Start Your Year Off Right and Pivot to Performance-Based Instruction

This graphic is from some Praxis workshop materials I have – from 1972.

Praxis was the consulting firm of Geary Rummler and Tom Gilbert in the 1970s.

Rummler Started Influencing My ISD Practices Starting on Day 1

The people I went to work with at Wickes Lumber after college in 1979 were fans of Rummler, Gilbert, Mager, and Harless – and they had these materials from their time in the 1970s in the Training function at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Detroit (where they worked with Geary’s brother) and they gave me a copy to study my first week on the job.

Geary Rummler (among others) was preaching and teaching this Performance-Based stuff since back into the early 1960s – he and Dale Brethower, George Geis, and George Odiorne ran workshops at the University of Michigan starting in 1963.

I got a chance to work on a dozen or so projects with him after I left Wickes and joined Motorola – where he was “my consultant” on my projects – meaning I carried his pencils as we went from project to project and Motorola site to site.

Here is a 45-minute video of him in 1981 at Motorola’s Training & Education Center:

I came in one week before my official start date from Saginaw Michigan to attend this one-day session in Schaumburg Illinois.

Here is the handout from that 1981 session:

And in late 1981- early 1982 he began an effort to design our MTEC Performance-Based Training Design (Analysis-Design-Development) methodology – and he mapped it in the swimlane format that he was so fond of.

Here is a copy of that swimlane process map (with some of my notations for a feedback session I was a part of):

You Can’t There From Here

Too many in our field have fallen far away from – or have never seen in the 1st place the many, early approaches to Performance-Based Instructional Analysis-Design-Development practices that were laser-focused on the Process/the Workflow.

From a book foreword, Geary wrote in 1969…

1975 – Rummler – We Cant Get There From Here bb

Joe Harless also had extensive and proven methods in this (from the 70s and 80s). So did Tom Gilbert. And Bob Mager had his CRI from the 70s as well. And many, many others at NSPI, back in the day, that were focused on Performance.

And their default was not Instruction/Training.

This, from Rummler and Gilbert 1970 – they used the term Guidance, which Joe Harless called Job Aids, that has been known by many names since way back then…

For more on Rummler & Gilbert’s take on Guidance (a.k.a.: Job Aids, EPSS, Quick-Reference-Guides-Performance Support-WorkFlow Learning) – see this hard to read/ marked-up PDF – something from my metal file cabinets from back in 1979:

The 1970 PRAXIS Report – 1970 Praxis Report – Guidance vs Training

The MTEC Design methodology was finished after I left MTEC in November 1982 – but a colleague there gave me a copy as I was one of the people on the team who worked with Geary – and they thought I should have a copy. I haven’t looked at it in depth for decades – but it is one of my most prized possessions.

Geary and me back in 1981.

RIP Geary.

I’m still carrying your pencils.


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