Saturday, August 25, 2007

Process and Instructional Design

The process work I've been doing with my current employer is garnering some attention. For professional development, I'll be taking some of the Hammer process courses in Boston later this year.

I've been working on an instructional design model and process that is specific for those instances where the instruction is primarily about process. I have a start and there are some things I don't like about it, but the process works something like this.

A request comes from a client to teach a group of people how to do something. The project lead requests from the client their process (temporary definition: a set of actions performed by one or more people that produce an outcome). The client has to own this process (the training and development group cannot). If they have a process, the project lead then asks for the procedure for each process piece. If they do not have a process, the project lead must assign a process developer to the project.

The next focus is on procedures. If the requesting department has procedures, the process and procedures then become the foundation for the instructional designer's work. If the requesting department doesn't have the procedures documented, a technical writer is assigned to the project to get them written.

The instructional designer should begin his work with the foundation of process and procedure. He looks for those places where there is greater complexity, longer sequences of steps (greater probability for error), and areas of greater judgment. These areas become the focus for any instructional components.

A full development team therefore, could consist of the following roles: project manager, process developer, technical writer (for procedures), instructional designer, trainer, and project analyst (the person who analyzes the measurement data obtained from instances where the content is delivered).

More on this later...