My Twitter profile: (@dawnjmahoney) "Thinker of many thoughts who asks why? Why is that important? and Who says so? Learning and development isn't just what I do but who I am". Yep, that's me all right!. I recognize myself.

Can someone please tell me WHY we L&D-ers are still taking orders and not doing things the way they are supposed to be done? Please? Tell me because I really don't understand.

ISD, that is Instructional System Design, is a systematic approach to an iterative process. Isn't that what design and development is about? I think so! Especially, if you're to be paying attention to what is and is what not needed. And to deliver on expectations without drama or "egg on your face".

According to Wikipedia, an Iteration is the act of repeating a process with the aim of approaching a desired goal, target or result. Each repetition of the process is also called an "iteration", and the results of one iteration are used as the starting point for the next iteration.

ISD is not unique to the L and D world. It is found in a variety of arenas, including the applied sciences, mathematics, the computing world, project management, and even education.  Hmmm...

You may recognize it as ADDIE. Analyze, Develops, Design, Implement, and Evaluate. Simple. No need to make it more complex than it is.


So, why ISD? Simply stated, the ISD model provides a means for sound decision making in order to determine the who, what, when, where, why, and how of a learning program. The concept of a system approach is based on obtaining an overall view of the learning process. It is characterized by an orderly process for gathering and analyzing collective and individual performance requirements, and by the ability to respond to identified training needs. The application of a systems approach insures that learning programs and the required support materials are continually developed in an effective and efficient manner to match the variety of needs in a rapidly changing environment. (Branson, 1975)

Learning is the event. Not the development process. This work is never done. Ever. Go into every project with that built into your plan. Or, at least in the back of your mind.

Is it because we're often caught in the battle of where we fit in the organization and hoping to (as a former leader said often), "fly under the radar". Or, is it because not enough of us have the proper background, meaning the language and skills needed to ask more of the difficult questions in the moment? For example, WHO SAYS that user group "needs" training (more training, e-learning modules, <insert your favorite here>)?

WHY take orders when we could be asking questions like:

WHAT makes you think training is the answer? WHAT performance need do we need to address? WHAT is different than was expected? WHAT are the goals for this project? HOW will we achieve the main objective(s) together? WHAT is your level of investment in the outcome(s)?

A brief explanation found on www.nwlink.com (full explanation found here: http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/sat1.html)