Designing ISD/LXD for Target Audiences with Varied Expertise

Back in the 80s and 90s, whenever my target audience included those who were 1) new to the job, 2) novice performers, and 3) expert performers, I’d try to leverage the knowledge and experience of the especially the novice and expert performers in the design of the Instructional Flow.

During my Request Intake Process, I would start my Target Audience Analysis. I’ve had clients warn me that there would be members in the Target Audience who would be pretty sure that they already had the knowledge and skills – and they’d “be difficult.”

If you’ve ever facilitated ILT/Group-Paced Training, you can well imagine how bored people, frustrated and upset that they are in the room, can behave.

They believe they are wasting their time. And perhaps they are. So to make their participation worthwhile, I planned to get and keep them busy helping with the delivery of Instruction.

I’d design into The Flow of “Instructional Activities” opportunities for those members of the Target Audience to share their targeted war stories – usually as elicited by the facilitator to keep them narrowly focused – as part of the Information, or Demonstrations, and perhaps leading team efforts in hands-on Application Exercises that I use in order to create targeted levels of Awareness, Knowledge, and/or Skills – based on the Analysis efforts that fed the Design before Development efforts.

This approach can be used in both Group-Paced and Coached Modes of delivery – whether Face-to-Face or Virtually deployed.

Sages on the Stage Should Share the Stage

Engaging Learning Experiences are delivered flexibly to take advantage of the Other Expertise in the Room – when this is possible, and to keep on going when it is not.

My methods for performance analysis leading to the design – via Lesson Mapping – are covered in this 2021 book:

See all of my books – over 25 now – on my Amazon Authors Page:


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