Architecting a T&D/ Learning Path in the PACT Processes

Every Training & Development/ Learning Path has a beginning, middle and end – at least to start. Those three segments start the design of all of my T&D Path designs. It’s an “architectural” ploy that I use with my Design Teams.

As I do step 1 of the 7 step design process and “Establish the Path” – see the final graphic down below – I get the group to start to make some of the arbitrary decisions, such as how long might we might give the Learner to finish “The Beginning” – which to me is a very special part of the Path. It’s where the immediate survival skills are taught.

This, as any other part of the T&D/ Learning Path, can be formal or informal. The consequences typically drive the formality of the content and delivery mechanisms, not the existence of the “need.” We can leave it to chance – or not leave it to chance. We can create a job aid for the manager or a peer to cover the job tasks, or we can invest in a computer simulation – depending on the ROI – as in Risks Avoided and/or Rewards Achieved for those Investments.

 The 4 Phases of the Path above began as 3 Phases when the Path was blank – and no analysis data had been processed into the design.

Those 3 Phases are: Beginning – Middle – End

The Beginning of the Path typically, but not always, stays Phase 1 of a T&D Path. It’s the Middle and End of the Path that typically get re-segmented to best fit the reality of the job task assignments.

The Beginning is aka (also known as) Orientation, or Onboarding, at least in my approach. The Beginning is sometimes tricky, sometimes not. Sometimes the variability of the incoming Learners isn’t too great and their assignments after training isn’t to great – and then it’s less tricky.

The Beginning itself has a beginning…

This is simple demystifying of the enterprise and what it does and how it does it and the roles of all of the organizations in enabling that. Follow the organization chart and standardize on the content structure and glossary. Will every department have to state their specific vision, mission and/or values? What other information should be provided/made accessible? How many layers? What’s open to all and what is open to some? How can this be designed to minimize the costs of maintenance, and to keep it all up-to-date?

If you’re not going to keep it up-to-date, then don’t bother starting.

Back to the PACT Processes’ T&D Path.

And the Beginning has a Middle…

The quality of this portion of the path is much more dependant on having the data from a good analysis of the performance requirements, roles and responsibilities and even the typical gaps.

It is a series of  “advanced organizers” for the whole job, one part (Area of Performance) at a time. Not how to do it (yet), but what to do. Again, demystification of the what’s – and with who, and when, etc. These components of a CAD’s Path can be created immediately after the analysis effort – once some standard content structuring templates are in place.

And the Beginning has an End…

Some ends are more “all inclusive and time compressed” and others are more “spread out over time” – depending on the Target Audience.

Airline Pilot’s End of the Beginning addresses the entire job – before they take the wheel, so to speak. The consequences of them not yet trained on some aspect of the job are significant.

Retail Clerks in department stores have all of their training spread out, over time. Their End of the Beginning, is typically chock full of only the most critical items. Other knowledge and skills can wait – for their is a whole team out on the floor to help the new staff member. And really, what possibly could go wrong? The consequences are meager in comparison to the consequences of the Airline Pilot’s performance.

The rest of the Path, the Middle and the End, also have their own Beginning, Middle and End. It allows me to sort the analysis data in the other steps of the CAD Design Team Meeting “Process” I employ.

The key for me is having good analysis data for the design process. And the team of Master Performers who know what’s desirable and feasible. And what is not.

Then, I just “Trust the Process.” And talk about the Beginning, the Middle and End of this Path for this Target Audience – to get the Design Team warmed up, on the same page, and ready to now process the analysis data…

…into the data logic structure of the PACTLogic for content (curricula) architecture. 

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