Use ISDs to Interact and Engage

By Dr. Geri McArdle

According to a study conducted by ATD and the Institute for Corporate Productivity, (TD Magazine March 2010), 97 percent of the responding organizations stated that they were using traditional classroom courses, the learning was becoming more customized and technologically mediated. 

 Although six years have passed, classroom training still rules! In The TD March 2017 Blog Buzz, author Charles Jennings stated that classroom teaching or, some type of experience where learners come together, still has a place and purpose.

So, given this evidence that classroom training rules,  why do we constantly read that developing effective learning programs has always been a challenge and many companies have programs that are, at best, moderately effective in achieving both business and learning goals? 

What are we missing here?  It’s simple.  Here are two points to consider.  First, it is essential to use appropriate design and delivery systems.  When you begin to design instruction, consider defined expected learning outcome, the topic and learner preferences.  Second, know that new forms of instruction are not replacing the traditional classrooms, however, new learners are emerging from diverse backgrounds and culture thus technology can play an important role in promoting learning that fits preferences.   

Instructional systems design (ISD) programs must adopt to the evolution in the ways that learning is designed, developed, and delivered states Laleh Patel, author of the article, Instructional Systems Design in an On-Demand World, TD Magazine, December 2010, and her advice is relevant today. For example:

  1. Add new skills and competencies to your repertoire; make IDS part of the strategic training function
  2. Consider mobile learning, social networks, podcasts and wikis to extend the learning experience
  3. Adapt to the on-demand world, use blended classroom learning and integrated technology tools 

A final note.  As instructional designers we continually struggle to keep up with the rapidly changing training world; we must seize the opportunities to make ISD a more strategic part of the learning function and continue to work with management to provide quality training that assists their organization achieve their strategic goals, and retain the institutional knowledge and wisdom of existing workers and recruit and new hires – continuing create effective ISDs using classroom and technology.

 Revise this part of the sentence.


About the Author

Geri McArdle has been a practitioner in the human resource field for 25 years. She has published nine books on human productivity and numerous juried research articles in professional journals... a founding member of our Chapter, an international trainer and consultant, she now spends her time in Fort Myers. 


You can read more by Dr. McArdle in our monthly chapter newsletters.


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