The November LCB Big Question was "Are ISD / ADDIE / HPT relevant in a world of rapid elearning, faster time-to-performance, and informal learning?" I was planning to try to write up a summary at some point (similar to last month's eLearning Technology: Top Ten Reasons To Blog and Top Ten Not to Blog), but I must say this month it was a lot harder. My personal summary is very briefly (more below):
- There’s general consensus that ISD, ADDIE, HPT provide a good foundation, but that they need to evolve.
- There’s little practical advice that can assist Instructional Designers in what the evolved forms really are.
- There are a few skeptics.
And I find that second bullet especially troubling given that the crux of the question as Mark Oehlert from e-Clippings put it:
If the question of whether or not your job is relevant fails to stir up some considerable heat - then I despair for us.
Well Mark start despairing for us...
I’m beginning to wonder if we are expected to just wing it until we become marginalized. As a Forbes article stated –
One thing is clear: In two decades, your job probably won't exist, at least not in the same form.
So let me step back and give some foundation for my summary. Oh and before I go any farther, I should point out that, as is always the case, there is general consensus that as Jay Cross put it:
This is the wrong question.
And as Russ Crumley put it:
we’ve already answered that.
So, again, Dave Lee and I are continuing our consistency in asking bad questions.
Also as background, there were quite a few people who said, ISD/ADDIE/HPT – huh? That was actually quite a big surprise to me. Maybe they are already irrelevant?
ISD, ADDIE, HPT are Good Foundations
There was general consensus that they provide a good foundation for the future.
More models will emerge, but they'll only be improvements on existing models. We'll always take shortcuts, but it's important to know what the original route was in case you get lost.
SAT, ISD and ADDIE are excellent methods to develop training that is stable ... The Internet is forcing us out of our self-constructed disciplinary boxes. ... As work and learning become connected online, the barriers are blurring between organisational development, HR, training, education, HPT, etc. A new, amalgamated field of practice requires better tools and integrated theories from which to base our practice.
The challenge we now face is not the creation of more tools, but better use of the tools we have, while applying the fundamentals of human behavior and performance, including the role of emotion, curiosity, discovery, and the desire to improve.
The role of the instructional designer will be to use the ADDIE model to determine what baseline structure can be built into the formal piece of the learning and what parts of the knowledge base are fluid and need to maintained delivered in an informal venue, be it a blog, a podcast, or talking points delivered by a project manager to his or her team.
We need these models now more than ever ... Would you ask a builder to skip the design step for a building? No need for the architect, just build the building.
We need to be reminded of this discipline to avoid jumping to solutions, without having a proper understanding of the problem.
ISD, ADDIE, HPT need to Change
There was also general consensus that while they provide a foundation, they need to change.
In a world where products, targets and strategies adjust constantly the application of these models (ISD, ADDIE, HPT) will be greatly diminished. As the roles of knowledge workers expand and require them to use information that changes quickly it will be more important for the workforce to have easy access to information rather than them be required to retain it as the result of a well-designed course.
I use the term ‘greatly diminished’ because I don’t feel the models will become obsolete or completely irrelevant.
The models listed in this month’s Big Question were designed for a type of training that was relevant for the needs of an environment different from today’s.
my argument: A, D, D, I, and E are relevant. ADDIE may not be
some method still needs to be applied to decide what features to provide and the look and feel of the vehicle -if we are completely without strategy, we are likely to wind up with a resource like Homer's car
Little Practical Advice
While the consensus was that the models were changing, I found myself wondering what that really means in practice. How will they change? What do I need to do differently? And I didn’t see a lot of advice. Here's a few of the things I saw...
You can do the model in an abbreviated format. For example, for the analysis phase of ADDIE, hold a one hour focus group. Yes, one hour for analysis. Now, will you get the best analysis in the world? No, but you will get some insightful information. Instead this step gets skipped, even just doing a one hour analysis can save learners hours of time in terms of focusing the instruction.
Figure out Rapid HPT, ISD, ADDIE Increase the Breadth and Improve Your Understanding of New Models / Tools Become Meta-learning Experts Learn to become guides, aggregators
Don’t work in Silos – integrate with learners, produce rapid prototypes - the content development team work in silos and deliver the final product to the ‘client’ for evaluation.
Without knowing what we’re trying to achieve, metrics that let us know how we’re doing, and ownership of the outcomes, among other things, you don’t have any idea what you’re doing.
the problem lies not with the models, but in how we approach them and what we take out of them. models like ISD, if used creatively, can help produce highly effective learning programs.
I would recommend anyone interested in the design and development of learning experiences to explore the various models relating to instructional design and to develop their own views on the strengths, weaknesses and general applicability of these models.Jay Cross
Think like a great chef. - Great designers use the models as a great chef uses a recipe.
Skeptics Among Us
There were several notable comments that suggested that we should move away from these models and these terms:
Even in the classroom these models disconnect from reality ... The longer I work, the more I realize that the old roles of "Trainer" and "Instructional Designer" are becoming irrelevant.
This Leaves Me With More Questions Than When I Started
training and instructional design don’t cut the mustard ... Keeping the labels is not good ... It’s not going to fall into a course or job aid.
I’m questioning whether we really know what the next generation of ISD, ADDIE, HPT really looks like. I’m being told to not just do D & I, but I’m also not given time to do A, D, E like the models suggest. I’m told to at least spend an hour with the learners or in a focus group. Is that enough? How do I know if that’s enough? When should I demand more?
The kinds of interventions I’m using are changing. How does informal learning change what I do in A&D? How about in E? How does Rapid Learning change it?
I’m personally surprised at the lack of depth in the responses. I’m also surprised that some of the real visionaries such as Allison Rossett doesn’t have better suggestions. Do the experts really just think we should learn the models as a good foundation and wing it from there? That is what we are doing, but is that it?
I hope this isn't the end of the discussion.