of the students. If you notice that you overlook some sections that require additional points, it is important to make some edits and revisions in the document. After the revision, you can now finally implement the instructional plan for the learners.

FAQs

What are the benefits of instructional planning?

Instructional planning provides meaningful benefits to everyone. First, it helps the instructor to focus on formulating effective solutions to assess the problem. Second, it provides fundamental methods and strategies to assist the people who need the instructions. Third, it promotes clarity and maintains order.  

What are the primary characteristics that should be included in an instructional plan?

The primary characteristics that should be included in an instructional plan are overview, objectives, assessment of target audience, solutions, strategies and methods, timeline, and evaluation.

What are the different types of instructional plans?

The different types of instructional plans are instructional development plan, individual instructional plan for students, field trip instructional plan, secondary schools reopening instructional plan, instructional management plan, emergency at home instructional plan, annual instructional plan, monthly instructional plan, weekly instructional plan, and daily instructional plan.

What are some examples of instructional strategies?

Some examples of instructional plans are microlearning, leaderboards, mobile learning, interactivity, gamification, spaced repetition, peer learning, integrated translation, and prizing instructional strategies.

How to organize instructional content?

Some of the ways in organizing the instructional content are by alphabetical, cause and effect, sequential, categorical, inherent structure, simple to complex, order of importance, and spiral.

Robert Baden-Powell said: “The secret of getting successful work out of your trained men lies in one nutshell—in the clearness of the instructions they receive.” Therefore, writing a clear and structured  instructional plan will definitely help you in supporting better improvement and growth of the learners such as students, employees, trainees, and other individuals who need proper instructions in other areas. To assist you in your journey in instructional design and planning, you can learn and apply the tips aforementioned in this article. Plus, we have included several instructional plan samples that you can download.