ID Roles and Responsibilities
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Topics in this section include --
 

 Instructional Design

 Quality Online Training

 

 Instructional Designer Role

 Usability
   ID & CE Meeting Process
 

Instructional Design

The purpose of instruction is to help users overcome a deficiency in their job skills or knowledge. Instructional Design is the systematic process of developing instructional systems. Creating effective training to fill this need calls for the application of Instructional Design skills along with processes that produce authentic, well-organized, and engaging materials.
 

Instructional Designers -- Instructional Design focuses on what the instruction should be like, including look, feel, organization and functionality.  Instructional Designers work much like architects, drawing up specifications and blueprints for a course before actual construction begins. Sometimes Instructional Designers also build what they design; in this instance, they are also the Course Developer.

Development Process -- A typical course development process includes the following steps:

        1.  Training needs assessment
        2.  Task analysis
        3.  Instructional design
        4.  Graphic/page layout design
        5.  Production of training materials
        6.  Course evaluation
 

ADDIE -- ADDIE is one of the oldest and most popular models for Instructional Design. ADDIE is used by both business and education because it provides a systematic process for designing training materials. Each letter of the ADDIE acronym represents a separate phase of the training development process.

  • Analysis
    The Who, What, Where, When, Why and By Whom of the design process
  • Design
    Creating the blueprint or structure for the training
  • Develop
    Applying the blueprint and creating the training product
  • Implement
    Deliver the training
  • Evaluation
    An end of the project phase, but also a part of each ADDIE model phase

Books -- Many books have been written about Instructional Design. Most of these books include I.D. for classroom training and many of them cost over $50 apiece. Before purchasing a tome about I.D., you might want to check out the online resources below.

 
Instructional Design Online Resources
Numerous ID Models   Instructional Design Models (U of Colorado Denver)
ID Definitions   Instructional Design Definitions (Penn State U)
Online Training Primer   WBT-Information Center / Instructional Design Primer
ID Training & Certification   http://www.astd.org/Education/Programs/Designing-Learning-Certificate
 
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Instructional Designer Role
Course Development Teams -- Web-based courses, particularly in the corporate arena, require a team effort. The Content Expert (CE) or Subject Matter Expert (SME) is generally an engineer, programmer, developer, owner, business analyst, or trainer. The CE or SME is well versed on the subject matter, and offers an outline of subjects that should be covered, but rarely creates the course. Managers and supervisors are members of the team; these folks are responsible for alloting resources, assigning personnel, and tracking the project, but do not actually assist with course-building tasks. Because online courses can take months to complete and test, various other stakeholders will belong to the Project Team and have input regarding course content and presentation.
 
ID Tasks -- Because different organizations place different expectations on Instructional Designers and Course Developers, the people who build the course must be ready, willing and able to wear various different hats during the course-building process.
 
Instructional Designer Computer Team Member -- As a member of the course development team, Instructional Designers may be expected to perform any or all of the following tasks:
  • Manage the training and documentation process
  • Maintain an open door policy to answer questions from CEs as necessary
  • Establish and maintain schedules and deliverable deadlines
  • Communicate concerns or issues to management
  • Schedule ad hoc 1:1s with CEs or 2:1s with CEs and writers as needed to verify processes
  • Come prepared to meetings to make the most efficient use of the Project Teamís time
  • Meet with content experts and the training specialist on a regular basis
  • Gather background and supplemental information as needed
  • Understand processes and procedures completely
  • Ask questions of the content expert and the training specialist as needed
  • Hold regular meetings with the training specialist and CEs to:
    •   Give status updates
    •   Address concerns
    •   Meet project deadlines
  • Ensure accurate, correct documentation according to rules, styles, and templates established by the Training group
  • Attend design reviews and demos
  • Update course information due to changes in the business processes
  • Obtain document feedback and make updates as needed
  • Meet with the CE or other primary stakeholder on a regular basis
  • Revise course text as necessary
  • Schedule and perform usability tests with content experts and the training specialist
Note:  Instructional Designers who work as industry contractors may need to take the initiative for clarifying which tasks are expected of them during course development. Instructional Design responsibilities will be different from company to company, district to district.
 
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ID Meetings with CE or SME

ID and CE Roles -- The role of Instuctional Designer (or Course Developer) is not only multifaced, but can change drastically from project to project, from manager to manager.  Sometimes the Instructional Designer will assume the role of project lead while other times the Content Expert (CE) or Subject Material Expert (SME) will elect to nearly all aspects of course development.

Meeting process -- Either way, these two or three individuals comprise the core of the course development team. The meeting process between a Content Expert or Subject Material Expert and the Instructional Designer or Course Developer may evolve and proceed as outlined in the attached file.

 
Click to view the meeting outline     To open the meeting outline, click the button.
Naturally, all training stakeholders are invited to review the course as testers. Suggestions are often discussed by everyone on the team, but the course owner makes the final decision and the Instructional Designer implements the changes.
 
More Change and Update Suggestions --  After the course is released, some students may suggest changes or updates. Generally, the CE or SME receives these suggestions and hands them down to the Course Developer for implementation.
 
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Usability
Basic Definition -- Generally "usability" refers to how well users can learn to use a product or concept, how easily they can achieve their learning goals, and how satisfied they are with the learning process. According to ISO 9241-11: "Usability refers to the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of user."
 

Usability Measurements -- Sometimes "usability" can be replaced with "user-friendly." Usability is a combination of factors and considerations, including:

  •   Ease of learning
  •   Efficienty of use
  •   Page and screen design
  •   Information architecture
  •   Interaction design
  •   Memorability
  •   Error frequency and severity
  •   Subjective satisfaction
Computer Trainers
 

User-Centered Design -- User-centered design applies to websites as well as computer-based or Web-based training. If a website is not useful, or easy to navigate, it will not be visited, and if online training is not constructed with the user in mind, the training will not serve its ultimate purpose: to teach processes, procedures and skills to employees or clients. User-centered design considers how users think the website or training module should work. Taking the time to carefully plan online training before the building process begins will save much time in the end. Rebuilding training modules because users don't like it creates much extra work for everyone involved in the process (business analysts, SMEs, developers, instructional designers, writers, etc.) Considering usability factors ahead of time saves time, money and resources.

 

Usability Steps -- Follow these steps before, during and after building a website or online training:

  1.   Plan
  2.   Analyze
  3.   Design
  4.   Accessibility
  5.   Test and Refine
 
Usability Resources
Government site re: Usability  http://www.www.usability.gov
STC Usability Special Interest Group  http://www.stcsig.org/usability/
Usability: Definition on Wikipedia  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usability
Usability Views: 11,000+ articles  http://www.usabilityviews.com
 
Quality Online Training
Performance Improvement -- Dr. Robert F. Mager has written nine books on training and performance improvement and is credited with revolutionizing the performance improvement industry.  In Making Instruction Work, Dr. Mager summerizes how he evaluates courses: A course is effective to the degree that it accomplishes what it sets out to accomplish.
It is efficient to the degree it accomplishes its purpose with the least motion
(time, effort, money).
This book, now in its second edition, outlines numerous techniques and procedures teachers and Course Developers can apply to make instruction more lean, effective, motivating, and on target.
 

Web-Based Training -- For the organization funding Web-based training courses, determining just what exactly constitutes a good, or an excellent course, can be a daunting task. But online training departments must address the problem of course evaluation to determine if financing the WBT courses is worth the investment. In the business world, managers need to show a positive ROI in order to secure continued funding.

Course evaluation and feedback forms are common tools for analyzing WBT courses, specifically for identifying the effectiveness of presentation and design features. See the links below for several training forms and guidelines you can find online.

 
Quality Online Training Resources
WBT Information  Quick facts about Self-Paced Web-based Training
WBT Scorecard  Detailed description of Quality Web-Based Training
Web-Based Training  Free Online Course about Web-Based Training
 
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