T&D: Direct Instruction Is Needed At First

Depending on the Learner’s Incoming K/S

Based on their education and/or experience. In an Enterprise Context.


I knew that my approach was in line with Direct Instruction – going back to something I’d learned at an NSPI Conference back in the 1980s. But I wouldn’t have been able to cite sources or research about it.

I’m not formally trained/educated – and my learnings have come from my mentors and business partners and clients and my project experiences as an ISD – Instructional Systems Design consultant since 1982.

So a recent Twitter Exchange – that spilled from one day to the next – had me Google Direct Instruction only to discover that one of the “founders” had recently passed. Here is a Blog Post about that.

And I found the graphic on the left side of my graphic – the words of which felt familiar.


I recall wondering how my Lesson Map construct, that I created in 1990 for a consulting engagement with Illinois Bell, fit with the Research. I created the Lesson Map to allow me to use my FGP – Facilitated Group Process in the level of design known most frequently as ADDIE – just as I had been using the FGP in the design at the Architectural level of ISD that I and my partners branded as Curriculum Architecture Design back in 1982.

I wanted a Visual Tool to use in a meeting,a Facilitated Group Process with Master Performers, Other SMEs, Supervisors and sometimes Novice Performers (with enough experience to know what the job was in reality but not hardened by years in the trenches) – and that’s what the Illinois Bell client gave me.

I had been playing around with the methods, tools and techniques of what became my MCD – Modular Curriculum Development level of ISD for a number of years – and I wished to formalize the approach so that our consulting staff at SWI – Svenson & Wallace Inc – could follow up years after an initial engagement with a more “common process, and set of practices” than we had been doing – and a client had called me out on that – as they felt that the promise of ReUse was missing from a project another colleague at SWI had just completed. I checked – and yes – it was missing.

As I was in charge of SWI’s ISD methodology-sets – I began to address that by codifying the concepts, models, methods, tools and techniques – including the language – for our staff consultants. And to make all of that more rigid I commissioned the development of a Database to support those methods.

My reasoning was that Databases are somewhat unforgiving – and would act as a forcing function for all staff – including my two business partners who would often wing it in the Analysis Phase and leave me to handle their project’s Design Phase with a varied set of inputs that they produced using the FGP. And I needed to stop that.

My Lesson Map format and process – the subject of an upcoming webinar for the ISPI BABS Chapter (Bay Area and Boise State) on April 11th BTW – was to box in my staff consultants so that I could improve the quality of inputs to downstream phases.

And I sought advise from others at the time (1990) about how well this format (and methods) fit with the prevailing theories and practices of those dark arts known as Instructional Design (ID) and Instructional Systems Design (ISD).

I was given the thumbs up from all whom I sought a reaction from.

Here is my view of how Lesson Mapping supports a Direct Instruction approach.


Note that sometimes there’s more than One T&D Lesson in a T&D Event – and in my T&D Architectural approach there’s a string of Lessons for building and reinforcement (Spaced Learning) – as I always subscribed to the “Instructional Systems” concepts in how I viewed ISD – versus ID which is Instructional Design at an incremental level.

Not that many others would look at it this way – but for me – an ID builds Instructional Courses & Resources incrementally – and an ISDer architects them all so that they all work as a system of instruction.



Now I also subscribe to the notion that at some point – on the Learning Curve – that the learner/Performer no longer needs the hand-holding approach of Direct Instruction – as they now know what they need to know, do know, and don’t know – and are ready to seek further knowledge, skills, etc. in a self-directed manner.

So there’s that.


Carry on.

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