The Evolving Dynamics of ISD

Ellen Wagner recently wrote a very good post, What is it about ADDIE that makes people so cranky? in response to a recent #Lrnchat session on Twitter. She followed up on that post with #Lrnchat, ADDIE and Making the World a Better Place.

In her post she wrote, "It seems that the biggest objections to ADDIE are that it is linear." Yes, when ADDIE first made the scene in 1975 it was strictly a waterfall method in that except for the Evaluation phase, which is performed throughout the entire process, the other steps were performed in linear order. For example, in October 1981 Russell Watson presented a paper to the International Congress for Individualized Instruction. He wrote, "The five phases of ISD are analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation and control. The first four are sequential in nature, but the evaluation and control phase is a continuous process that is conducted in conjunction with all of the others." He included this diagram with the paper:

Linear ISD
Click picture to enlarge

However, by at least 1984 the model evolved into a more dynamic nature for the first four phases. For example, a 1984 Army manual reads, "As the model shows, all parts are interrelated. Changes, which occur during one step of the model, affect other steps. In the ISD process, nothing is done in isolation, nor is all done in a linear fashion; activities of various phases may be accomplished concurrently." This is the model they show:

Dynamic ISD
Click picture to enlarge

Thus even one of the most disciplined and structured organizations had to evolve the model to a more dynamic one. My guess is that since the ISD model was designed at a university, they wanted to take a summative approach in order to evaluate the validity of the learning/training theory. Yet Instructional design practitioners in the real world are more concerned with actually producing an effective learning process to meet the need's of the business, thus they take a more formative approach in order to refine goals and evolve strategies for achieving those goals.

Also note that one other change occurred, the title of the last phase evolved from "Evaluation and Control" to "Evaluation."


Watson, Russell (October 1981). Instructional System Development. In a paper presented to the International Congress for Individualized Instruction. EDRS publication ED 209 239.

U.S. Army Field Artillery School (1984). A System Approach To Training. ST - 5K061FD92


Heavy, Performance Appraisals, Training, Presentations, & Ethics

Toys at Work

Holding heavy objects makes us see things as more important - Not Exactly Rocket Science

Want your learners or team to think more deeply about a task? Then use heavy paper stock or a heavy clipboard:

Gravity affects not just our bodies and our behaviours, but our very thoughts. That's the fascinating conclusion of a new study which shows that simply holding a heavy object can affect the way we think. A simple heavy clipboard can makes issues seem weightier - when holding one, volunteers think of situations as more important and they invest more mental effort in dealing with abstract issues.

Performance Appraisals Positively Affect Employee Attitudes - CLO

Receiving an evaluation has a significant influence on an employee's engagement level and views of their immediate manager and organizations. Employees who are given a performance appraisal are more engaged and are more satisfied with their job and the company overall. The research indicates that receiving a performance appraisal has a significant, favorable impact on how employees rate their pride in the organization and their willingness to recommend it as a place to work. Furthermore, those employees who receive a performance appraisal are more likely to say they intend to stay relative to those who have not received a performance appraisal.

Applications training: teach the good stuff first - Dave's Whiteboard

I'd worried so much about the size and complexity of the Legion software that I overlooked the point I keep harping on here: the training isn't about using software, it's about doing work.

Find Your 20% - Jane Bozarth

Closely related to the Dave's post is Jane's post:

Rather than starting from a lot of information and finding a way to deliver it in the available time (the result: lecture + bulleted slides), find your critical "20%". What are the 2 or 3 key takeaways? If I ran into your attendee 2 weeks from now, what would they say were your 2 key points?

Why Be an Ethical Company? They're Stronger and Last Longer - Business Week

Witness Costco. Wall Street analysts have long chastised Costco's management for paying high wages and keeping employees around for a long time, resulting in higher benefits costs. Costco CEO Jim Sinegal has responded by saying that keeping good employees is strategic for the long-term success and growth of Costco. To date, he has backed up this assertion with per-employee sales that are considerably higher than those found at key rivals such as Target (TGT) and Wal-Mart (WMT).


Instructional Design, Learning, Multitasking, & Camtasia for Mac

The Food Court

Love-Hate Theory, Learner Motivation, Connectivism and Other Such Thoughts... - Sahana Chattopadhyay in ID and Other Reflections

Thoughts on the fundamental theories all of us IDs start out our ID career armed with:

  • Learners learn best when they are able to align the new knowledge with knowledge from the past.
  • Once this connection has been established, the learner will very likely exert himself/herself to acquire the new skill.
  • In today's Digital Era, Connectivism adds another crucial dimension to the traditional learning theories.

Primacy/recency, or, first (and last) things last - Dave's Whiteboard

This is a pair of related ideas: "in a learning episode, we tend to remember best that which comes first, and remember second best [that] which comes last."

More on Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning - Karl Kapp

In the last post I linked to Nicholas Carr's post, Close down the schools! and it criticism on the New York Times post about the report.

Kark Kapp also makes some observation about the report in Online Education: Better than the Classroom?. He notes, the more time someone spends learning a topic and the better the DESIGN OF THE INSTRUCTION...the more learners learn.

Multitasking Muddles Brains, Even When the Computer Is Off - Wired

What happens to people who multitasking all the time? In every test, students who spent less time simultaneously reading e-mail, surfing the web, talking on the phone and watching TV performed best.hey fare significantly worse than their low-multitasking peers. However, as for what causes the differences, whether people with a predisposition to multitask happen to be mentally disorganized, or if multitasking feeds the condition is unknown.

But there may be some good news for multitaskers — while not the most efficient way to work multitasking may be good for your brain because of the mental challenge.

Today is the Day! Meet Camtasia for Mac! - The Visual Lounge

System Requirements

  • Mac computer with an Intel processor
  • Mac OS X v10.5.6 or later
  • Quartz Extreme support
  • 1GB of RAM
  • Approximately 4GB of available disk space
  • QuickTime 7.5.5 or later
  • CD drive required for installation

Free 30 trial. Cost: $99.00 until Dec 31, 2009, after that it is $149.00. More information.


eLearning, Captivate 4, Cubicles, Stress Image Generators, & Peter Principle

Aquasox Froggy

Close down the schools! - Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog

The headline on Steve Lohr's Bits post sounds pretty definitive: "Study Finds That Online Education Beats the Classroom." And the quote that Lohr gets from the study's lead author, Barbara Means, sounds equally definitive: "The study's major significance lies in demonstrating that online learning today is not just better than nothing - it actually tends to be better than conventional instruction."
But the study itself, which was conducted by SRI International for the US Department of Education, is considerably less definitive than the coverage would have you believe. Before school boards start firing teachers and shuttering classrooms, they might want to read the actual report.

Adobe Captivate 4: Project Templates... A Strong Foundation For New Projects - I came, I saw, I learned...

If you want to take the best components of any Captivate project and use them over and over, you can save any of your existing Captivate projects as a project template. The next time you create a Captivate project, you can use the project template and quickly produce a new project that contains those "best in class" components from the template.

Also see Design Templates.

Bulldoze Your Cubicles for Better Collaboration - HBR

Companies are finally realizing what their employees have known for ages: Cubicle cultures just don't work. With concerns about knowledge-sharing among older and younger generations of employees skyrocketing, organizations are concluding that impersonal "cube farms" discourage collaboration, stifle employee engagement and, as a result, strangle innovation at the exact time when it's desperately needed.

Brain Is a Co-Conspirator in a Vicious Stress Loop - New York Times

According to Bruce S. McEwen, head of the neuroendocrinology laboratory at Rockefeller University, the new findings offer a particularly elegant demonstration of a principle that researchers have just begun to grasp. "The brain is a very resilient and plastic organ," he said. "Dendrites and synapses retract and reform, and reversible remodeling can occur throughout life."

13 Fantastic and Fun Image Generators - Mashable

The tools on this list help you generate respectable graphics in a jiffy - design talent optional!

The Peter Principle Lives - BusinessWeek

The cure for our malady? We should return to what Dr. Peter wanted: rewarding ordinary competence and being wary of feats that come too easily. Perhaps the late Ray Kroc is the right role model here. One of his first steps in building the McDonald's empire was to run his own outlet - he cooked, cleaned bathrooms, picked up the trash. The focus on doing ordinary things well was, he believed, key to McDonald's success.


eLearning Tools, Social Media, Training, Web, & a Metaphor


What e-Learning Tools are You Using - Karl Kapp

Along with the survey out how long it takes to develop one hour of training, Robyn DeFelice and Karl Kapp also asked about what elearning tools were being used. The two most widely used tools were MS PowerPoint and MS Word, with Adobe Flash and Adobe Captivate coming in third and fourth.

More rogue. by Janet Clarey in Brandon Hall Analyst Blog

How to use social media in a more formalized strategic manner:

  • Respect your learners intentions and make informal learning resources available and useful.
  • Aggregate, organize, make available and decide what to deliberately suppor
  • Structured, but not formal, intentional but not directed.

I disagee with the second point in the post, "[ID should] stay the hell out of it" because the above is basically what good ID is all about.

Corporates invest in innovative training to manage costs - Business Standard

When a leading global supplier of passenger automobiles did not find the desired impact on job performance after various instructor-led, course-based programmes due to low-literacy level and different cultural backgrounds among its factory workers, the company created a vivid presentation using animations, simulations and procedural videos that increased curiosity among the workers who absorbed the messages in the highly-graphic training presentations.

Advance of e-learning continues to be overstated - Training Journal

Martyn Sloman, learning and development adviser, CIPD, says: "Simply saying we support blended learning solutions is not enough. We must work much harder to integrate e-learning into broader learning and performance support activities. The best organisations are doing this, but the worst are simply making e-learning available to the individual on their PC and hoping that something will happen as a result."

Personas - MIT

Personas shows you how the Internet sees you:

Personas is a component of the Metropath(ologies) exhibit, currently on display at the MIT Museum by the Sociable Media Group from the MIT Media Lab. It uses sophisticated natural language processing and the Internet to create a data portrait of one's aggregated online identity.

Do people really walk in circles? - 60 Second Science

This seems to be a good metaphor for providing visual clues in Instructional Design:

Yes, people do really walk in circles - but only when stripped of important visual clues, such as the sun or moon, according to a paper published online today in Current Biology.


Stress Training, Training Development Time, Social Media, Imitation, & Consciousness

August 18, 2009

The Drummer

Mental Stress Training Is Planned for U.S. Soldiers - New York Times

The Army wants to train 1,500 sergeants by next summer to teach the techniques.
In an interview, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the Army's chief of staff, said the $117 million program was an effort to transform a military culture that has generally considered talk of emotions to be so much hand-holding, a sign of weakness.
"I'm still not sure that our culture is ready to accept this," General Casey said. "That's what I worry about most."

How Long Does It Take to Develop One Hour of E-Learning-Updated for 2009 - Kapp Notes

Perhaps the most interesting part of "Time to Develop One Hour of Training" is the comparison of 2003 and 2009 numbers.

For example: in 2003, the low estimate for developing One Hour of Instructor-led, Web-based training delivery (using software such as Centra, Adobe Connect, or WebEx-two-way live audio with PowerPoint)was 30 hours and the high estimate was 80 hours. In 2009, the low estimate is 49 and 89...both higher. Is it taking us longer to develop e-learning than it did six years ago??

Twitter tweets are 40% 'babble' - BBC

Choose the people you want to follow carefully:

  • 40.5% could be classified as pointless babble
  • 37.5% as conversational
  • 8.7% as having pass-along value.
  • Self promotion and spam stood at 5.85% and 3.75% respectively.

Social media poses huge opportunity and risk for corporate world - Finance & Commerce

Last week, executives from companies as varied as Wal-Mart, McDonalds, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Mayo Clinic gathered at General Mills' headquarters in Minnetonka to discuss the opportunities and concerns presented by social media. And one thing became clear: For now, companies seem more fearful of being left behind than they do of losing control.

73 percent said they would increase the use of social media over the next 12 months.

Human See, Human Do--And That Goes for Monkeys, Too - Scientific American

But, so far, evidence suggests that an evolutionary adaptation to subtly imitate may promote the formation of social groups-building cooperation, reducing conflict, and aiding the survival of each individual.
These results may open up a new field of research, Paukner says. "In the past, we looked at imitation as 'What did [the imitator] learn?' But the role of the model has been largely ignored," she says. "Turns out, imitation is not just good for learning something new. It's also beneficial for the whole group-or whole species."

A "Complex" Theory of Consciousness - Scientific American

Conscious states are highly differentiated; they are informationally very rich.

Although consciousness is the only way we know about the world within and around us-shades of the famous Cartesian deduction cogito, ergo sum-there is no agreement about what it is, how it relates to highly organized matter or what its role in life is. This situation is scandalous! We have a detailed and very successful framework for matter and for energy but not for the mind-body problem. This dismal state of affairs might be about to change, however.


Engagement, Back Channel, Digital Books, & Note-Taking

The Leader of the Parade

"The Happy Employee" Philosophy - Training Magazine

In "Hundred Percenters: Challenge Your Employees to Give it Their All, and They'll Give you Even More," Murphy reveals new research from more than 500,000 employees and leaders about why the "happy employee" philosophy has failed. Culled from the same research, he introduces new techniques to stop making people happy and start making them great. He describes a leadership style intended to inspire employees to give 100 percent of their effort and passion every day (i.e. to become Hundred-Percenters).
  • More than 70 percent of employees would rather work for a leader that challenges them with difficult goals and requires them to learn new skills.
  • If leaders assign really difficult goals, employees perform better and have more self-confidence.
  • "Smart" goals can be dumb, and actually keep employees from pushing themselves and developing new skills.
  • Many leaders unknowingly discourage employees from becoming Hundred-Percenters through insufficient recognition and tolerating slackers.
  • Hundred-Percenters want a lot of constructive feedback, but you should never deliver it with a "compliment sandwich."
  • If you're going to assess your employees with a survey, never ask if they're satisfied (and never use a five-point scale).
  • You cannot build an organization of Hundred-Percenters if you tolerate "talented terrors" (people with 100 percent skills but 0 percent attitude).

Capture the Backchannel - eLearn Magazine

After four or five weeks, during which the masters and PhD students became acclimated to the use of Twitter, "conversation became really rich—so much so that it was empowering other forms of conversation in the class."
He's quick to point out that the backchannel is not a tool for every situation. "We've never found it very effective for heavy, focused lecture."

Digital Textbooks and the Snark Syndrome - Net Gen Skeptic

This article from the New York Times provides an example of the Snark Syndrome at work as the move to digital textbooks is justified by one school district official on the grounds that kids today are "wired differently". According to Sheryl R. Abshire, chief technology officer for the Calcasieu Parish school system in Lake Charles, La, "they're digitally nimble. They multitask, transpose and extrapolate. And they think of knowledge as infinite. They don't engage with textbooks that are finite, linear and rote." Really?

Five Classic Ways to Boost Your Note-Taking - lifehacker

Includes the The Cornell method, visual, media, shorthand, and Don't.


Fonts, Social Media, Memory, Podcasting, & Learning Tools

Butterfly at the Zoo

25 Classic Fonts That Will Last a Whole Design Career - Blog Spoon Graphics

Eric Gill, Adrian Frutiger and Max Miedinger are names we associate with the classic typefaces designers use on a daily basis. Their font creations are timeless designs that look right at home no matter what century we're in. This collection of 25 classic fonts is a round up of the best and most popular fonts every designer should own. You can be sure that they will last your whole design career.

How I use social media - Nancy White in Full Circle Associates

Great story of using social media:

  • Learning
  • Getting work done
  • Finding and connecting with people
  • Getting stuff (search, content, etc.)
  • Exploring and pushing my own boundaries

People With Lots Of Working Memory Are Not Easily Distracted - Science Daily

Students with high memory storage capacity were clearly better able to ignore distractions and stay focused on their assigned tasks.

Boost Your Memory Power with a 30-Second Eye Exercise - Lifehacker

So how do you boost your memory? By following these few easy tips on a Howcast video (less than 3 minutes)

Podcasting for E-Learning: Putting it all together - Michael Hanley in E-Learning Curve Blog

The Art of the Pause — direct listeners' attention as you choose to create the appropriate amount of expectation or to emphasize the key points.

Top 100 Tools for Learning 2009 - Jane Hart

165 learning professionals have shared their Top 10 Tools with Twitter still way ahead of the pack.


Cognitive Load, Rorschach Test, Classrooms, Design, & Coffee

Floating Things

The Many Faces of Cognitive Load Theory - ASTD

Cognitive load theory has been used to generate a wide range of instructional procedures, some of which are summarized here. Each of the effects is concerned with procedures for reducing extraneous working memory load to facilitate knowledge acquisition in long-term memory:

  • The worked example effect
  • The split-attention effect
  • The modality effect
  • The redundancy effect
  • The expertise reversal effect

Answers to the Rorschach Test Revealed - Scientific American

A Canadian physician posted to Wikipedia all 10 inkblots of the Rorschach test. The test has a controversial history. The New York Times has an article on it: A Rorschach Cheat Sheet on Wikipedia?.

When Computers Leave Classrooms, So Does Boredom - The Chronicle

The biggest resistance to Mr. Bowen's ideas has come from students, some of whom have groused about taking a more active role during those 50-minute class periods. The lecture model is pretty comfortable for both students and professors, after all, and so fundamental change may be even harder than it initially seems, whether or not laptops, iPods, or other cool gadgets are thrown into the mix.

For more information see Learner Involvement and Instructional Design.

The Do's and Don'ts of Dark Web Design - Webdesigner Depot

As the above article notes, PowerPoiont is often used as a crutch rather as a creative tool. And while this article is aimed at web design, the concepts behind it can be used to improve PowerPoint slides as well as elearning programs. For more information see presentations and Instructional Design.


Check out the winners of this year's International Design Excellence Awards - all 151 of them. For more information on design see The Design of Herman-Miller's Aeron Chair.

Read this over coffee - LA Times

Coffee may prevent diabetes, heart disease and stroke, cancer, cirrhosos, and parkinson's disease. If you decide to enjoy it, read more about it at Wired Java Fanatic.