Curriculum Architecture Design and Formal Learning Vs Informal Learning in Various Learning Contexts

It’s another blend…

Either you see a Curriculum – a set of content – Instruction and Information – as something to be architected or engineered – or you see it as more of an art form/expression.

Either you see it leading to new and enhanced knowledge and skills that were defined beforehand – or you see it more of “going with the flow” of whatever is current – whatever is hip and happening! And whatever is learned is what got learned. And that was what was appropriate.

Either you have a common systematic process for defining and developing/acquiring the curriculum content that “covers all of the bases” – so to speak – or everyone just wings it and does it differently.

Either your process is predictable or it is not. Either you need it to be predictable or you don’t.

Which is right? As always – it depends. It is entirely situational.

Context is the Driver King/Queen

Context drives Content.

3 types of Learning Contexts for a Curriculum Architecture Design

  • Personal – Educational – Enterprise

To over-generalize the above: less rigid/specific required – to – much more rigid and specific potentially required. From left – to – right.

Where a Curriculum Architecture can be either much more “specified/tight” on one end – or “to-be-determined/loose” on the other. From right – to – left.

CAD for an Enterprise Context – should be more formal for all high risk/reward process performers – and that does not include all jobs – some have a higher Risk-Reward impact and should be addressed specifically and fully – and the design of that content should be in such a way so as to be able to share much of it with other Target Audiences (high priority and not).

That means modular – as in many components/offerings.

Here is where using Rapid Development authoring tools of many (endless) types and capabilities and costs – after the analysis and design of a CAD has configured the content – that it really makes sense! For it provides a blueprint to all development/acqusition efforts and staff to help manage the “divide -and-conquer” strategy to build/buy content and ensure that the current gaps are “addressed” and that current/potential overlaps are eliminated/minimized or intentionally placed “redundancy by design” – which is what a CAD effort straightens out and makes hapen – by design.

Otherwise everyone starts developing content per their own mental or otherwise model, and then there are gaps createss and overlaps created that no one really has a handle on.

Chaos. Curriculum Chaos.

Curriculum Chaos Has Its Costs

ROI for Curriculum Chaos can be a very high negative number in an Enterprise context.

One Client in the early 2000 had a large audience of inbound call center sales folks being taught via 7 different sets of curricula for 7 sets of laws/regulations/codes and products and product bundles – driven by the various state regulatory agencies and the feds. Each Curriculum averaged over 80 days plus several had 2-4 weeks of boot camps on-the-floor with a coach to really teach them how to do their jobs.

Later we reduced the average to 40 days – and with 75% overlaps between the 7 Regions. With no boot camps required – only a planned transition into the job – a baton hand-off, if you will, from the local trainers to the new supervisor for the learner/Performer.

That was all about ROI – increasing top line revenue and reducing costs to enhance the bottom line.

A CAD for an Enterprise context is about the specific awareness/ knowledge/ skills needed – Performance-based, to be actually able to “perform” in the workflow, in the processes. The content can be engineered, and then bought/built as rational prioritization by the Clients – who live with the consequences of what is made available and what is not. It is very much a business decision – all about making investments for probable returns.

A CAD in this context is actually easier – less arbitrary – an issue with the less rigid requirements of the other contexts – because in an Enterprise context the performance requirements can be specified – which means the instructional and/or Informational content typically can be made very specific in terms of enabling measurable workflow/process via the business’ goals, metrics, etc. – and really target the key enablers of the human performers in terms of “what did we make available to them and when” and how did that play out in actual work performance?CAD for Education Context – can be both very formal or very informal – and as the terminal objectives for learning are either not fuzzy or very fuzzy – as in: exactly what job will this learner/student be asked to perform after graduation?

If that is crystal clear – as for fairly clear for Chemistry students – and less so for English majors – it’s more about the enabling awareness/ knowledge/ skills needed – without knowing the actual “applications contexts” down the road.

Here a CAD has to be more Competency-based than Performance-based. For we can only roughly generalize the terminal objectives for the educational degree. Which is what a Competency approach is compared to a Performance-approach.

Here learning is not so directed as it is in an Enterprise context.

In an Educational context it often includes let’s explore where practice and research are taking this field/topic/task. Here there is much more need for exploration than in an Enterprise context – unless the shareholders are OK with paying for it – and then it is usually contained – to control costs – which is frustrating to everyone coming out of an educational context where there are less mandated goals – because in an educational context the goals are decided by the Professors and their departments. Not by the work/jobs that the learner/Performer is headed to.

CAD for a Personal Context – can be either very targeted – or less so – to “not even.” Unless you really prefer Web Meandering – and don’t mind your own efficiency being low – then developing a rational. flexible plan for your learning in this Context is a smart approach.

Otherwise it’s pretty much “whatever.” Have fun! I’m not sure that is learning that could be covered in any way by the concepts of a CAD.

It, a CAD, still starts with goals. And in a Personal context that is dependant on the topic/task and the person. Either I am a hobbyist and can target knowledge and skill goals – or just want to be a sponge for a while.

Or I am a volunteer somewhere – to make a difference – and I want to be as competent as I possibly can be – because I am serious about it.

Or it’s for my second job (then see the Enterprise Context). Or it’s a future career/field that I’d like prepare for and eventually “move to.”

Where Am I Coming From?

My background and experiences in CAD and ADDIE-level ISD/ID/SAT efforts began in 1979 after college when I became a Program Developer for Wickes Lumber at headquarters in Saginaw Michigan. Then after 2+ years there I went to Motorola’s Training & Education Center (MTEC) for another 2+ years. Then I joined Ray Svenson and my wife at Ray’s firm in 1982.

Beginning in 1982 when I did my first CAD project and then my most recent (2004) which was #74. I’ve also done more than 50 MCD (ADDIE-level) projects between 1979 and 2008.

I co-authored the first article on CAD using a group process in Training Magazine – September 1984 – and also on the analysis methods used in CAD in NSPI’s P&I Journal in November 1984. The I presented the first national presentation at NSPI in 1985 – I had done it prior at the Chicago chapter the year before.

Details of those CAD projects – target audiences and companies – are provided via 3 graphics and also links to the EPPIC web site – and are at the end of this post.

My focus for the past 29 years is less on development/ deployment/ access tools and technology – and more on the enterprise process performance to be enabled and on the enabling knowledge/skills’ content architecture to most effectively and efficiently achieve that: Peak Performance.

But I get the “development/deployment/access” issues and needs. But I do not focus on the here and now of that. For that buffalo will always be on the move/be ever-changing. And I’m glad many others are focused there – on those enabling tools for performance – that learners need to learn how to use for their performance for an Enterprise context – and on those same tools labeled as learning tools for the Enterprise and Personal contexts.

So I see, from my Enterprise-focus – the Informal-Formal thing as a continuum – from by design to by chance – all driven by an understanding of the Risks and Rewards at stake.

CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design

CAD is an engineering approach to defining the “whole of instruction/information” needed in the first place and then rationalizes (accepts/rejects) existing content for its use in this set-of-content: Curriculum – which is all fairly dependant on being able to describe the “terminal performance” required/desired – and thus the Performance Competences – the ability to perform tasks to produce outputs to stakeholder requirements. Perhaps many tasks and many stakeholders.

The ability of getting crystal clear on those three sets – the tasks, the outputs and the stakeholder requirements – differs in our 3 learning contexts: our Personal context, our Educational context, and our Enterprise context.

To perhaps over-generalize a bit.

As stated above – here are 3 graphics that list my CAD projects from 1982 until 2004. An overview for each project can also be found – starting here.

More information and resources are available at the EPPIC Web site and at other Guy W. Wallace Blogs, Wikis, and SNs created for all PACT Practitioners wishing to master these methods. I encourage you to do so. Please respect my copyright markings – for your use as is or after modification!

Beware Curriculum Chaos Costs.

And be aware of those potential Curriculum Chaos Costs.

What “the costs are” for chaos or control certainly depends on the context. One size does not fit all. Formal Learning is sometimes the absolute best approach – and sometimes Informal Learning (guided or not) is the best approach.

Just remember what research tells us about “learning out of context” and “unguided instruction” – that it works for only about 15%. Due to their motivation and/or prior knowledge. And that Motivation can even trump prior knowledge. But not all learners are so motivated, correct? Or is your situation different?

Yes Informal Learning makes sense some of the time. But it is generally rare.

As a business strategy? And to resource it for all? That makes no sense to me. Not for Learning.

But for Performing? Well, yes. Resource what’s needed for performance per the ROI.

The R for the I.

I strongly believe that we should determine performance requirements and then enable those – ROI insight guiding decisions about – the right people capabilities needed, the right infrastructure needed, and the right balance of consequences that are needed to enable and then encourage performance – by design. Not by chance.

Unless your context is less demanding – as many are.

Then, adopt less and adapt more! Be more flexible than rigorous. Have end-outcome criteria but not process criteria. Or no criteria at all.

Context depending of course.

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School of PACT 02- Lesson & Video Podcast – CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design

The Video Podcast below is merely a component to a blended approach to mastering PACT.

There are 6 steps if you will…but do it any way you choose…

1- Pre-Video Reading Assignments
2- Video Podcast Review
3- Post-Video Readings Assignments
4- Post-Video Application Assignments
5- Review Free Resources Available
6- Lesson Self-Debriefing

You’ll need the book lean-ISD – which is available at as a hardbound and/or as a Kindle book – and/or free as a 404 page PDF here. There are also many PACT resources at the EPPIC Web site and at the PACT Wiki.

I’ve been writing/publishing since 1984 on CAD and presenting since 1983 (Chicago NSPI) on these CAD methods and the other two methodology-sets of MCD and IAD – and the use of a group process to develop Performance Models and K/S Matrices for Curriculum Architecture Design.

The Target Audience Data, the Performance Model and the K/S Matricies and the ETA: Existing T&D Assessment elements are my contributions to the analysis portion of PACT.

The CAD-MCD-IAD Design models, methods, templates/tools are also mine as well.

I cleared all of that with the late Geary Rummler in 1999 when we met for two days to review the book and the methodology – for his approval/sanctioning.

The first Video Podcast in this series includes his review of both.

School of PACT # 02 – CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design

Lesson 02- Objectives-
You should begin to “get/see” the CAD level of ISD in PACT – and can explain its purposes and its 4 Phases. You should begin to see how the approach to processes the analysis data in this one level of ISD in PACT’s 3 levels of ISD. The systems engineering/architectural level of ISD in PACT.

1- Pre-Video Reading Assignments
I’d suggest re-reading chapter 3 of lean-ISD – and then watch this Video Podcast.

You could re-reads 1-7 or just chapter 3 – and then read chapters 8-13, and then watch the V-Podcast. But perhaps it would be better to read chapters 8-13 after the Video for you. Or do both!

The reading and /or the Video may help you mentally frame the CAD level of ISD in PACT and the common Analysis and Project Planning & Management aspects of the systems engineering/architectural level of ISD methodology in PACT.

2- Video Podcast Review
Here is the Video Podcast – 15:54 – minutes:seconds…

3- Post-Video Readings Assignments
If you did not do this already Step 1 – read chapters 8-13 of lean-ISD.
This is somewhat of an advanced organizer for CAD – the highest level of overview.

4- Post-Video Application Assignments
Start listing and organizing your questions. Build a table that captures your own questions, the answers and the sources for the answers that you found.

Start a personal Learning Log (or Blog).

Network with others. Start a club/social network – and/or join The PACT Practitioners Guild (a SN).

Find a buddy at work – or at a local professional society chapter!

5- Review Free Resources Available
At there is a related PACT Audio Podcast available. Also – there are articles and presentations in the Resource tab at that same site.

And check out that PACT Wiki for additional free resources/references, tools and templates.

Please maintain my copyright markings. You’d do so for Bob Mager or Joe Harless – wouldn’t you?

6- Lesson Self-Debriefing
You should begin to “get/see” the CAD level of ISD in PACT – and can explain its purposes and its 4 Phases. You should begin to see how the approach to processes the analysis data in this one level of ISD in PACT’s 3 levels of ISD. The systems engineering/architectural level of ISD in PACT.

If so – you are ready for the next Lesson and Video Podcast – coming soon!

And don’t forget to get your free PDF copy the book: lean-ISD…available at

Adopt what you can – and adapt the rest.Adjust as needed for each effort/application. Always.Be as rigorous as required – and as flexible as feasible!

Always do the smart thing given your goals, resources and constraints.

Future Additions to this Post and Others in the Series
Note: I will add addition Videos to each post in this School of PACT series over time. These will tend to add additional details – or dig deeper into the details of the PACT methods.

I will put them here – at the end of every SoP Blog Posting.

Final Note: The SoP – School of PACT Series will cover…

1- Intro to PACT – 3 levels of ISD and common Analysis and common Project Planning & Management concepts, models, methods, tools, templates and techniques

2- CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design – to design the performance-based learning continuum for a targeted job/process

3- MCD – Modular Curriculum Development/Acquisition – the ADDIE level of PACT

4- IAD – Instructional Activity Development/Acquisition -the Knowledge Management level of PACT

5- PACT Analysis -the 4 types of analysis required in PACT’s CAD – MCD – IAD “design” methods

6- PACT Project Planning & Management – common project planning and management concepts, models, methods, tools, templates and techniques

7- 5 PACT Roles and 5 Client Teams -defining the roles and responsibilities of the 5 Client teams and the 5 PACT Practitioner roles

8- PACT Process Technology Transfer -how to logically transfer/intake the PACT Processes

9- PACT is a Sub-set of EPPI – Enterprise Process Performance Improvement – a look at PACT as a sub-set of a broader improvement methodology – beyond instruction

10- Segue from Training to Performance via PACT and EPPI – how to move from performance-based Training/Instruction/Learning/Knowledge Management to Performanc eSupport and Improvement

11- T&D Systems View of the Processes of ISD/PI Functional Organizations – The EPPI organizational concepts – of the LCS Model of AoPs/Processes – applied to a T&D function/department.

12- Management Areas of Performance – A Framework for Analysis of Performance Competence Requirements From the Department Rolled Up to the Enterprise

13- Performance-based Employee Qualification/Certification Systems – Develop the System and Processes to implement and operate a function to qualify/certify targeted jobs/tasks for Risk/Reward reasons.

Plus others in the School of PACT series – beyond these first 13 – all TBD!

# # #

Video Podcasts Now On Google Video For Downloading

You may have already seen the 1st Blog Post and Video Podcast of the School of PACT series – 13 planned – and with many, many additional relevant topics/tasks for me to tackle regarding the PACT Processes for T&D/ Learning/ Knowledge Management.

I will put out a new one every 2-4 weeks- or more. I am also intending on posting them on Google Video as I Blog about them – the Blog Postings intended to both present the Video Podcast – and to frame a “Learning Process/Progression/Path” – both adopt-able and adapt-able – as needed of course – for you – the reader/learner/potential Performer.

I use Google so that everyone that wants one can have a personal copy. I treasure my copies of old videos (Rummler, Rackham, etc.) and audios – I have Rackham speaking on SPIN from 1981 somewhere. They and others always freely shared. So shall I.

The list below will be constantly updated – as this post will be used as “link transition points” to both those Google Videos and the Pursuing Performance Blog (PP Blog) Postings – from a link on the Blog’s static but active portion of the layout template.

Note that there will be “other video links” here on topics related to performance-based Instructional Design, Instructional Systems Design, Systematic Approach to Training, ID, ISD, SAT, etc. from myself and from others.

In most-recent-first order:
Videos from Guy W. Wallace…

School of PACT 02b – 7 CAD Design Steps – at Google Video – on the PP Blog – next released Video Podcast in the School of PACT series – focused on the the detailed “7 Design Steps” used to “process the PACT analysis data” in the Design Team Meeting in Phase 3 of CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design – of the PACT Processes for T&D/ Learning/ Knowledge Mangement. This particular Video Podcast augments Video Podcast #2 – CAD.

School of PACT 02 – CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design – at Google Video – on the PP Blog – 2nd in the series of at least 13 Video Podcasts planned. CAD is the macro-design level of PACT’s 3 levels of ISD design. CAD is the systems engineering/architectural set of ISD/ID methods for developing a T&D Path/ Learning Continuum for one or more Target Audiences. CADs lead to MCD efforts (the ADDIE-level of PACT). This Podcast on CAD will be augmented by several other Podcasts with topics closely related/intertwined with the CAD level of PACT, to provide more details.

Changing Tires on a Moving Truck – at Google Video – on PP Blog Post – please indulge my silliness with this 1:42 (m:s) Video that plays out some thought given to “parallel processing” for some types of change. Where you cannot stop, change, and then restart. As clients stated their challenge to be akin to “changing the tires on a moving truck.” Probably a total waste of your time for most of you – unless you plan/manage multiple workstreams of systems in transition and change. It’s how I might represent a divide-and-conquor approach to complex change.

Enterprise Wiki Architecture – at Google Videoon PP Blog Post – thoughts about how I’d architect the structure of wikis for every process, for every performer’s use. 7:42 (m:s).

School of PACT 01 – PACT Introat Google Video on PP Blog Post – The first in the series. 10:00 (m:s). Overview of the 5 methodology-sets of PACT, the customer-teams and ISD-roles, and the resources available.

Videos from others/of others – that are my personal favorites – and that I’d like to share with others interested in PACT…

Dr. Richard E. Clark and Allen Munro – Learning Research at the Center for Cognitive Technologiesweb link – Part of the Rossier School of Education Brown Bag Series, Richard Clark and Allen Munro discuss topics such as: cognitive load theory, instructional design, direct instruction, cognitive task analysis, creative technology, see one, do one, teach one, mental simulation, tactical planning/instructional/assessment tools. 1 hour and 2 minutes. Excellent! From May 2008.

Dr. Ruth Clark – Leveraging the Virtual Classroom for Effective Learningweb link – 1 hour 18 minutes from Dr. Clark – part of the University of Maryland Baltimore Campus (UMBC) series of ISD- November 2008. Excellent!

Clive Shepherd – Welcome to the Virtual Classroomweb link – An excellent 9+minute introduction to the basics of Virtual Classrooms – November 2007. Excellent!

Thiagi- Rapid Instructional Design – web link PP Blog Post on this Video Resource – from 2008 from UMBC University of Maryland Baltimore Campus. 1:47 (hour:minutes). Excellent!

Neil Rackham – Instructional Design Criteria web link – PP Blog Post on this Video Resource – from 1981. 10 design criteria are talked through by Neil for MTEC. Excellent!

Geary Rummler – Performance-Based Training web link – PP Blog Post on this Video Resource – from 1981. Another MTEC video. Excellent!

*** *** *** *** *** ***
Audio Podcasts from Guy W. Wallace…

1 – Intro to PACT

2 – The CAD Process

3 – The MCD Process

4 – The IAD Process

5 – Building PACT Capability & Capacity

6 – Practitioner Qualification Certification

7 – PACT Flexibility – 6 Case Studies

8 – From ISD to HPT with PACT and EPPI

9 – PACT and the ECA and the WELL

10 – PACT and Customer Collaboration

11 – PACT Project Acceleration Strategies for Rapid ISD

12 – PACT Project Predictability

To be completed later…

Audio Podcasts from others…

My lean-ISD book as a free 404-page PDF.

I hope that you find these of value for your “distance learning” on Instructional Design/Instructional Systems Design – and the PACT Processes.

Additional free PACT resources from Guy W. Wallace and EPPIC Inc. are available at

# # #

The 7 Design Steps of CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design

CAD Design Team Meeting Design Steps

The secret to success in the design of the “ideal” T&D Path is having 1-the right data, and 2- the right data processors, and 3- the right process. Data processors process analysis data and make design decisions in a predictable process. Predictable in terms of touch time and cycle time and quality of the output.

In PACT’s Curriculum Architecture Design (CAD) methodology…I teach designers at the CAD level to trust the process – just as I taught analysts learning to run Analysis Team Meetings – and trust the process. I then teach them how to facilitate the analysis steps and the design steps – PACT processes – in such a way so as to anchor the design to performance – and to provide “as much flexibility as feasible” and “as much rigor as required.” And to have the Design Team assembled be the “owners” of the design – and not the designer.

The 7 Design Steps of CAD are framed in the following steps:

1- Establish the Path
Talk with the Design Team about T&D Paths – will there be one, two, seven different Paths? What does the Target Audience data suggest? How many definable populations in the Target Audience – where each might need a slight variation here and there to address the true differences in requirements, processes, environmental materials, tools that exist; or varied/flexible to account for the incoming knowledge/skill profiles being hired.

What does the front end look like?

I suggest that we think Modular…and initially see the T&D Path as having three segments: Beginning – Middle – End. As a device for sorting our analysis data. I ask them to trust me, trust the process.

And then we start discussing the Beginning of the Beginning of the Path – that will have content that orients one to the entire Enterprise, and then it’s sub-component organizational entities – be they Divisions, Business Units, Segments, etc., answering:

  • What are they, what products/services do they render and to/for which customers? Who are our customers’ customers and what are their requirements? Who are our competitors? What are our processes, locations, partners/value chain members? Who are all the other stakeholders beside our customers? And other “typical” Company Orientation content.

Then the “B of the B” continues orientating the learner/Performer to the function (Sales, HR, Finance, etc.) that they work in (and “for” and “with” too — depending on the sophistication/richness of the T&D Path’s content). Then the Path’s content orients the learner/Performer to their own job and it’s processes, it’s AoPs and the high level output/tasks of each AoP.

In the Middle of the Beginning I see deeper orientations to the specifics of “My Job”, those “advanced organizers” that I have reflect the AoPs (Areas of Performance) structure – because IF it worked as an organizing framework for the analysis data gathering and review efforts – it should work to organize the content – both Instructional and Informational – need to enable Performance Competence development – as framed by the analysis’ framework of AoPs.

Then in the End of the Beginning of the T&D Path I tell them, I see all of the Immediate Survival knowledge and skills being addressed – addressed to the “how to” level. Deployed in a blended manner.

And here in “establishing the T&D Path” with the Design Team, is where I introduce the first decision point for them – a decision that they make later – this is just their Advanced Organizer for that later step – that they will have to decide what content goes before the “End of the Beginning ends” and where the T&D Path “Beginning of the Middle begins.”

In other words, what are the “lines of demarcation” of the Path’s Beginning, Middle and End? And what time frames do they represent? We may guess right now – but as we shape the T&D Path with content and decide how to deploy the content we’ll see how our guesses at timing of the progress a learner/Performer and how long it might actually take – might change once we see what is truly practical/realistic?

I am not afraid to talk “ahead of ourselves” with the Design Team – so that they see how we’re going to approach this task, the design of a performance-based T&D Path – in logical steps – so that they see that there is a process (a method to the madness). I talk our way through the 7 steps and bring up what we as a team will be doing…and what I the designer will be doing as a both a Facilitator and as an Instructional Designer – and what they as a Design Team will be doing as the “facilitated.”

I tell them we are going to sort all of the analysis data “that you generated in the Analysis Team meeting” – sort the Outputs/Tasks and then sort all of those enabling knowledge/skill items – all (tell them the number of enabling K/Ss from the analysis effort here), as well as the assessment data for Existing T&D that we might use “as is” as well as ‘after modification.”

Then I ask them how that modular front-end (the beginning/ middle/ end of the Beginning) of the T&D Path accommodates the sub-types in the Target Audience. We review the TAD (Target Audience Data) together. I talk about the flexibility requirements of the “front-end” of a T&D Path. So – if “new target audience” members come from inside the Enterprise – they should be able to skip content and target new content unique to their incoming K/Ss (Knowledge/Skills).

We need to create a design of information and instruction that is “robust” to all of the variants – to work within all of the constraints and meet the requirements – which should be to assist all motivated learner/Performers in becoming Performance Competent. Performance Competent = ability to perform tasks to produce outputs to stakeholder requirements.

I get large flip chart paper and lay that out on a long conference table and mark off the Beginning and the Middle and the End on the T&D Path – which is now three or more flip chart pages taped one-to-another, end-to-end on the table. And I mark off the Beginning/Middle/End of the Path’s Beginning – to remind them of what we’ve discussed will go into each of those sub-segments of the T&D Path. To make this much more visual for them.

Then we discuss what is safe to assume and what is not safe to assume about the Target Audience. I usually let them talk this out until they are off topic. Once we have gotten a pretty shared understanding of the target audience or audiences by discussing what was captured during the analysis phase about them in the Target Audience Data, we can begin to process our other types of analysis data.

2- Sort the AoP Data
This is where the “Output/Tasks/Roles&Responsibility/Gap Analysis Data” gets sorted, gets processed.

This analysis data – the “Output/Task Cluster” as I typically refer to the whole data-set – gets sorted into the End of the Beginning of the T&D Path, or into the Middle of the Path, or into the End of the Path. I had the analysis data printed off into what I call AoP Slip Sheets: which contain a “row” off of the Performance Model charts. It is these Slip Sheets, usually a 1/4 to a 1/2 page (but sometimes a whole page).

These different sized pages make the design process very visual, we can see the tasks of the job being taught in some logical order – as they are placed on the tabletop T&D Path marked B-M-E.. The placement logic comes from the Design Team – and the designer, who through control of the process can help the Design Team be more efficient with their time.

Once all AoP Slip Sheets are initially sorted they are reviewed for sequencing needs or clustering into little menus on the path – all temporary! – I remind the Design Team members.

We have a lot more data to process.

But here I ask the first “acid test” question for them. As I try to close out this step with them…

IF we taught the learner/Performer population “how to” do all of these Output/Task clusters of data – would we be finished with the T&D Path?

Does this “T&D Path” now anchor us into the real world’s performance expectations? All of the expectations? Covering the total “job?” If not, then what are we missing – or is “it” a sub topic/task detail still in the AoP content that has been spread across the table, on the B-M-E segments of our evolving T&D Path?

3- Sort the ETA Data
I then walk over to the wall where I had posted the 7 steps (with check boxes as the bullets) and check off 1 and 2. I read off the 3rd step and then walk back to my assembled team and explain that this is where we accommodate all of the existing content that we uncovered and rationalize its use in the T&D Path that we are framing.

Each T&D Event (course, module, workshop. session – at the administrative level/tracking level) is represented on a T&D Definition Sheet when we intend to use it as is. Or the data comes to us on a T&D Source Sheet when we intend to use it after modification. It is these two types of “sheets” that is sorted.

T&D Definition Sheets, often printed on dark gold paper regular size (for the US that is 8.5 x 11 inch paper), are going to exist on the T&D Path as one of its Events. T&D Source Slip Sheets, often printed on 1/2 pages, are going to end up inside the definition of a Module – later after step 5.

So we talk our way through each T&D Definition and place it on the Path relative to all of the AoP Slip Sheets already there. If the content of that T&D Definition “enables” some task-set (on an AoP Slip Sheet) it must go in front of that AoP-Task-set. If it enables more than one AoP-Task-set then the T&D Definition Sheet must go in front of them all. It might push that T&D Definition into the Survival Skills segment of the Path (the end of the beginning of the T&D Path). If so – so be it!

4- Sort the EK/S Data
Next the Design Team must do the sometimes tedious task of sorting through huge numbers of Enabling K/S Slip Sheets. Maybe it’s always tedious.

The K/S Slip Sheets are 1/2 to 1/4 size pages, and includes only “one K/S Item” – identifies its K/S Category and other analysis data from the K/S Matrices – finally – which AoP’s the K/S Item enables. This last pice of information is critical – in that it guides the sorting on this data onto the T&D Path.

One by one, each K/S Slip Sheet is reviewed for its content, the category, the item, its criticality, difficulty to learn, volatility and depth (from the K/S Matrices data) and lastly – which AoPs this item enables.

Then the Path must be reviewed to find the earliest instance of an enabled AoP – for this K/S Slip Sheet must be placed in front of that first AoP. AoPs are no longer in their original sequence (from the analysis efforts). They are placed “however” on the Path – “however” with a logic. And – they are broken out further into Output/Task Clusters. But still the AoP Slip Sheets are identified by their AoP – so that is used to place each K/S Slip Sheet.

Once that is done, often for 400 to 1200 discreet K/S Items, the table top with the flip chart pages representing the T&D Path might include sequenced AoP Slip Sheets in one color, T&D Definitions Sheets in another color, T&D Sources Slip Sheets in another color, and K/S Slip Sheets on white paper (due to their number). By this time, in my experience, the members of the Design Team really know where the AoP data is, where the Existing T&D is going to be, and where all of the K/S items will be learned.

Time for another “acid test” to be administered: “Given what we as a Design Team have accomplished – are there any weak or missing areas from your perspectives? I ask the assembled.” We talk that out and make new slip sheets or full size sheets and retro-fit new data onto the path, trying to get “it” identified and placed (sequence-wise).

I let the team really talk this out – get into all of the details, add words to the printed out forms and formats we are using. I need to get them comfortable that we’ve got a very complete set of data that truly cover the job requirements of our target audiences. And the next steps are going to bury all of this rich data into the layers of the CAD design.

5- Modularize the Data
Now it is time to define the Modules of our modular design. Module is a term that means chunk. Segment. Component. I appreciate that for many it has a very precise meaning -most likely different from how I use it. The term “Module” in PACT occurs only in the CAD level of design and it is a temporary design “devise” – later in PACT, in two other design levels – MCD and IAD – those “Modules” of a CAD become “Lessons.”

But for now in CAD, Modules are the Chapters and the Event is a Book.

Starting at the very beginning of the Path, the first Slip Sheet is taken up and stapled (or “paper clipped”) to a blank Module Specification (Mod Spec) that is white in color. Now the task is to see if any of the other nearby Slip Sheet should go into this first Module with that first Slip Sheet. We try to accumulate appropriate content into Modules, using “Rules/Guidelines of Modularity” that we share with the Design Team so that they can play appropriately.

If a Slip Sheet does not go into an existing Mod Spec, then a new Mod Spec must be created to “house” that latest Slip Sheet. This is a tedious process as well. When done the table top T&D Path should be covered in white Mod Specs and golden T&D Definitions. Check the sequence logic of the Modules as you do the next step.

6- Eventize the Modules
This is the final packaging step of CAD Design. All those Modules (think: Chapters) on the Path need to be put into Events (think: Books). Starting at the beginning o the Path the Modules are processed to go into a T&D Event – using yellow T&D Event Specification blank templates. A Module either goes into the first – and later into any existing T&D Event – or it starts a new one.

Modules are stapled or clipped to the Event Spec and placed back onto the T&D Path in an appropriate sequence. When done the table top version of the T&D Path is covered in gold pages for the existing T&D (T&D Definitions) that is going to be used “as is” – or it is in yellow pages for the T&D Events, the gaps in the current curriculum offerings for the Target Audience or Audiences.

7- Clean-Up and Finalize the Path
This final step of the design process addresses naming (using naming conventions) Modules and Events, estimating the deployment modes and lengths of the content of this modular design. This step is also where the Path segments might be adjusted/changed as needed: where the 3 segments of “Beginning – Middle – End” used as an initial sorting framework – might become 4 to 8 to 12 stages/phases/blocks (my clients over the years had some interesting labels for the T&D Path’s segments). We re-estimate the cycle times, We re-evaluate the sequence of Events.

We go up and down the Path and make sure that we have a consensus from the Design Team on all of the data.

CAD Path Supervisors.jpg

Some T&D Paths look more like a Menu than a Path…

CAD Path Prod Mgrs

After closing out the 7th step I like to debrief the entire Design Team.

1- I ask them to take a piece of paper and write down two numbers: the % of “everything under the sun” that we captured in our design – and the % of all critical items did we capture in our design? I collect those and board them on a flip chart easel. Someone does the math and we determine the average for each category.

Then, one at a time, and in order, I continue…

2- I ask them for their comments about the product we produced.

3- I ask them for their comments about the process we employed.

4- I ask them for their comments about any issues that they see for us going forward.

I capture all of their comments on flip chart pages at the front of the room. We thank them for their time and participation and send them on their way. We then begin the final room clean up step before ourselves heading out.

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