ISD or LXD – needs to be attending to the Architecture & Development of Instruction

Instruction – includes both Performance Support & Learning Experiences

Even though some (many?) might not agree – I believe in Top-Down Design of Instruction.

That way the overall Learning Path – an Instructional Flow – can be laid out thoughtfully, with flexibility, Target Audience by Target Audience to help them climb their Learning & Performance Curves.

And, an L&D Individual Planning Guide takes the performance-ized L&D Instructional Flow and personal-izes it. Because one-size seldom fits all. Learners’/Performers’ specific job assignments might vary and their incoming knowledge and skills from education and experience might vary – and that needs to be accounted for – which is easier with a Top-Down approach to the Design of the Instructional Flow.

Top-Down design allows for more careful placement of Spaced Learning, content modular-ization, a mix of Modes and Media, and avoids content overlaps and gaps – unless “by design.”

Instructional Architecture

This was formerly – and still is – known as Curriculum Architecture Design.

I started doing these as an employee at Motorola in 1981, when I took what Ray Svenson, a consultant to Motorola, had said about this concept in a staff development session, and I created a method, then conducted a project with Analysis & Design efforts, and produced 5 L&D Paths for the 5 Business Sector’s manufacturing supervisors at over 30 manufacturing sites.

That gave us guidance as to future development efforts and I had painted the picture of what could be and what already existed, so my clients could prioritize and resource the next step efforts to build/buy Instruction.

I covered this in a recent book – Aligning & Architecting performance-based L&D (2022) – here. And in a mini-book in my new mini-book series – Performance-Based Instructional Architecture (2022) – here.

Instructional Development

This was formerly – and still is – known as Modular Curriculum Development. This is simply my adaptation of ADDIE with specific (but flexible) steps and (less flexible) outputs defined for each phase.

I covered this in several recent books – including:

  • Conducting performance-based Instructional Analysis (2020) – here.
  • The 3 Ds of ThoughtFlow Analysis (2021) – here.
  • Performance-Based Lesson Mapping (2021) – here.

Both Instructional Analysis (Curriculum Architecture Design) and Instructional Development (Modular Curriculum Development) were addressed in my 1999 book: lean-ISD – available – here.

And they were both addressed in several other books from 2011.

See all of my books on my Amazon Authors Page:


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