IU IST R511 Systematic Instructional Systems Design (ISD) Use Recommendation (Week 12)

Running Head:  Systematic ISD Use Recommendation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Systematic Instructional Systems Design (ISD) Use Recommendation

for Litigation and Ennui Transit System, Inc. (LETS)

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Maddrell
Indiana University

R511: Instructional Technology Foundations

Week 12 Deliverable

Professor Hubbard-Welsh

 3 April 2006



To:                   Justin Cayce, Chief Learning Officer, Litigation and Ennui Transit System, Inc.

 

From:               Jennifer Maddrell, Instructional Designer, Litigation and Ennui Transit System, Inc.   

           

Date:                April 4, 2006

 

Subject:            Systematic Instructional Systems Design (ISD) Use Recommendation for
                        Litigation and Ennui Transit System, Inc. (LETS)

              This memo is a continuation of previous correspondence regarding Instructional Systems Design (ISD) recommendations for Litigation and Ennui Transit System, Inc. (LETS).   Prior recommendations provided support for a systems approach model to instructional design to guide the design of all future corporate training within LETS.  

While various ISD approaches exist, most agree that the fundamental systems ISD framework includes analysis, design, development and evaluation of an instructional system (Zemke & Rossett, 2002).  Support for the efficacy and use of ISD is strong, but it is not universal.  This memo addresses criticism of the systems ISD approach and provides support for its continued use within LETS.

The ISD Debate -

The Critics: Gordon and Zemke (2000) launched an attack on ISD in Training magazine that triggered debate among top industry researchers, theorists and training practitioners.  While critics are generally unanimous in their position that new alternatives are needed, the criticism and proposed solutions are wide ranging and are at times in conflict.  For example, some feel the model is too prescriptive, while others decry it is too generic and simplistic to provide value in complex training situations (Zemke & Rossett, 2002).  However, it is possible to summarize the critics’ positions into the following two areas: 

·     

Too Costly (Time + Expense ≠ Desired Results):  As noted in Zemke & Rossett (2002), critics argue that the ISD process is time consuming and expensive.  Further, they note that the time and financial expenditures often do not produce the desired training outcomes.  They cite that, while the model may make sense on paper, in practice it is a cumbersome and slow process that can lead to “analysis paralysis”.  In addition, they note that instead of being a flexible instructional design approach to support desired learning outcomes, systematic ISD has become simply a Project Management checklist. 

·     

Outdated:  Willis and Write (2000) share the opinion of other critics who argue that ISD is a rigid and outdated approach that does not contemplate new theories of learning and instruction or new developments in technology.  They argue that ISD’s linear design approach and knowledge transfer methods are not in keeping with developing learning and instructional theories, such as constructivism, that incorporate learner-centered design and focus on the learner’s application of knowledge.

The Supporters:  On the other side of the debate, supporters of the ISD process note that criticism of ISD is due to inappropriate application and use versus flaws in the underlying model. Zemke & Rossett (2002) refer to this problem as flaws in “The Practice”.  In addition, supporters argue that the ISD model is not outdated, but rather is flexible, allows for evolution in practice, and assures quality and effective training in diverse contexts.  Highlights of the supporters’ point of view include the following:

·     

“Practice” Flaws versus “Process” Flaws:   As noted, supporters argue that issues in implementation of the ISD model are an issue of improper application versus a flaw in the inherent analysis, design, development and evaluation process.  McCombs (1986, p. 78) asserts that “less successful implementations are not due to a fault inherent in the ISD methodology, but rather are centered on the issue of whether users have adequate understanding and training . . . and skills such that the necessary expertise can be applied in the process.”

·     

Flexible / Adaptable:  Supporters contest the assertion that the ISD model is outdated and argue that new theories and technologies can be accommodated within the ISD process.  Walter Dick (the co-author of Dick and Carey ISD Model) asserts that designers have the flexibility to integrate new technologies and approaches (referred to by Dick as micro-theories) within the systems design process (Dick, 1997).   In addition, Marcie Bober, assistant professor at San Diego State University (as cited in Zemke & Rossett, 2002, p. 34) notes, “In ISD, I saw my potential to respond to all sorts of learning needs.  I was and still am enamored of its situational adaptivity.”

·     

 Assures Quality and Effective Instructional Management:  Supporters agree that the ISD model lends itself to project management application, but view this as a strength not a liability.  As McCombs (1986, p. 67) notes, use of the ISD process provides “a means for not only effectively managing large-scale design and development efforts but also a means for ensuring quality control over products developed.” 

Conclusions and Recommendations -

The recommendation for continued support of ISD at LETS centers on the counterarguments of those who support the systems ISD approach.  Criticisms of the ISD model are primarily founded in flaws of practice.  The systems ISD approach deserves continued support within LETS as it:

·     

continues to be a valuable and time tested instructional design approach,

·     

allows flexibility within the model for new learning and instructional strategies, as well as integration of new technologies, and

·    

provides a framework for effective instructional management.



References

 

Dick, W. (1997, Sept.-Oct.). Better instructional design theory: Process improvement or reengineering? Educational Technology 37:5, 47-50.  Retrieved March 27, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week12.shtml

Gordon, J. and Zemke, R. "The Attack on ISD," Training 37:4, April 2000, pp. 42-53. Retrieved March 27, 2006 from  http://ereserves.iu.edu/coursepages.asp?cid=6]

McCombs, Barbara. (1986). "The ISD Model: Review of those Factors Critical to Its Successful Implementation" ECTJ 34:2, Summer, 67-81.  Retrieved March 27, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week12.shtml

Pershing, J. (editor) (2002, August). Performance Improvement 41:7.  Retreived article summaries March 27, 2006 http://www.ispi.org/

Willis, J. (1998, May-June). Alternative instructional design paradigms: What's worth discussing and what isn't. Educational Technology 38:3, 5-16.  Retrieved March 27, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week12.shtml

Willis, J. & Wright, K.E. (2000, March-April). A general set of procedures for constructivist instructional design: The new R2D2 Model. Educational Technology 40:2, 5-20.  Retrieved March 27, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week12.shtml

Zemke, R. and Rossett, A. (2002). A hard look at ISD. Training, February, 27-35.  Retrieved March 27, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week12.shtml