RAPID Analysis & Design & Development Via Collaboration Via Facilitated Teams – Part 3

This post picks up from two prior posts – Part 1 – and part 2 – that covered teams in the PACT Processes for T&D, Learning & Knowledge Management. Here we will address the teams unique to  MCD – Modular Curriculum Development efforts – the ADDIE-level in PACT. Teams were always important to me as it allowed an effort to go fast – yet still be in control. Predictably fast – and still produce “good stuff.”

The Development Team

The purpose of the Development Team is to help build the T&D designed in earlier parts of the PACT Processes. The Development Team is used in Modular Curriculum Development and Instructional Activity Development, but not Curriculum Architecture Design projects.

The purpose of the Development Team is to help draft and refine all instructional and pilot-test materials, following the guidelines of the design specs and maps. The Development Team is composed of master performers and subject matter experts who may or may not have been involved in the project earlier, typically as members of the Project Steering Team, Analysis Team, or Design Team. Development Team members work in conjunction with ISD Team members to build the T&D.

Development Team members are empowered to make minor modifications to the design, but they have to seek approval for any major changes. Development Team members may also have the additional responsibility of helping to deliver or administer the delivery of the T&D in initial pilot sessions or during deployment.

Subject matter experts and master performers are designated to fill the roles of

  • Input subject matter expert
  • Review subject matter expert
  • Lead subject matter expert

The input subject matter expert assists in detailing the lesson outline, following the design specification. An instructional technologist is assigned to actually develop the lesson with the subject matter expert’s assistance.

The review subject matter expert critiques lesson drafts; identifies additions, deletions, or corrections required; and submits all input and feedback to a lead subject matter expert and the assigned developer.

The lead subject matter expert is responsible for all T&D content in the modules and lessons they are assigned. Lead subject matter experts integrate all T&D lesson materials as development proceeds. Lead subject matter experts may also be lead facilitators for specific lessons.

Using the Development Team and the ISD Team, development―which includes microlevel analysis and design work―is finally accomplished in Phase 4 of Modular Curriculum Development or Instructional Activity Development. The microlevel analysis and design is thus deferred until T&D becomes a high priority and is resourced.

The Pilot-Test Deployment Team

The purpose of the Pilot-Test Deployment Team is to conduct a pilot test following the initial development of the T&D. The Pilot-Test Deployment Team includes instructors, facilitators, and administrators who conduct the pilot session. The Pilot-Test Deployment Team is used in Modular Curriculum Development and Instructional Activity Development, but not in Curriculum Architecture Design, because no development takes place in CAD.

Pilot-Test Deployment Team members coordinate all logistics for facilities, equipment, media, food and beverages, invitations, and confirmations for the attendees. They also deliver the instruction or oversee the instructional delivery for the purposes of pilot testing. (Pilot-Test Deployment Team members cannot, in general, make changes during delivery on the fly.) Finally, they conduct written and verbal evaluations and debriefings to gather feedback for revision purposes.

There are two types of pilot-test facilitators and instructors.

  • Lead pilot-test facilitators and instructors
  • Guest pilot-test facilitators and instructors

Lead facilitators are assigned specific lessons for delivery administration, depending on the deployment method of the design. Lead facilitators typically come from the ranks of the project’s subject matter experts.

Guest facilitators are brought in to teach specialized subjects in specific modules or lessons. For example, in a course on product management, a representative of the corporate finance department may teach a lesson on measuring return on investment. Guest facilitators may or may not be lead or review subject matter experts.

Along with the roles of facilitators and instructors, another role is crucial for the conduct of a pilot test: the role of the pilot-test participants. Participants attend and evaluate the initial delivery of the T&D for the purpose of generating evaluations and revision recommendations; the Project Steering Team considers these evaluations and recommendations.

Pilot-test participants are handpicked by the Project Steering Team to create a balance between

  • Target audience representatives
  • Management representatives

Target audience representatives are from the pool of eventual learners who will participate in the T&D after the pilot. They are used to measure the amount of learning that occurs. Management representatives (a.k.a. management spies) are handpicked by the Project Steering Team to participate in the trial. They are used to determine whether the right learnings are taught. In combination, the two perspectives give the ISD Team the right data to determine what happened well and what did not.

The ISD Team

The ISD team works with members of other teams during all phases of PACT Processes projects. The ISD Team is staffed by ISD practitioners (or instructional technologists). ISD team members plan and manage the project, as well as conduct the meetings and pilot-test sessions. They do the ISD work, own the ISD processes being used, and work with the customers and stakeholders who own the content of the T&D to be produced.

Members of the ISD Team provide a mixed knowledge and skill set that is very powerful. When not combined appropriately, however, much can be lost at a great expense of time and money.

Project Manager

The project manager role is critical, as mentioned earlier in the chapter. See the chapters on project management in the sections on Curriculum Architecture Design and Modular Curriculum Development; see also Chapter 28 on PACT project management.

Analyst

The analyst role is central to generating good data from the Analysis Team. The ISD professional in this role leads and facilitates the structured, analytic methods in the Analysis Team meeting and conducts some of the analyses outside the Analysis Team meeting. The data gathered by the analyst is used to generate an Analysis Report.

The selection, training, and assessment of the individuals for this role is of supreme concern to the project manager. Group facilitation skills are critical! In some cases, the project manager may be the analyst.

See the section of this book on PACT Analysis for more information on the analyst’s role.

CAD Designer

The CAD designer role is to design in full view and out loud in the presence of the Design Team. The designer can expect live, ongoing critiques of his or her work. The designer can also expect to have to provide rationale to the Design Team for design concepts, models, and elements.

The designer should anticipate this feedback and perhaps, pushback, because this is built into the PACT Processes on purpose! It’s desirable to test the feasibility and practicality of design concepts, models, and methods as soon as possible. It is better to fix things right away than to continue with a faulty design that only guarantees later rework.

When selecting PACT designers, the project manager considers those who will not let their egos get in the way of this design methodology. Also, if inarticulate, they will struggle. If they are weak at group facilitation, they will struggle. If they can’t write legibly on the doublewide flip chart easels used extensively in the PACT Processes, they will struggle.

MCD/IAD Designer

The MCD/IAD designer role is similar to the CAD designer role, except that it is in this capacity that the ISD practitioner practices what is closest to the traditional ISD design job―designing T&D! Again, facilitation skills, communication capabilities, and lack of ego are key issues for the selection of designers for this role.

Often, the same individual may fill the analyst and designer roles. However, a good analyst may make a lousy designer and vice versa. The skill sets overlap, but there are some key differences.

MCD/IAD Developer

The MCD/IAD developer role within PACT is very traditional. The biggest difference is that the developer and the Development Team that they lead have a very detailed design spec and map to follow when they build the materials. They can’t waver from the design arbitrarily, because the entire content configuration may be suboptimized. They can spend their creative energies not on segmenting content and arranging flow, but on sound instructional design for the lessons assigned to them―lessons that include informational segments, demonstration segments, and application segments.

Conclusion

Each team and each team role is well defined by the PACT Processes. The use of teams in the PACT Processes confers many benefits during PACT projects. For example, teams are one reason why Curriculum Architecture Design, Modular Curriculum Development, and Instructional Activity Development can accomplish results more quickly than traditional ISD methods. In addition, teams tend to increase participation in the project, increase buy-in by project participants, and increase the support available for the project.

MCD is covered in my new updated book…

For information about this and my other 5 new books – click here.

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