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Monday, November 06, 2006

The Big Question for November - Future of ISD / ADDIE / HPT?

November's Big Question on the Learning Circuits Blog has been posted. The question this month is:

Are ISD / ADDIE / HPT relevant in a world of rapid elearning, faster time-to-performance, and informal learning?

To me, this is one of the most important questions facing us today. If you look at the shift between eLearning 1.0, 1.3 and 2.0 – and particularly the shift in who creates content, you’ll notice that the bulk of content creation moves from the learning function to SMEs or workers/learners.

I believe that we will continue to create linear learning experiences (courses, courseware) but that this is going to be a smaller portion of learning. As I've pointed to before: Course and Courseware are Fading - The Future of eLearning. What you have to ask yourself is:

What business are you in? Are you in the business of creating linear learning experiences? Courses and Courseware? If so, then you are the railroads of the future.
Instead, I think of our industry as being involved in the convergence of management consulting, human performance, learning and technology. Our job is to understand the business objectives, understand how human performance impacts them, identify the gaps and opportunities, etc.

My mental picture of what we do all the time I've shown before (Learning Design in a Nut Shell):



I personally believe that a lot of what we know about analyzing the business issues, human performance issues, information issues, human performance needs are similar today as they were 10 to 20 years ago. There are some new considerations such as greater audience distribution, less time with learners, alternate information sources, etc. And all of this affects the resulting blends. However, the analytic skills we use to understand how to impact human performance are more valuable today than ever.

What has changed is what we produce. At a minimum, we are creating much richer blends. This is probably the easiest change to understand and the easiest transition.

What is much more challenging is that as we look at eLearning 1.3 and 2.0, we change roles from direct content creation and control of delivery to a set-up, aggregator, guidance role. We also take responsibility for helping people “learn how to learn.” (Of course, it would be helpful if we all first became experts in learning how to learn ourselves - see Do Learning Professionals Make the Worst Learners?)

So, back to the question - are ISD / ADDIE / HPT relevant? My answer is a definite: Yes, but. And the "but" is that they will be marginalized unless you do the following:

  • Figure out Rapid HPT, ISD, ADDIE

    Even in the case of eLearning 1.0 solutions (where you create the content) we must become more agile in our models. I personally believe that everywhere in business we are being forced to make choices between fast and best. In software, having something tomorrow may be more important than having all the functionality and maybe not even thoroughly tested. Doing big market research studies may fall prey to just putting it out there and trying to sell it. We have to adapt to faster choices and the fact that we may not have found “the best” answer.Definitely look at Thiagi’s Rapid Instructional Design and One Week Course.

    I'll leave it to Harold Stolovich, Allison Rossett, Ruth Clark and others to talk about how these models can be streamlined, but I would suggest that we all need to ask – how quickly can I get an 80% solution? What is the value of the last 20% vs. the time cost?


  • Increase the Breadth and Improve Your Understanding of New Models / Tools

  • We need to learn when and how to use eLearning 1.0, eLearning 1.3, eLearning 2.0 and other types of solutions.


  • Become Meta-learning Experts

  • We need to learn how to learn ourselves and find systems that support learning even when we don’t create the content. Then we need to be experts at teaching others how to use these systems and learn how to learn.


  • Learn to become guides, aggregators

  • Much of what we'll be doing in the future is not creating content ahead of learning, but working alongside, realtime of our learning community helping them with content, helping them to become better learners, and looking at the content that is being created and improving it, providing structure or guides. It's a radically different model, but I believe there's still relevance in ISD/ADDIE/HPT for this as well.

2 comments:

dmcoxe said...

Great post! What especially got to me was your line:

What is much more challenging is that as we look at eLearning 1.3 and 2.0, we change roles from direct content creation and control of delivery to a set-up, aggregator, guidance role. We also take responsibility for helping people “learn how to learn.”
I have been trying to turn over in my head where the future of instructional design is going and I think you captured it in a nutshell with that statement.

vita said...
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