Things I was Taught To Do in ISD That I Later Dropped – And Why

30 years ago we were all taught to document our captured analysis insights from our observations and interviews in “certain ways.”

One of those “ways” included using “Noun Verb patterns” to describe tasks – the results of “typical” task analysis methods. Not my in approach/ methods/ process. But in many others.

Examples of this pattern include:

  • Analysis Planned
  • Analysis Interviews Scheduled
  • Interviews Conducted
  • Observations Conducted
  • Analysis Report Published

I stopped using this for a couple of reasons…

1- I never liked having to explain “what these phrases” meant to our clients. That seemed absurd. Why wouldn’t they recognize our description of their performance requirements? It always hung us up on getting them to sign off on the completeness, accuracy and appropriateness of our “task analysis.” They could not see what “boundary conditions” we meant by this strange language – so they couldn’t tell if there were holes or overlaps in “our view.”

2- Early on in my career (in 1980 after less than a year on-the-job) I started to minimize my analysis efforts involving interviews and observations – and started to maximize my use of a “group process” to gather the data that I needed for my downstream design efforts – which I had “systematized” in my PACT Processes for the Curriculum Architecture Design level of ISD, and my Modular Curriculum Development level of ISD (known as ADDIE most other places).

And the groups of Master Performers and sometimes (as needed) other Subject Matter Experts, Supervisors/Management representatives, and Novice Performers (when appropriate) did not “call their work out” in those Noun-Verb patterns.

Any facilitator worth their salt could see that “going there” would be a big mistake. I did.

And so I never attempted to sell a room full of Master Performers on my conversions of their language – when it was darn difficult enough to get “concurrence on some of their language” between the assembled – which I often found was “varied” across the organization from the starting points of the facilitated analysis sessions.

Our building of a “Performance Model” with the handpicked Master Performers was perhaps a first step to commonizing the language – depending on how my client’s seized that opportunity. Many did – as that new language, conceded to by the Master Performers themselves, most often made it straight to the language in the titling of content downstream – in the PACT Processes “design steps” where the analysis data is processed – for both CAD and MCD.

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One comment on “Things I was Taught To Do in ISD That I Later Dropped – And Why

  1. Pingback: Performance Modeling – Step 1 | EPPIC – Pursuing Performance

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