I have had many “ah-ha” and overwhelming experiences throughout this class. While I have found some of the articles interesting, my learning has been most challenged reading the chapters within Cennamo & Kalk Real World Instructional Design (2019). The themes that caused me to reflect the most were the design models and learning objectives.
The ADDIE model of instruction and design is the most popular model through the learning and development profession. Some of the historical models still seem relevant, while other models seem to be identical. I was pleasantly surprised that Stanford University design model started with empathizing with the learner/user. I was excited to see this concept included in a process map because I fight this fight every week with the corporate business leaders. In focusing on the retail customer, they seem to lose sight of the learner. I feel that this model is still relevant, especially with the emergence and growth of the UX (User Experience) field. My company has such a need for UX professionals that they have created an internal apprenticeship program to fill the business needs. The most referenced model throughout the book is The Essential Triangle of Instructional Design (Cennamo & Kalk, 2019, p. 10), brought emphasis to the learner and the learner experience as well. The essential elements of outcomes, activities, and assessments speaks to how they support the learner while evaluation must occur at every aspect to maintain an optimal learner experience. The five phases of instructional design (define, design, demonstrate, develop, and deliver) provides a logical step-action process from initiation of the design project to delivery of the project to the client. Introducing the spiralized model and combining it with the ASC cycle was a no brainer to me. It should be second nature to “assemble information and ask questions, synthesize material and solve problems, and check your understanding and confirm your work” (Cennamo & Kalk, 2019, p. 17) throughout the design process. However, my working environment has let me know that the learner experience may get lost in the process. We must always be an advocate for the learner and trust that everything else will take care of itself.
This week’s readings and activities in writing SMART and ABCD Objectives caused me to re-evaluate my learning objectives immediately. Most objectives state the training subject, but few speak to specific performance expectation of the learner. For example, “Upon completion of this module, the learner will demonstrate an understanding of Salesforce.” This objective seemed like a practical learning goal until now. I now know that this learning objective does not support the essential design themes. The learning objectives must describe the cognitive changes/performance expected post-training, state how the change will be measured, and state what activities will help facilitate the learning process (Cennamo & Kalk, 2018 p. 55). Viewing the SMART Goal and Writing Instructional objectives videos and adequately defining the terms within chapter 3, helped impress upon me the importance of specific and clear learning objectives. I have already shared with my learning partner that we must re-write our learning objectives before our next new hire class.
My reflection theme may seem insignificant; however, they required the most concentration from me. The design models required focus to identify the slight differences and to see how they may relate and overlap. The learning objectives identified that I have been doing it all wrong and that objectives must be measurable. I realized that sometimes, you must design start your design by identifying the outcome goals first. Once the client determines the post-training learner expectations, it is okay to create your learning objectives first and then move to the other design models to complete the design project. While I initially viewed the design process and learning objectives as separate parts of the process, I see them as being equally essential parts of the equilateral triangle.
Cennamo, Katherine, & Kalk, Debbie. (2nd Ed.). (2019). Real World Instructional Design: An Iterative Approach to Designing Learning Experiences [Kindle Fire Version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com.
DecisionSkills. (2014, May 22). SMART Goals-Quick Overview [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/1-SvuFIQjK8
Richardson, Dr. Valora. (2018, October 10). Writing Instructional Objectives [Video file]. Retrieved from https://cdnapisec.kaltura.com/index.php/extwidget/preview/partner_id/1959611/uiconf_id/31355121/entry_id/1_rqsd90yk/embed/dynamic