T&D/ Learning Paths and Individual Planning Guides

Not only does a CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design effort produce T&D or Learning Paths – it should almost always produce an Individual Planning Guide – and then later build that into the LMS, LCMS, PLE Portal, etc., etc. Sometimes the Learners will be in lock-step through the entire Path. But more often the Target Audience needs a sub-set of the T&D Events on the Path, be those planned/tracked Events Formal or Informal Learning in nature.

While the T&D Path is more of a Marketing Poster – to make the Target Audiences generally aware of the offerings appropriate for their consideration – the IPG – Individual Planning Guide is a tool to create an appropriate plan. A planning tool to help the learner and/or their management to plan by down-selecting from the total path, or perhaps just the “front-end” for a new hire, just those Events/Modules that make sense given the incoming K/Ss of the learner and the specifics of the job assignment over the “planning period.” And then they would sequence them and schedule them as their context dictated. Customized.

And sometimes anyone on the Path is in lock-step with everyone else. Sometimes that rigor is required. For various business reasons that perhaps outweigh instructional design reasons. It is the client’s call as “he calls the tune who pays the piper.”

As always, it depends. In the 74 CAD efforts and 100+ paths produced in those efforts I’ve seen great rationale variance. Just as the client wanted.

One of my clients did a 10:30 video about this – back in the mid-late 1980s. This is actually the 1st Event (Module) on their Path. My client gave me permission back then to use it to market my Curriculum Architecture Design business, then at SWI – Svenson & Wallace Inc. Here is that video:

The key is always to be as rigid as required and as flexible as feasible. Good stewardship demands that.

The example in the video was for a very complex job. The T&D Path was more menu than path. See the Path on the right in the graphic of 3 examples. Their Path was more of a Menu.

When everything isn’t Mandatory – your Path needs to provide various clues and cues to your Target Audiences.

And when first starting out and you still have gaps that “might be closed” in the Path, you still should include them on the Path and let everyone know that it is currently U-OJT – Unstructured OJT for now. There is still learning to be accomplished – even if there is no current offering: Very Formal, or Fairly Formal with more Deliberate Informal mixed in, to All Informal and you are on your own and “good luck!”.

Just because a skilled analyst can uncover a learning need – does not in and of itself warrant meeting that need.  And those that don’t rise to management’s attention – and those that do and get turned down – are left to more Informal Learning. More by chance than by design. Groups of learners/Performers can always band together – and they have over the years – using whatever technology is currently available to be Social and learn from social interactions. Hey, some are actually using their mobile phones for phone calls versus texting. But there is a mix.

I gave up worrying about current technology so much – as I’ve seen enough turnover to now expect constant change in that arena.

Anyway, it a whole lot less about the technology to deploy or provide access. It’s about the focus and clarity around the Performance Competence required of people, processes, organizations and (for Roger Kaufman) Society.

These slides are from an upcoming ISPI Chapter presentation I am doing in 2 weeks.

Come join us at ISPI Hampton Roads, Thursday evening, September 30th 2010 – see the details here.

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