Instructional Systems Design - Work Process

Like the iterative UI/UX Design process, the ISD process starts with research and analysis to understand the stakeholder or client issue. What's the actual business problem that needs solving? Analysis is the first phase of the work process no matter the development model's formal name (iterative, SAM, ADDIE or Agile). It's important to get the background information to fully understand existing project and stakeholder goals and expectations to plot the best way forward for the design process to meet client goals and successfully deliver for all parties.


Strategic Adult learning theories based on the analyzed business goals, training delivery options, targeted course audience, and any constraints are selected and serve to shape and define the course and instructional materials prototyping. Project based scenarios, case studies or new skills practice actively engage and challenge attendees. These types of activities form the structural base for whichever theoretical approach (behaviorism, constructivism or cognitivism among others) promotes the best performance outcomes.



Agile Learning Development

The Agile approach is more iterative (release early and often) while the ADDIE development model (Analysis, Design, Develop, Implement, Evaluate) is considered a "waterfall" approach with dependent, sequential steps. It's important to consider the client work environment and what it will support when adopting the best eLearning development practices or work process model.


Similar to the ISD workprocess, my software development career and the software development lifecycle (SDLC) frequently used the ADDIE model. Both disciplines require a collaborative effort of cross-functional teams and their departmental stakeholders. Adaptive planning, early prototype delivery, continual improvement and the flexible response to specification or scope changes is also vital to eLearning development.

Learning Objectives - Design

To start, the ISD eLearning Needs Analysis phase begins with SME (Subject Matter Expert) panels, existing training program reviews, business objective clarification - all this information provides specifications for an active course design blueprint needed to complete the training project.


Strategizing the Learning Objectives (SMART) then the course sequence, content chunking and structure followed by evaluations/assessment (Kirkpatrick Levels 1 to 4), it is the Design Plan that contains the working course map. Prototype development (think iterative) springs from that map and allows early design testing and feedback.

Course Develop - Implement - Evaluate

Blended Learning Client Project: I built this client's base scale corporate project management software training program using Adobe Connect/Presenter, in conjunction with EcoSys proprietary project management software. As a three day (minimum) on-line course, the final project syllabus built upon each prior days Adobe Connect active learning layout. As an online ILT (Instructor Led Training), the Adobe Connect lobby was readied with welcome entry poll questions, course manuals, and PowerPoint presents to download as all course attendees arrived to the course online.


A system access link was established to the proprietary project management training database so that both a corporate software database system was utilized (also vetted and prepped per client course) with Adobe Connect as primary course delivery portal. Clients could log in throughout the course and access the proprietary database and workbook materials to follow up on any course materials they wished to practice. (Malcolm Knowles Andragogy )


Each day participants completed real-world exercises (directly applicable to their on the job financial forecasting requirements) in the corporate software, collaborative teams were challenged with whiteboard tech discussions, group presentations and gamification challenges for chosen EcoSys report, graph and project management tool activity solutions. Daily instructor and course evaluations (Kirkpatrick Levels 1 - 4) were reviewed for formative and summative based course modifications.