- Option 1: Choose one of the theories outlined in the required reading for this module or from Module 2 readings. Use the CSU-Global Virtual Library to identify a research study that is associated with that theory and addresses an area of training design.
Option 2: Conduct a Web search to find a leading practice in training design. Identify the theories inherent in the chosen leading practice.
For either option: Prepare a four-slide PowerPoint to display the results of your critical thinking. Use the PowerPoint visual aid listed below from Big Dog to assist you in preparing the presentation. The slides should:
Give an overview of the theory or Leading Practice
Provide context to why the information you discovered is relevant to training design
Offer your opinion of how you might use this information in a training and development program
Include references. Theories:
Theories in Text:
Training Design: Additional Perspectives
This stage of the Training Process Model, training design, is one of the most critical points for Training and Development (T&D) programs. This stage does not ensure effective training; determining whether training is effective comes when the actual performance is improved. But this is the stage when good data and sound theories come together to create a design solution that is specific to the identified performance gap and the needs of the students. The needs that are discovered in the Training Needs Analysis serve as a foundation of data on which to build the design. And no less important is that designers put learning theories into action. Cognitive and behaviorist theories, adult learning theory, needs theory, and social learning theory are the result of extensive research and should be applied to support training design decisions. And finally, the output of the design phase is a major input to decisions about training evaluation (evaluation phase). If the learning objectives are well developed, they are the basis for how to measure (evaluate) whether or not the learning objectives have been met.
The textbook, Effective Training (2010) provides an overview of concepts and practices used in the training design phase. In addition, Reigeluth (1983) laid out three strategies that are rooted in instruction design theory:
1. organizational strategies
2. delivery strategies
3. management strategies.
This presentation, What Is Instructional Design? describes the role of an instructional designer in the words of an “IDer.” The presentation is primarily for an academic environment; however it is easy to translate the content to a business context.
Organizational strategies address to the way a lesson is organized. Effective Training describes elaboration theory as a macro theory of design as compared to the Gagne-Briggs theory which is a micro theory. Reigeluth too uses macro or micro levels to describe the different approaches to training organization. Delivery strategies are associated with how content is delivered to the learner. With the explosion of new technologies available for training, delivery strategies
become even more important to address access, time flexibility, and cost. And finally, management strategies are concerned with how learners engage in the activities that are designed for the training events.
There are businesses that are large enough to warrant full-time instructional designers, while some large companies choose to outsource their design because they want to concentrate on their core business. Small businesses may hire contractors or consultants as Instructional Designers on an as-needed basis. So what does an Instructional Designer (IDer) do?
Some Alternative Methods
Even with the common tenets of training design process and strategies, some instructional designers advocate for different methods to enhance the design process. Following are just a few examples to illustrate the breadth of alternative methods.
Iterative Design is proposed as a way to enhance a design by providing content, getting feedback, evaluating the feedback and refining the design. One type of iterative design is likened to creating rapid prototypes as a way to move through the design process and while developing the content at the same time. Another approach is advocated using the concept of wiki think Wikipedia. The content is developed iteratively, and most of the original content is retained.
Storyboards were first used by the Walt Disney Studios as a part of a film design and development process. Instructional Designers use storyboards just as film makers did. The method allows a Designer to experiment and change the order or sequence of the training design before taking it to production. A common fault of storyboarding is that it forces the design to be linear. This may not be practical for a highly complex training solution.
Backward Design is interesting in that it does not proceed from the learning objectives through the design to evaluation, but instead starts at the end of the process and moves backwards until the design is complete. Backward Design begins with stating the desired result of a final assessment. By beginning there, the course is designed to make sure that everything that will lead to a successful assessment is included in the course. Some designers argue that Backward Design could lead to “teaching to a test.” Please note that this argument is currently heard from educators who do not support the extensive use of standardized testing when tied to school performance ratings. One consideration might be to use the Backward Design method not as it was originally intended but as a way of validating a course design.
Action Mapping is an example of a practitioner creating and sharing a method to facilitate decision making that is a substantive part of a training design process. The practitioner incorporated learning theory to ensure credibility. It is also a good example of how technology has fundamentally changed the way that professionals can share information. Cathy Moore shares her knowledge through blogs, Twitter, and other Internet social networks. While methods such as this may not have the same academic rigor of fully researched methods, they often offer insight into how to enhance more commonly used methods.
Learning Styles and Culture
The workforce is changing dramatically as society becomes more and more diverse. Companies expand geographically and employees come from different locations and different cultures. Does this have relevance to the way we approach Training Design and Development? Many Human Resource Development professionals believe it does.
It is widely accepted that people learn differently. Module 4 addresses learning styles, and students in this class will explore their own learning styles this week to add insight to their understanding of the training and development process. Studying learning styles helps students to understand individual differences. But does culture impact the way we learn, or is learning style the greatest influence? We know that childhood experiences have a great effect on people’s later life. Where people live, who they associate with, what cultural values they share in their community affect their expectations for learning and thus the way they learn. Some people would assume that all people from a given area or culture learn in the same way, but of course there are individual differences among all people. Researchers commonly accept that learning styles are culturally neutral. However, some studies indicate that a cultural group may be more similar in learning style than another cultural group.
There are many studies related to learning style and also cultures and diversity. One example includes a review of literature surrounding learning styles by Swanson (1995) which reveals some thought-provoking data on culture and learning styles. Swanson states:
“In 1984 the Learning Style Profile, and instructional preference instrument, was administered to 4,562 students in grades six through twelve in forty schools throughout the U.S. The ethnic make-up of the students was 1.9% Asian-American, 8.9% African-American, 1.9% Hispanic, 2% Native American, 84% Caucasian, and 1.3% other. Among 27 variables, analysis of variance indicated that 18 variables had significantly discriminated among group differences. Griggs and Dunn (1989) reported group extremes on 18 variables. Some of these group extremes are as follows:
1. Sequential processing skills: Caucasians scored higher than African-Americans
2. Verbal spatial preference: African-Americans scored higher than Caucasians
3. Auditory preference: African-Americans scored higher than others
4. Bright light preference: Native Americans scored higher than Hispanics
5. Need mobility: Hispanics scored higher than Caucasians
Other studies with children have identified certain groups as having strong visual perception in comparison to auditory, tactile, or kinesthetic modalities. These groups include Native American, Alaskan Eskimo, and Mexican-American children (Jalali, cited in Griggs and Dunn, 989; John-Steiner and Osterreich, 1975; Kleinfeld 1973; Mariash, cited in Griggs and Dunn, 1989)” (p. 9-10).”
Another citation by Swanson follows:
“In their chapter in the 1992 publication Teaching for Diversity, Anderson and Adams cite several studies which support the hypothesis that the learning styles of white women, non-European, and nonwhite students differ from the traditional college population. In general, the patterns that emerge among the nontraditional groups include more competence in peer cooperation, visual perception, symbolic expression, and narrative. In addition, they indicate less comfort with tasks that require verbal skills, competition, and independence” (p. 12).
These studies are not specific to a corporate population, but the discussions of learning styles preferences and the way learning styles might be developed are provocative. For Training and Development (T&D) professionals, the literature seems to support the assumption that training and development programs should attempt to include content and approaches developed for different learning styles in order to reach as many learners as possible. It is important for T&D professionals to stay abreast of literature related learning styles and culture.
Reigeluth, C. M. and Stein, F. S. (1983). The elaboration theory of instruction. Instructional Design Theories and Models: An Overview of their Current States. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Moore, C. (n.d.). Action Mapping. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net
E. J. (n.d.).What is Instructional Design? slide cast. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net
Swanson, L. (1995). Learning styles: A Review of the literature. Information Analysis (07).