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Instructional Design Case Studies

Improving Executive Functioning

July 2021

Overview: This three-module course, created in Rise 360, aims to help you improve your executive functioning skills - categorized as organization, time management, and self-monitoring (identified through performance evaluations and self-reporting) to improve task completion, productivity, and overall cognitive growth.

Role: Instructional Designer - pitching, curriculum development, research and resource procurement, prototyping and testing.


Analyzed the need for this eLearning course. Determined the target audience

and gathered information. Analyzed the broad goals for the course. 


Executive functioning - the ways in which we successfully navigate our daily lives. Or as Harvard University puts is, “the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully.”


Use Bloom’s Taxonomy to think about the purpose. What information do learners need? What should they do with the information presented? What action verbs would capture this goal?


Many resources identified six to nine executive functions. This course focuses on the three most connected to the value proposition - to improve productivity and task completion, and minimize downtime related to maladapted or inefficient executive functioning.


Present the learning plan for approval.


Determined the platform (Rise 360), media and resources that will be used to support the learning. Collected these as reference materials within the course.

Developed a glossary of terms including images and described text.


Used the ROPES model to identify the specific skills and knowledge learners will achieve,

designed the course sequence and determined the instructional strategies

(the content and various resources, tools, and evaluation methods).


Based on an analysis of the cognitive gap, three targeted skills connected to executive functioning were identified as organization, time management, and self-monitoring.


Observation, individual interviews, and self report data determined that organization was the most pressing (and easy to develop) executive function, followed by time managment and self-monitoring.


  • List and describe effective strategies to improve executive functioning.

  • Identify one strategy to implement.

  • Using a post-learning inventory, self-report the effectiveness, comfort, and likelihood of continuing to use the chosen strategy. 

Final Course Design

A video overview of the completed course.


  • You can never be too prepared. Designing a website based on research-informed decision-making saves time in the long run and helps ensure it meets the objective and matches the target user's needs and motivations.

  • User testing is critical. Testing the website concept before design, during the design process, and prior to large-scale implementation helped us make tweaks and work out any issues.

  • Communication. Open communication with each other and the client ensured we were all on the same page and the client was happy with the final product.

  • Collaboration. Teamwork makes the dream work. Facilitating positive relationships with each team member and establishing group norms early on, built a trusting dynamic in the group and allowed us to meet our objectives within a quick turnaround.

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