T&D: Performance Support

Performance Support a.k.a.: Job Aids a.k.a.: Guidance

… should be a long as necessary and as short as possible – to enable Performance on-the-job in all likely, predictable situations – as proven via a Pilot Test.


A.k.a.: Performance Aids

Performance Aids are one type of Instructional output in an ISD effort – as described in my 1999 book: lean-ISD. They are produced in MCD or IAD efforts – efforts that sometimes follow a CAD effort. My PACT Processes have 3 levels of Design for T&D Paths/Development Maps, Events & Lessons, and Instructional Activities.

One type of Instructional Activity is a Performance Aid.


From Chapter 20 in lean-ISD

What Is Instructional Activity Development?

Among the three levels of the PACT Processes for T&D, Curriculum Architecture Design is the macrolevel. Modular Curriculum Development is the midlevel, and Instructional Activity Development (IAD) is the microlevel.

An organization may choose to start at the top with a macrolevel Curriculum Architecture Design that yields a strategic view of the total needs of the organization, then cherry-pick the development and deployment of T&D that has targeted strategic value. Or, the organization can start with a midlevel Modular Curriculum Development effort. Using this approach, the organization develops T&D Events that make immediate sense and are “no-brainers” in terms of need and value. Or, the organization can begin at the microlevel of Instructional Activity Development. With this alternative, the organization develops and deploys portions of T&D instruction. Later these pieces may end up as part of a full-blown instructional package of the sort developed using MCD.

An Instructional Activity Development effort generates instructional activities and components that can be used for many purposes outside the context of a formal training course. For example, using IAD, an organization may move to quickly develop performance-oriented instructional activities such as performance tests without developing the training that might ordinarily precede them.

It’s recommended, of course, that a Curriculum Architecture Design effort precede the Instructional Activity Development effort in order to tie the instructional activities to the organization’s performance requirements. In the final phase of the CAD, the Project Steering Team assigns the highest priorities to the development of instructional activities rather than full T&D Events. Then the IAD project begins, concentrating on design at the activity level. Chances are that enough analysis was done in the preceding CAD so that little or no additional analysis is required to execute the IAD.

An IAD project of this nature is essentially “MCD Lite”: the same phases and activities, but with outputs at the activity level rather than the event level.

Used in the fashion described above, Instructional Activity Development is an accelerated yet structured way to develop parts of a PACT T&D Event. When a full event is to be developed, the Modular Curriculum Development process is used.

Instructional Activity Development may also be used to develop instructional activities within a Modular Curriculum Development project. In Phase 4 of the MCD project, developers reach the activity level of design and define the essence of the exercises or activities. Developing that chunk of instructional activities becomes the focus for a separate IAD project, starting with IAD Phase 1 and ending with Phase 6.

Development of the larger T&D Events and Modules continues within the context of the MCD project.

Regardless of the use of Instructional Activity Development, its purpose is the same: to allow PACT practitioners to fit the process to the project. In the case of IAD, that means applying the appropriate resources and activities to develop instructional activities rather than full T&D Events.

Instructional Activity Development Outputs
The outputs of Instructional Activity Development include the following types of instructional activities, depending, of course, upon the project:
• Instructional content at the awareness, knowledge, or skill levels
• Knowledge tests
• Performance tests
• Simulation exercises
• Performance aids
• Electronic or paper desk procedures

lean-ISD – Available as a Free PDF

And as a Kindle or Paperback.

Please go here for more info.

PACT Practitioner Paths for Self-Development


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