Instructional Design

Effective instructional design is a process involving development and validation.

How TBA makes it "perfect"
Objectives are established, multiple ways of accomplishing those objectives are evaluated, development is planned, and materials are prepared for review and implementation.  By proceeding systematically from one step to the next, the probability of success and program acceptance is maximized.

Appropriate resources from both the client and TBA are identified in advance for each phase.

1.  Review Instructional Objectives - Specific competencies to be taught should be identified in advance as relevant to success in the job environment of the target population.  Further, it should be determined that skills to be taught are not presently within the repertoire of the target population or, they are misapplied or omitted frequently (due to lack of understanding of the rationale for use and/or of conditions in which particular skill use is appropriate).  Management signs off on the appropriateness of these objectives.

2.  Develop Program Design - Mix of media and methodologies used should maximize learning efficiency and effectiveness; the mix should be checked against the program objectives to ensure that they are met.  An optimum design will maximize recognition of the need for learning, achieve understanding of new concepts, provide structured practice with immediate reinforcement, provide application of skills and concepts in simulations of the job environment, and provide commitment to apply skills and concepts on the job.

3.  Develop Customization Strategy - Program materials should incorporate information unique to the client and be representative of realistic job situations.  Customer overviews and case materials provide opportunities for increased perspective, self-evaluation, and relevant practice application of skills and concepts taught in the program by participants.

Examples and case situations should suggest strategically desirable profit-improvement opportunities for participants.  Client personnel who can serve as subject matter experts, or whose experience best dovetails with desired profile of case material, should be selected to provide case information.  Management signs off on both content parameters and individuals selected for interviews.

4.  Conduct Data-Gathering Interviews - One-on-one or group interviews are conducted between TBA staff members and members of the target population and their management.  These interviews provide data from which to create exercises, cases, and role plays. Interviews require one to four hours per topic.

5.  Conduct Technical Review of Program Materials - Following development of draft materials, custom-tailored materials are reviewed for technical accuracy by originating subject matter expert and/or Steering Committee, or designated Project Leader.  Appropriate revisions are specified and returned by the reviewer(s) to the Project Leader, who then incorporates changes into one copy  returned to TBA for final production.  The project leader's technical review sign-off usually takes less than a half hour per item, assuming that the material has been read and the necessary corrections noted by interviewee before it is read by Project Leader.

6.  Conduct Pilot Program - The first program installation should be set up as a pilot to provide feedback from representative participants on relevance and effectiveness.  Subtle refinements in custom materials can often be identified in this context.  Potential internal instructors (if applicable) and members of the Steering Committee should be present at the pilot so program installation, following completion of any final program revisions, can occur quickly. If executive briefings are to occur, they should precede the pilot and be conducted as a presentation, with sample exercises conducted as a demonstration.

7.  Evaluate Program - At a minimum, seminar evaluations should be collected and summarized.  Comments can be used to adapt administrative/instructional procedures to maximize program effectiveness and to broadcast success to those who have not yet participated in the program.  Other forms of evaluation can be undertaken, including field observation of individuals before and after collection of data concerning success attributed to application and skills on-the-job.

8.  Conduct Instructor Training - If internal instructors are used, instructors should read the Instructor's Guide and overviews of all training skill requirements. Potential instructors should be asked to serve as instructors in representative sections of the program in order for them to develop and demonstrate their skill in presenting information, giving directions, leading discussions, and scribing participant input.  Management signs off that internal instructors have been provided with the necessary instruction and are prepared to teach the program.  One to two days are required for certification.  The client must understand that not all potential instructors can be certified; sometimes additional instructor-training days are necessary to bring an instructor to the necessary level of mastery.

9.  Delivery of Program Materials  - Final digital or camera-ready print materials, instructor's materials and video cassettes, if applicable, are delivered to the client as part of the contractual arrangement.  Alternatively, seminar-ready, collated, and packaged materials for every participant, for each program module, can be provided and shipped to the training location.  Additional materials and services are available to meet special client needs.  Upon receipt of program materials, the client signs off that all obligations have been met.