Book For Sale: performance-based Lesson Mapping

and Instructional Development using a Facilitated Group Process

Published September 9, 2021

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Book Forewords

Foreword 1

Matthew C. Day
Senior Prevention and Management of Aggression Practitioner at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Ipswich, England

The views and opinions shared in this foreword are entirely my own. They do not represent my current employer or the academic institute where I am enrolled. That is not to say that either may not agree with the discussion and formulation of ideas presented.

I met Guy Wallace at the Learning and Development Conference 2020, where I was sponsored by Health Education England to attend as part of a cohort who were tasked with engaging, understanding, and reporting back insights and innovations presented for application within the health service. During this conference, Wallace provided an accessible introduction to performance-based instructional design and as part of achieving my objectives, I relentlessly engaged in the live events and asynchronous sessions, to immerse myself among the learning and development community. During this transparent endeavour, I was welcomed generously by speakers and participants alike, and I had the opportunity to speak one-to-one with Wallace during the conference to better understand his methods, underlying theory, and values. Since the conference, I have continued to read Wallace’s work, remained in contact, and proudly consider him a mentor.

In this foreword, I will explore three interconnected topics that have emerged from my experiences adopting and adapting Wallace’s methods. The first is the connection with evidence-informed learning. The second is the ethical considerations of performance-based instructional design. The third is the relationship between a stakeholder-driven structured approach, such as the ‘modular curriculum development’ described in this book, as a mechanism to enable values-based leadership to steer an integrated systems approach for organisational learning.

In my practice within health and social care, whether to apply a performance-based approach to workforce instructional design is not only an issue of business acumen, but the decision also carries substantial moral and ethical implications. Such a decision demonstrates the values of those involved in the development process and organisation’s conceptual identity and brand as interpreted by its constituting workforce. To elaborate this point, we will start with Wallace’s definition of ‘performance competence’, “the ability to perform tasks to produce outcomes to stakeholder requirements” (2020, p.26), to navigate a discussion that links learning experience design to some of the fundamental principles, duties, and regulatory requirements that underpin health and social care in the UK.

I would assert that evidence-informed learning works harmoniously with performance-based instructional design. That is deploying learning interventions that hold a scientific proof of concept often captured within the body of interdisciplinary literature referred to as the learning sciences (Hoadley, 2007, p.139-156; Neelan and Kirschner, 2020, p.11-27). By using rigorous methods of review to identify and combine the highest quality of scientific evidence with learning experience design expertise while integrating input from learners and other stakeholders, development teams can maximise their ability to successfully design learning experiences that are more likely to achieve desired outcomes by leveraging methods that are established to be the most effective based on the evidence available.

The combination of both evidence-informed learning with performance-based instructional design parallels fundamental principles and values established within the health service and offers a means of actualising these. By deploying Wallace’s methods, I interpret that to achieve the objective of performance competence through evidence-informed learning means holding those accountable for training strategies and, more broadly, an organisation’s learning systems to account. It entails placing those accessing care, their families and/or other carers, and those delivering care at the heart of both design and evaluation. Key questions for designers using this approach would likely include what are the experiences of those receiving care? What distinguishes an outstanding experience of care? What and how are the tasks performed that lead to such experiences? etc. I have found deployment of this combined-approach continually assures that my actions remain aligned with the principles and values of my local organisation alongside The NHS constitution for England (Department of Health & Social Care, 2021), mitigating the foreseeable attraction towards localism and the risk of underutilising research evidence (Kneale, et al., 2017). This alignment, generates an ethical standpoint to the decision-making of instructional designs and supports me in clarifying and preserving my own integrity and intentions, protecting me from personal moral injury.

Furthermore, with principles and duties aligned, this approach provides healthcare service providers with a pragmatic means to better fulfil key regulatory requirements such as ensuring that sufficient numbers of fit and proper persons,  people “of good character, [who] have the qualifications, competence, skills and experience which are necessary for the work to be performed by them, and be able […] of properly performing tasks which are intrinsic to the work for which they are employed” (The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014) are recruited, retained, and, by all reasonable means, enabled to maintain their  expertise and participate in the essential continued development necessary within the health professions.

Such an approach also epitomises and operationalises The Seven Principles of Public Life that apply to all public officeholders. This includes those elected or appointed to public office or working in the Civil Service, local government, the police, courts and probation services, non-departmental public bodies, health, education, social and care services. Such officeholders are both servants of the public and stewards of public resources (Committee on Standards in Public Life, 1995) and, to adapt a key message from Wallace, good stewards do not squander equity on instructional design that risks a zero or negative return on investment; such a return in public sector healthcare comes at the cost of trusted taxpayer’s money and impacts public health.

The seven principles are Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty, and Leadership. Using a framework such as Wallace’s modular curriculum development, that engages key stakeholders throughout the process, in combination with the application of evidence-informed learning methods creates workforce learning that places the business need (or, in my context, public health, patient experience, and the effective allocation of public funds), at the heart of design; it mitigates the risk of dedicated educational teams falling into siloed practice, chasing their own process indicators in an attempt to prove their own value. Rather, instructional design can retain integrity and objectivity, producing a lean delivery that respects their workforce’s time, and integrates with a continuous improvement philosophy. Stakeholders actively participate to ensure accountability for decisions are clearly defined, and, at each phase of development, rationales are clear and accessible to audit. The process establishes ownership with all involved with an inherent radical transparency that is maintained through a series of structured, honest interactions. For me, the ability to actualise values in all activities to achieve objectives in this manner is credible values-based leadership that attains both authenticity and rigor; I consider these the ingredients of inclusive and compassionate improvement campaigns.

Despite this, it should be noted that instructional design rarely (if ever) holds the answer to quality or performance improvement alone, projects should be carefully reviewed for the full range of evidence (Grimshaw, et al. 2003). However, when an instructional component is required, by identifying what awareness, knowledge, and skills are required for the different members of a team to achieve performance competence and then deploying a lean provision of targeted training, job aids, or propagating frameworks for coaching and continued professional development that is functioning with reconciliation both shapes and is shaped by the experiences and expertise within an organisation. Wallace’s facilitated group process is an excellent example of a technique that can nurture such social climates and grow agile designs from authentic clinical practice and lived-experiences that provide and maintain the necessary exchange of sociocultural knowledge required for further improvement. By starting with the end in mind and retaining a clear values-based alignment, instructional design can support the development of integrated cyclical systems of collaboration that offer the context and social climate for a learning organisation. Evidence-informed learning interventions can then be carefully applied to optimise the effort for a commitment to quality of care.

Recognising the role of learning and development as an integral aspect of an organisation’s strategic leadership, valuing, propagating, and ethically actualising the principles and values of stakeholders and associated professional communities of practice are all elements of this context for learning organisations where workforce development and education is valued for its impact as part of a continuous process. Instructional design becomes a bridge between research and development, human resources, business intelligence, and transformation or improvement departments with direct care delivery. Its purpose is to translate and broker the needs of stakeholders into shared understandings and goals as much as it is the production of learning interventions.

From my perspective, as an early career research student working full time within an education and development department in a national healthcare Trust. Performance-based Lesson Mapping and Instruction Development using Facilitated Group Process provides an accessible framework that is adaptable and compatible with action and participatory research. Its structure allows for a diverse augmentation with further qualitative and quantitative research methods. It provides a springboard for coproducing models of change, aligning well with contemporary structural typologies of mix methods design such as Creswell and Plano Clark’s ‘exploratory sequential design’ or ‘convergent design’ (2018), progressive focussing (Symon and Cassell, 2012) or approaches to qualitative coding. The structures and techniques within this book have helped me to elaborate my intentions, methods, and values while prompting a constant consideration of the values and needs held by those around me.

My hope is that this foreword primes the reader to consider the principles and values that they and their organisations hold and, I would humbly recommend, that while they read the book, consideration and reflection is given throughout on: the duties and responsibilities of their position or relationship with an organisation and to those that constitute it;  the needs and valuable expertise and lived-experiences held by those that will be affected by their instructional designs; the critical importance of sound evidence-informed decision-making and design; and the connection between the alignment, translation, and operationalising of such values to identify and drive performance outcomes and their economic acquisition through evidence-informed means. If such values-based leadership resonates with the reader, I would encourage them to dive deep into Wallace’s ‘Performance-based accelerated customer/stakeholder-driven training and development’ (PACT) methodology and accept his invitation into a community of learning and development professionals passionate about identifying, innovating, and sharing effective learning experience design.

Foreword 2

Billy Wilson
Nuclear Professional
Greater Toronto Area, Canada Hello, and welcome to Guy’s book! It’s a great read, even if you approach it casually. But… I gotta tell you, if you do that, you’ll be missing out on most of the value you could get from it. I didn’t realize this until my second reading.

First, though, I must say that I felt honoured when Guy asked me to write this Foreword. I was a bit puzzled—I mean, who am I? I’m nobody compared to him. But I think I’ve figured it out.

Guy wanted me to write this Foreword because he knew that I needed to read this book. He may tell you something different if you ask him, but he’s just being polite.

Here’s the thing: I’ve never met Guy in person, but I can tell you three undeniable facts about him.

1. Guy cares about real-world results.
2. Guy wants those results to be predictable and dependable.
3. Guy is willing to do what it takes to satisfy those wants, all the time, every time.

Anyway, here’s what I recommend you do as you read this book: THINK about what you’re reading. Ask “why does this step exist,” “why would Guy recommend that,” and “what is the story behind this.” You see, this book isn’t just a description of Guy’s process. It’s a compendium of hard-won lessons—from decades of experience in dozens of locations/situations, working with some of the great gurus of the past. And it’s all distilled down to a unified set of processes, tools, and guidelines.

But this isn’t only Guy’s story. It’s yours too. So, as you’re wondering why Guy has a list of 17 different types of something or uses the word “performance” so much, ALSO ask yourself: what situations have I seen (or will I see) where this piece of wisdom might help me achieve predictable and dependable results.

An astute reader may have noticed that I’ve now said “predictable and dependable” twice. There’s a reason for that: those two words are at the heart of Guy’s preferred definition for the word “quality”.

 Good quality means a predictable degree of uniformity and dependability with a quality standard suited to the customer.
 — W. Edwards Deming, Quality Guru

As you continue into this book, you’ll become very aware of Guy’s commitments to quality and customer needs. You’ll also realize that this definition exists at the very core of Guy’s process.

Another famous Deming saying is, “If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.” Well, Guy knows what he’s doing, and he’s described his process.

The next step is yours.

Early Reviews

Matthew C. Day
Anthropology Ph.D. Research Student
UK National Health Service

Wallace’s seventeenth book does exactly what it claims in its title; this is a handbook for collaborating with key stakeholders to produce performance-based instructional activities and then plot those activities into cogent lesson maps through his ‘facilitated group process.’ The book is structured in chronological order and guides the reader systematically through ‘modular curriculum development’ to identify and communicate the necessary information so that tasks and decision-making can be clearly outlined, demonstrated, and, most importantly, applied back-on-the-job by the workforce.

The sections of the book are composed of chapters that each address a phase of Wallace’s development process and prepare the reader for critical ‘gate’ reviews, clearly outlining key questions to elicit engagement through the facilitated group process along with the objectives at each phase. The format allows you to see how each phase flows into the next; the text could easily be read alongside a project, chapter by chapter, providing the reader with concurrent coaching in Wallace’s methods, enabling them to “adopt what works and adapt the rest.”

This book is an all-inclusive text for lesson mapping and requires no previous introduction to Wallace’s approach. However, it also complements and enhances Wallace’s previous work and links seamlessly with his current series of texts: Conducting Performance-based Instructional Analysis and The 3 Ds of Thought Flow Analysis. For those new to the field, Wallace generously signposts to further resources of instructional systems design, evidence-informed learning theory, and texts that translate learning sciences for practical application, in context, at each phase.

Performance-based Lesson Mapping and Instructional Development is an invaluable resource that grants access and elaboration of Wallace’s approach. This book leaves the reader with a powerful lens to review their own processes of lesson development, ability to engage others in codesign while simultaneously stream-lining production for performance competence, “the ability to perform tasks to produce outputs to stakeholder requirements.”


George Gu
Co-founder of Improvement Consulting
President-elect of ISPI 

For years, we have been asking for a simple but systematic ISD process supported by simple tools. Traditional ISD models are mostly lengthy, but Lesson Mapping is like a fresh breeze in the old forest — it provides a tangible, system-oriented, and application-based step-by-step guide to instructional designers. It can also be regarded as one of the yellow “For Dummies” series, just because it is a summary of years of treasured experience and yet so simply illustrated. 


Rick Jacobs
Learning Strategist

“Guy Wallace hits the nail on the head with another profound, timely book! In an era where people are reinventing the wheel and using ‘marketing’ terms to make something sound new, having a book that gets right into the nitty-gritty of Lesson Mapping using common terminology is refreshing. Not only does Guy cover the ‘why’ of the process, but he provides templates, demonstrations, and applications for Lesson Mapping in different scenarios. A must-have for your library, especially if you are starting out in Instructional Design.”


Steven W. Villachica
Associate Professor, Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning, Boise State University

There are a lot of ID texts, with more each year. Most of these texts target IDs in both educational and training settings, even though these contexts can greatly differ. Other ID texts describe how to create learning experiences without focusing on producing performance back on the job. In contrast, Guy Wallace’s latest text provides invaluable, hard-won guidance about rapidly creating performance-based training that produces valued behavior change in the workplace. 

In a series of facilitated face-to-face or virtual meetings, clients, project stakeholders, subject-matter experts, and ID teams quickly complete an initial analysis. They then collaboratively design an event map of lessons, individual lesson maps, and instructional activities for each lesson. These lessons consist of an opening, minimal relevant information required to perform a job task (INFO), one or more demonstrations of the task (DEMO), and application activities to practice performing the task while receiving coaching and feedback (APPO). Each lesson ends with a closing. Other chapters describe the development and testing of the instructional materials.

This book is highly practical, recognizing that IDs don’t complete these projects in a vacuum. Instead, the book describes solid instructional design practices within the broader context of the authentic project work that IDs complete. This book describes Guy’s techniques for

  • Consulting, including how to partner across clients, project stakeholders, and project teams to choreograph a success story.

  • Facilitation, including how to engage people in workshops that systemically and systemically produce product deliverables aligned with business drivers. Combined with reviews and tests, this facilitated approach produces training that is technically accurate, complete, and authentic.

  • Project management, including project planning and strategies for obtaining client and stakeholder approval for project deliverables. These approaches produce quality training within budget and schedule.

This book is a welcome addition to my ID library.


Billy Wilson
Nuclear Professional

I learned a lot from reading this book … an experience that seemed very much like peering into Guy’s mental models with a magnifying glass. I’ll be adopting and/ or adapting much of it into my own practice of learning design.


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