Do you need help designing, developing, and/or delivering training?
Are you looking at conducting instruction online (e-learning or virtual), instructor-led, or a blended learning approach?
Do you need to evaluate or modify existing training?
Do you need to identify a performance gap and assess whether training would help?
Do you need to make a case to management for needing to develop training?
Then you are in the right place and an Instructional Systems Designer (ISD) is the person you need.
What is Instructional Systems Design?
The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is one of the premier organizations in the world of training and education. Their definition of Instructional Systems Design is:
“Instructional design is the creation of learning experiences and materials in a manner that results in the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills. The discipline follows a system of assessing needs, designing a process, developing materials, and evaluating their effectiveness. In the context of workplace learning, Instructional Design provides a practical and systematic process for effectively designing effective curricula."
The "system" part of that definition is key, because Instructional Design highlights systematically working through intentional processes to assess, design, develop, implement, and evaluate learning results.
When I work with clients, I describe each project as a partnership. The subject matter experts have expertise in the content that needs to be taught, while I as the ISD have expertise in how to best engage learners to improve understanding, application, and retention of the content. Working together, we can produce engaging, effective training.
What are my Qualifications?
I am a Senior Instructional Systems Designer, and have been working steadily as an ISD since 2004 for companies including Perot Systems, Northrop Grumman, McClendon/ L1, Fusion Technologies, SAIC and Leidos, and CALIBRE Systems. I received my Masters in Education in Curriculum and Design, and have a graduate certificate in e-Learning. I have worked successfully as a program/project lead and senior ISD on teams with subject matter experts (SMEs), multimedia specialists, web administrators, and instructors.
Due to the nature of my work and agreement with clients, I do not have a training portfolio I can share. Instead, please check out my work descriptions for an idea of what type of work I have done.
Resume and/or References are available on request.
When Should I Contact You About a Project?
If you are planning any kind of a training project, you should contact me as soon as possible. This ensures that:
There are a number of triggers that would indicate training might be needed. You might have a new career specialty opening up, or now need to certify those skills for a career track. There might be widespread errors in a particular task. You may have new business processes or concepts that you need to spread throughout your organization.
When you engage me in a project to create training, there are many approaches I can recommend based on the details of your individual situation. I may recommend that we conduct performance, job, and/or task analysis - these are useful for documenting an existing skill for best practices, or assessing how or why a particular task is being done incorrectly. I may recommend we conduct a needs assessment to determine the need for training and provide recommendations. These recommendations may be for training, other learning interventions, or a non-training approach to a solution. Not everything can be resolved by a class!
When we have determined that training is the best option for your needs, we will work together to assess the specific needs and design the training. We will determine the content that needs to be taught, identify experts in this area to help us, and design the best methods to teach it. If you do not know the specific content that needs to be in your training, there are a few ways we can determine that. Subject Matter Experts are usually very knowledgeable about what content needs to be taught. Performance, job, and/or task analysis can also reveal specific content that should be included in the training. You may even have materials from old training that used to be conducted that might be useful.
How we work together depends on many factors like location, type of training delivery method, timeframe, etc. The logistics of working together on an e-learning course are different than an instructor-led course. In general, we will:
In some cases we will work together in person, in other cases we might work together by email, phone, and virtual conferencing tools. The logistics of the situation will determine how we can best communicate with each other.
Everyone wants to know if their training is actually WORKING! From the very beginning of designing and developing new training, we will set objectives for what the students should be able to do by the end of the training, and evaluation criteria of how we will determine that they can meet those objectives. I am certified and experienced in using the Kirkpatrick Four Levels of Evaluation method to evaluate training success. We will address the elephant in the room, the ROE - Return on Expectations. Are you, your office, your company getting what you need out of the training program? Are the learners getting what they need to do their jobs?
I am also able to evaluate existing training. If you have current training that you are using, I can come in to review your existing training class and/or documentation and provide an assessment of the instructional soundness of the material and progress towards meeting the objectives.
I am available to facilitate workshops and office retreats/ offsites. We will discuss your goals and objectives for the event and the most effective way to facilitate it.
I can also facilitate strategic planning sessions for offices, groups, or project teams. We will set goals and plan actionable steps to meet them.
Each project begins with a conversation. Please reach out to me, Andrea Hancock, and we will talk about your business need and goals and determine the best way to achieve them.