by Ruth Colvin Clark

What is a “good” e-learning course?
That is the question that my co-author, Dr. Richard Mayer and I answer in our forthcoming book, E-Learning & The Science of Instruction. The goal of the book is to describe and illustrate what works in e-learning based not on intuition or folk wisdom but on empirical data and cognitive psychological theory. In the book, we present six multimedia design principles based on the research of Rich Mayer conducted at the University of California over the past 15 years. In addition, we include five chapters that summarize research-based guidelines on five key issues relating to design of practice interactions, examples, navigational options that support learner control, the use of online collaborative facilities, and ways to use e-learning to build problem-solving skills. Here is a summary of the design principles that are described and illustrated in detail in the first half of the book:

Multimedia Principle
Research consistently shows that adding relevant illustrations to text improves both memory and application learning. However, not all illustrations are effective. In the book, we present the research data and summarize dual encoding theory that suggests that text and pictures send two separate codes into memory and thus make more memory traces.

Modality Principle
When using words to describe an illustration, learning is better when the words are presented in audio narration than in text. This is because working memory has two separate channels to process information: a visual channel and a phonetic channel. By using audio and visual modalities, the limited capacity of working memory is maximized.

Contiguity Principle
Sometimes due to technical limits it’s not possible to use audio to describe visuals. In these cases, learning is improved when textual information is placed close to or contiguous with the visual information. The close alignment of illustration and words minimizes split attention, which in turn minimizes the load on working memory.

Redundancy Principle
Some e-learning courses provide an exact audio narration of text on the screen. In situations where the screen includes other important visual information such as an illustration or animation, the redundant presentation of words depresses learning.

Coherency Principle
It is often tempting to spice up e-learning lessons with stories, visuals, or music. In many cases, these additions depress rather than improve learning. The addition of related, yet not directly relevant material can distract the learner or build inappropriate mental models.

Personalization Principle
Reeves and Nass (1996) found that people respond subconsciously to computers as they would another person. Drawing on this research, Mayer found that using first and second person writing style plus using on-screen agents to provide guidance using a conversational script improved learning.

The second half of the book contains five chapters that describe guidelines, provide examples, and summarize research regarding:

  • Best design and placement of practice interactions in lessons
  • New research on design and use of worked examples to improve learning outcomes
  • Guidelines on how and when to use navigational facilities to support learner control
  • What we know about the use of synchronous and asynchronous facilities to promote collaboration during e-learning
  • How to use e-learning to build problem-solving skills

Reeves, B. & Nass, C. (1996). The media equation: How people treat computers, television, and new media like real people and places. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.

Ruth Colvin Clark is the principal of Clark Training & Consulting specializing in design and evaluation of training for classroom and computer delivery. She is the author of two ISPI publications, the award-winning Building Expertise (1998) and Developing Technical Training, Second Edition (1999). Her book, E-Learning & The Science of Instruction, co-authored with Dr. Richard Mayer will be available this fall from Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer. Ruth may be reached at

  Clark will present a pre-conference workshop titled E-Learning & The Science of Instruction: Guidelines for the Selection and Design of e-Learning on Sept. 25, at ISPI’s Performance-Based Instructional Systems Design Conference, Chicago, IL, Sept. 26-28, 2002. Register today!

by Carol Haig & Roger Addison, CPT

At the 2002 International Performance Improvement Conference & Expo this past April in Dallas, we caught up with Artur Nunes, Managing Partner of Valor Humano Consulting in Lisbon, Portugal. He may be reached at Artur shared his experiences of using a performance-centered approach with his clients and the opportunities he envisions for the use of Human Performance Technology (HPT) in Portuguese organizations and others in Europe.

Trend: Growth of Performance Technology in European Organizations
Currently, Artur feels that managers and employees in many companies value the traditional power of management, long-term organizational stability, and employment longevity. However, with the direction of business and the world economy, some have embarked on the transition to a performance-oriented culture aided by the tools and models offered by HPT.

As Artur paraphrases Geary Rummler (, “Companies are losing performance because they have good people in bad systems, and as we know, the bad systems always win.” The solution is to restructure the system for performance.

A common symptom of poor organizational performance is the lack of alignment between the organization’s culture and the brand promise. For example, employees may provide excellent customer service to their end-user customers and very poor service to their internal clients. They may also be expected to provide excellent service externally while being treated poorly by their own management. If part of the brand promise is superior service, there must be a balance between the external and the internal to sustain the organization’s future success.

The Cause
Some organizations in the old-world European economy are struggling because they have recently entered the open market through privatization. It is a slow process to recognize all the operating areas in which competition has an effect and make appropriate performance-based systemic changes.

Typical challenges these organizations face, as they enter into competition are:

  • Making the transition to pay-for-performance
  • Finding qualified performance improvement specialists to help them design and implement performance-based programs
  • Changing their focus to the end-user customer

The new pressure to compete causes these organizations to pay more attention to external performance indicators than internal factors. This often results in low salaries for employees and increased working hours and stress.

Implications for Performance Improvement
A combined approach that addresses culture change, reward systems, and performance appraisal systems is an effective response. Organizations that have instituted changes such as these are seeing improved performance results.

In many European countries, such as Portugal, new market pressures and the change to the Euro create greater business opportunities. This is especially true in tourism where price differences are very visible to tourists and make travel to these lower-cost countries more attractive. As tourism increases, so will other business opportunities, creating economic growth in additional sectors.

In Artur’s view, HPT offers a comprehensive solution to the challenges that old-world organizations are facing in today’s business environment. Our observations during the conference support the trend to performance-based systems across borders as evidenced by the number of delegates from outside the United States who came to share their experiences and add to their HPT skills.

If you have any suggestions about trends driving performance in today’s business environment that you feel would be of interest to the PerformanceXpress readership, please contact Carol Haig at or Roger Addison at


by Dennis S. Reina, PhD

More than ever there is a need for trust in the workplace. Before Enron and Anderson began making the daily news headlines, organizational leaders were beginning to discover that building trust isn’t just a nice thing to have—building trust affects performance, productivity, and the bottom line at every level, each and every day on the job.

A recent study by Watson Wyatt Worldwide found that organizations in which front-line employees trusted senior leadership, posted a 42% higher return on shareholder investment over those firms where distrust was the norm. A 42% higher return!

Why? Because at the core, business at every level, every day, is conducted via relationships, and effective relationships are built on a solid foundation of trust. However, what is trust? How do you measure it? And, how does it specifically relate to performance?

Trust is a highly complex and emotionally provocative topic that means different things to different people. And, that is a big part of the problem. Through our extensive research and work in over 67 organizations in 19 different industries, we were able to define trust as transactional in nature—it is reciprocal, you have to give it to get it, and it is developed incrementally over time. And, there are three types of trust: contractual, communication, and competence trust.

Contractual trust focuses on performance behaviors, such as how well do people keep their agreements, how clear are expectations and boundaries, and how consistent are people in their behavior toward one another. Communication trust deals with behaviors that indicate how well people share pertinent job information, how freely they admit mistakes, give and receive constructive feedback, and speak directly to people when they have an issue with them. Competence trust focuses on behaviors regarding how well people acknowledge other people’s skills and abilities, include them in decisions that affect their jobs and their lives, and how often they help people learn new skills.

The Reina Trust Model gives people a common language and a shared understanding of what trust means, the performance behaviors that build it, those that break it, and what can be done to rebuild it after it has been broken.

How do you measure trust? We have spent years developing statistically valid and reliable instruments that measure trust at the organizational, team, and individual leadership levels. These are available through a certified network member or through our Trust Building Certification Program. However, we would like to offer you a sample of our research through the following trust quiz. This abbreviated assessment is by no means equivalent to the research-based instruments mentioned above. However, it is valuable enough to give you a quick perspective regarding the level of trust and how it relates to performance in your team or organization.

The Reina Trust Quiz

Ten Ways to Assess Trust and Performance in Your Team or Organization (Excerpts from Reina & Reina, 1999).

  1. Do we keep our agreements?
    Do we do what we say we will do? Do we re-negotiate or simply ignore our obligations when we can’t make deadlines? (NOTE: If people do not believe that others will honor their agreements, this affects their ability to depend on one another for getting the job done—causing uncertainty, duplication of work, and wasted resources.)
    Yes No

  2. Are expectations and boundaries managed clearly and explicitly?
    Do people find out what is expected after it is too late and they are reprimanded for not fulfilling an expectation? Or, are expectations clearly set out as they relate to work processes, tasks, and functions? (NOTE: When people find out about an expectation after the fact, trust is tarnished. Yet, when expectations are clear as they relate to work processes, tasks and functions get accomplished, performance is enhanced.
    Yes No

  3. Are we consistent in our behavior?
    Do our actions match our words? When people don’t “walk their talk,” it sends mixed messages and sets double standards. (NOTE: As a result, people are no longer able to trust what they hear from each other. They spend more time and energy “working around” people they don’t trust, than accomplishing their goals.
    Yes No

  4. Do we share information that is pertinent to the getting the job done?
    Is there a willingness to support one another or do people hoard information because they think they will gain power and job security? Is information constrained or willingly shared? (NOTE: When people are not provided the information they need to do their jobs, it sends a message to them that they are not trusted with the information. In return, they may not trust each other, which negatively affects performance.)
    Yes No

  5. Do we openly admit mistakes, or do we try to cover our acts?
    (NOTE: When there is a trusting environment people are more willing to take responsibility for their actions, and learn from their mistakes versus spending time and energy “covering their butts” and making excuses for lack of performance.)
    Yes No

  6. Do we give and receive feedback constructively?
    (NOTE: When feedback is given with the intention to help, trust is created between the two parties and performance improves. When feedback is given with the intent to harm—it destroys trust and the potential for optimum performance between the individuals.
    Yes No

  7. Do we speak with good purpose, or do we gossip behind each other’s backs?
    (NOTE: When someone has an issue or concern and speaks directly to that person—with the intention of clearing up the misunderstanding—trust has the opportunity to be rebuilt and the potential to work together is restored. When people talk behind the backs of others, it destroys trust and the potential for performance between those individuals.
    Yes No

  8. When information is shared in confidence, do we respect the confidentiality or do we leak the information?
    (NOTE: Breaking confidentiality is a sure-fire way to break trust and the potential for performance between those individuals.
    Yes No

  9. Do we acknowledge the skills and abilities of others?
    Do we trust another’s judgment, or do you try to micromanage people? (NOTE: When a person is given a task with the authority and the resources to do that task to the best of his/her ability, trust in that person’s competence is demonstrated and that person’s performance many times exceeds our expectations.
    Yes No

  10. As leaders, do we invest in the continuous learning and development of others?
    we see and nurture the potential that exists in our people? (NOTE: When people feel their desire to learn, perform, and grow is shared and respected, trust is cultivated in their leaders and their organization.)
    Yes No

Rating: If you answer at least 8 questions favorably, you contribute to fostering an atmosphere of trust. Answer 5-7 favorably, you may need to re-evaluate your level of trust. Answer 4 or less favorably, you may contribute to creating an environment of distrust.

The Reina Transactional Trust Model™ provides people with a common framework so they are able to discuss trust-related issues and take action on them. The Reina Trust Quiz™ is a quick barometer indicating the level of trust in a team or organization. Together they help people get on the same page regarding what trust means, the behaviors that build it and break it, and provide people with a practical lens to be able to align toward similar goals, in order to achieve higher performance.

Related Reading
Reina, D.S. & Reina, M. (1999). Trust and betrayal in the workplace: Building effective relationships in your organization. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Dr. Dennis Reina, co-author of Trust and Betrayal in the Workplace: Building Effective Relationships in Your Organization is a speaker, practitioner, and principal of the organizational development research and consulting firm, Chagnon & Reina Associates, Inc., based in Stowe, Vermont. Dennis may be reached at or


  Trust is a highly complex and emotionally provocative topic that means different things to different people. And, that is a big part of the problem.

ISPI’s “games guy” and QBInternational’s Resident Mad Scientist (aka Director of Research and Development) Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan has created an interactive game designed specially for the readers of PerformanceXpress. Play this “Who’s Who in ISPI?” flash game by visiting:

Remember, you can play this addictive Hangman-type game repeatedly. Each time you play, you will see a new sequence of people. You can even select a level to match your skills. Before you know it, you will become so fluent with ISPI thought leaders and their accomplishments that everybody will be impressed. Each issue of PerformanceXpress will feature a new game.


by Guy W. Wallace, ISPI President-elect

Procrastination—the opposite of the 5 Ps of Planning: proper planning prevents poor performance, and then getting on with it!

Of course, there are sometimes positive consequences for postponing actions or being late. However, more often than not, there are negatives for you somewhere down the line, and for someone else someplace else. Let’s explore this theme while I try to convince you to both start early and finish early for some ISPI “windows of opportunity,” because of the positive impact to you and to others for you doing so.

The “time windows” are open already for:

  • ISPI Board Nominations
  • ISPI Fall Conference Registration
  • ISPI Spring Conference Concurrent Session and Pre-conference Workshop Proposals
  • ISPI Awards of Excellence
  • ISPI CPT Grandparenting

Board Nominations
If you have just begun thinking of individuals you believe should run for ISPI office and/or your own desires and intentions, you might be running a little late. If you wait too long to nominate someone, they will have less time to think about it before the deadline. Start thinking about this one RIGHT NOW! Encourage others to run and contribute. It’s a great experience! Think about it for yourself!

If you would like to nominate someone, please send the your name and contact information along with the nominee’s name and contact information to Be sure to indicate the Board position (President-elect or Director) you are submitting for in the Subject line.

ISPI Fall (Chicago) Conference Registration
Early birds will get a discount of $100.00 to the September 26-28, 2002 event if they register by August 15, 2002. This conference on Performance-Based ISD is limited to a cozy 250 participants to enable meaningful dialogue between attendees and presenters before, during, and after the sessions.

ISPI Spring (Boston) Conference Concurrent Session and Pre-conference Workshop Proposal submissions
The window of opportunity has opened and will shut on July 26, 2002. If you’ve been waiting and thinking about it, it is now time to act! Download the guidelines today. Talk with your internal or external customers about co-presenting with you. And then focus your presentation on the results targeted and on how you got them! Come prepared to share and learn from your HPT peers!

Awards of Excellence
If you start now, you have more than three months left to download the submission package, review it, and begin to answer the submission questions and gather and prepare your submission materials. The deadline for receipt is October 25, 2002. If you wait, you’ll find yourself stressing and perhaps missing that window. Doesn’t some of your recent work deserve recognition? Talk to your customers about co-submitting. Market them as you market you! Champion HPT through the Awards of Excellence program! If you have any questions, contact Ellen Bodalski Kaplan, ISPI Senior Director of Meetings, at for more information.

Certified Performance Technologist (CPT)
CPT is ISPI’s new certification program. Being a CPT is not about attendance at workshops or conferences. It is about “what results you have accomplished” by “means” that meet 10 Performance Improvement Standards and adhere to our Code of Ethics. The grandparenting window of opportunity has opened already and is due to close May 1, 2003. That’s sooner than you think. If you start now, you have plenty of time to be recognized as one of the early adopters, and then be able to better distinguish yourself in a field of self-declared professionals. If you wait, you’ll be playing catching up with the rest of the crowd, and miss the relative ease of the grandparenting period.

Please don’t procrastinate. Your timely efforts may be the difference between your active participation and professional growth and waiting until the next cycle! Remember the lesson about the early bird. Do it early. Start early. Finish early. Relax sooner. Enjoy your summer!



by Carl Binder

What is the relationship between research and practice in the field of Human Performance Technology (HPT)? The answer depends on a number of factors including the research topic and the methodology used in the research, and particularly relevant to this column, the type of measurement used in the research.

These days, little published research seems to involve measurement of the effects of performance improvement methods or tools. This is a shame, since we claim as a field to be “research-based,” implying that we design interventions based on demonstrated results of carefully controlled studies. However, much current research related to HPT is what I would call “about” performance improvement. It typically involves studies that use surveys, literature reviews, and opinion-gathering tools to find out what people think about aspects of performance technology, how people say that they use HPT methods, and so on. Although these topics might interest some of us, I’m guessing that most day-to-day HPT practitioners find them largely irrelevant. Such studies do not expand our research base about what actually works, how well, and under what conditions. (By the way, please email me if you either agree or disagree with anything I say in this column! I’m trying to push a few buttons here.)

Some of our colleagues have published excellent summaries of academic research, and its implications for practitioners. Ruth Clark’s award-winning book, Building Expertise, is a good example. She covers some research that is based on opinion (e.g., ratings by experts on the degree to which specific CBT screens should support learning versus actual measures of learning), while other studies report actual results of learning interventions. Such summaries are of value to practitioners to the degree that they describe and compare the measured effects of different procedures or operations on learning and performance comparable to real-world performance interventions.

It would be great if we could accelerate the number of articles published in ISPI journals that report the effects of specific types of interventions on measures of behavior, accomplishments, or business results. Such studies would allow us to be genuinely research-based. A good example of this type of research was an article by Bucklin, Dickinson, and Brethower (2000) in Performance Improvement Quarterly about fluency training. It compared the effects of specific learning procedures on retention and application. Although the experiment used arbitrary verbal stimuli and responses to control for learning history, by testing procedures similar to those one might apply in a real-world setting, and counting responses in the same way one would measure behavior in a practical application, it was directly relevant to HPT practice.

So what is the difference between research and measured application? Having begun my own professional career as Associate Director of a learning research lab and classroom, my training in measurement began in a research setting. Whether in the relatively abstract and controlled environment of the programmed learning lab or in the more pragmatic and wooly world of regular and special education classrooms, our measurement always included counts of behavior and accomplishments (the outputs of behavior). We always looked for interventions and variables that would produce the greatest changes in behavior or accomplishments in the least amount of time. We measured to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of our methods.

From that perspective, so-called research was simply a more controlled version of practice. Our goal was always to produce measured changes in performance. Sometimes we were more careful to control the environment and the performance objectives because we wanted to know exactly what was contributing to the changes we observed or which out of several possible factors was having the effect. We didn’t need statistical methods because the effects we sought were large enough to be obvious in graphic analysis without using tests of significance.

To answer the question posed at the beginning of this column, I’d say that the relationship between research and application, and the value of research for practitioners, depends greatly on how and what the research measures. If researchers count behavior, accomplishments, or organizational results—comparable at least in form to those we might encounter in applied settings—and if they aim to determine the effectiveness or efficiency of specific learning or performance interventions, then it seems reasonable to conclude that their research will be interesting, and directly relevant to the practice of HPT. If not, then it might be a stretch for most of our practitioner colleagues.

For those in the readership who function as researchers, instead of or in addition to being practitioners, let me propose the following: It would be great if you could conduct and share more research that directly measures the results of intervention variables and seeks to provide guidance for practitioners about what works, how well, and under what conditions. In so doing, you would be making an immediately applicable, and highly valuable contribution to the advancement of Human Performance Technology.

Bucklin, B.R., Dickinson, A.M., & Brethower, D.M. (2000). A comparison of the effects of fluency training and accuracy training on application and retention. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 13(3), 140-163.

Clark, R. (1999). Building Expertise: Cognitive methods for training and performance improvement. Silver Spring, MD: International Society for Performance Improvement.


Dr. Carl Binder is a Senior Partner at Binder Riha Associates, a consulting firm that helps clients improve processes, performance, and behavior to deliver valuable results. His easy-to-remember e-mail address is and his company’s website is


by Terrence Gargiulo

How do you convey complex concepts without lecturing?
Take a moment and try to recall teaching experiences when you communicated well and learning ones when you felt engaged. What role did active participation play? It’s critical to honestly examine our basic assumptions about how people learn. How much do people learn through didactic explications? If people learn more through making associations then we must use less “instruction,” and more stimulation. Here are some ideas:

1. Give up control.
We want to be the expert. At the end of a session, we hope for glowing accolades and fulfilled students. Is it possible to have even greater control over the learning experience by not focusing on these things? How far can we meander from the course materials and still hit our objectives? It all depends upon our willingness to give up a certain amount of control. It’s important not to just pay lip service to the notion of participation. Exhibit a willingness to learn from others. Whenever I stand in front of a group, I remind myself that the collective knowledge and experience of it is far greater than my own. If I build good rapport with a group and create an environment where sharing is encouraged, everyone stands to win.

2. Use questions.
Create a path of questions. For each concept or learning objective, develop a set of questions you can use to guide people. Lead them to the concept through associations. Even the most complex concepts can be explained in this way and in a shorter amount of time than through traditional lecturing. A lecture follows a single stream of ideas. Often, there are parts of a concept that are self-evident. Let the participants state these for you and move past them quickly. When there is too much information, use rhetorical questions. These plant a seed in a people’s minds for making future connections.

3. Think fast on your feet.
Scripts are easy to follow. What do you do when there is no script to follow? As we allow more room for flexibility in our sessions, we need to think quickly on our feet. As you ask questions, you will not always get the same responses. Be prepared to move in any direction. You may be surprised by a person’s answer or comment. Tune in to how various people are synthesizing the information you are presenting, and adjust your questions and tact accordingly.

4. Visualize the group.
What do we know about a group, its personalities, and dynamics before we meet them? Try to identify the type of language or metaphors that people will respond to and understand. Prepare examples that use concepts from their areas of expertise and use anecdotes and stories whenever possible.

5. Make people work.
Do you find it easier to listen passively than actively participate? Most of us prefer to sit quietly and listen to someone else. People may not like to be bombarded with questions but it forces them to think. Set the ground rules from the beginning. Let people know they will need to participate and work in order to learn.

Terrence Gargiulo is the author of Making Stories: A Practical Guide for Organizational Leaders and Human Resource Specialists. He may be reached at or

  Gargiulo will present Conquering the “Digital Divide” — Stories and Computer Networks in Knowledge Management on Sept. 27, at ISPI’s Performance-Based Instructional Systems Design Conference, Chicago, IL, Sept. 26-28, 2002. Register today!

by Michelle Halprin, 2003 Conference Chair

The 2003 International Performance Improvement Conference & Expo, April 11-15, in Boston, MA, will set a new benchmark for the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI). The conference theme is Lessons in Leadership, and the backdrop of historic Boston will put us all in the mood for learning from our past and exploring new leadership paths.

Consider the following new presentation formats and speaking opportunities:

Innovative Forums. These 60- or 90-minute sessions will be scheduled throughout the three-day conference. Headed by Andrea Moore, this track seeks session proposals offering experiential learning opportunities that break the ISPI concurrent session mold. For ideas to inspire your creative juices, see Andrea’s article in this issue “Innovative Forums: What’s New for 2003?”

HPT Research Concurrent Sessions. These 90-minute sessions will be featured during the second afternoon of the conference. All Track Chairs welcome session proposals from the academic community and students on recent research. This provides students with opportunities to speak before their professional community and enriches the knowledge base of our Society. Submit your proposal to the track that best fits your research area.

Experimental Pre-conference Workshops. This new feature throws open the doors for pre-conference workshops, at an additional cost to those who participate. The committee, headed by Deborah Voosen and Dr. Karen Johnson, is seeking one- or two-day workshops as well as shorter, experimental workshops of a half-day or a shorter seminar format.

Continuing on this year—with more gusto than ever—are the following presentation opportunities:

Fundamental Concurrent Sessions (90 minutes). Fundamentals focus on the core competencies of Human Performance Technology (HPT) and will be presented by those with experience presenting to ISPI audiences.

Performance Gallery. This format allows you to create a visual display about a successful project. The Performance Gallery will be scheduled during the Welcome Reception and remain in the Exposition Hall for two days. The deadline for Performance Gallery proposals is October 14, 2002. Look for additional information about the Performance Gallery in future editions of PerformanceXpress from the co-chairs, Marilyn Spatz and Michelle Katz.

HPT Applications Concurrent Sessions (90 minutes). This format is ideal for our newer members and provides an opportunity to share systematic steps, results, and lessons learned.

Are you a novice in speaking at ISPI? Here are a few tips:

  1. Review the 2003 Call for Proposals, which outlines the review criteria for session proposals. Then, download the Session Proposal Template.
  2. Review the Sample Session Proposal. This is an example of a winning session proposal, updated to include all of the required information for 2003.
  3. Download and use the Tips for Writing Successful Conference Session Proposals, aimed at helping you avoid common pitfalls when preparing your session proposal.
  4. Consider a coach! Several members of the Conference Program Committee have volunteered to provide assistance in helping submitters craft a winning session proposal.
  5. Consider becoming a proposal reviewer this year and submitting one next year. This experience will provide you with insights into how others write session proposals and how session proposals are viewed by reviewers.

We look forward to receiving your ideas for making the 2003 Conference program the best ever! If you have any questions, contact Ellen Bodalski Kaplan, ISPI Senior Director of Meetings, at for more information.



by Patrick Murphy


As explained in the June issue
of PerformanceXpress, the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) initiated the Marketplace 2002 Taskforce to better understand our marketplace and to assist in rendering products and services for our members. The 2002 International Performance Improvement Conference & Expo in Dallas this past April presented the opportunity to conduct focus group sessions with members within our identified marketplace segments. Five focus group sessions were conducted, and I was fortunate to moderate two of those sessions.

As the vice president of consulting services for Stractics Group and a relatively new member of ISPI (three years), moderating the sessions gave me an opportunity to enhance my understanding of the Society and get to know other members. The experience was very valuable to me personally.

Focus Group Participants
The first focus group consisted of HPT members in the Enterprise-Manager-Partner segment. Participants in this session included:

  • John Courtney, Six Continents Hotels
  • Claudette Trombley, Ford Motor Co.
  • Karen Kroczek, Argonne National Laboratory
  • Dan Sola, Fleet Training Center, San Diego
  • Lizette Tucker, Caterpillar Financial
  • Charlotte Stuart, Boeing Employees’ Credit Union
  • Brenda Whitesides, Ricoh Electronics Inc.
  • Sharon Dwyer, Conexant Systems
  • Lisa Wolf, LifeScan, Johnson & Johnson
  • Charline Wells, Sandia National Laboratories
  • Elaine Rand, US Department of the Treasury

The Session
Participants were extremely open in their comments and group discussion. Although individual comments covered a broad range of opinions, general themes could be identified.

Overall, the participants viewed the Society positively. Items identified as strengths of ISPI include:

  • Access to the expertise and knowledge of members of the Society. When discussing ISPI in relation to other professional societies, session participants commented that the experts (i.e., those conducting research, writing books and articles, and expanding the overall field of performance improvement) belong to and are involved in ISPI.
  • Members’ willingness to provide assistance to others by sharing experiences, ideas, and collaborating where needed. This ability was particularly noted throughout experiences with local ISPI chapters.
  • The services available, such as publications and the Job Bank.
  • Members’overall personal treatment by the Society. Participants in this session found ISPI staff to be very helpful and felt the Society treats them professionally.

During the session, participants discussed areas in which they felt the Society could improve. During that discussion, the following areas were identified:

  • Although a variety of products and services are available through the Society, improved communications to create awareness would ensure that these offerings are better understood and used by ISPI members. This should also include how to access the available products and services.
  • Raising the overall profile and awareness of ISPI among organizational managers, executives, and industry leaders. This would help position the members of ISPI and the Society in general as highly specialized and proficient professionals.
  • Improved alignment and coordination between the Society and the local chapters.

Summaries of the other focus group sessions will appear in future issues of PerformanceXpress. If this summary, or the summaries of the other focus group sessions raise some ideas or comments, please make your opinion known by contacting the members of the Marketplace View 2002 Taskforce, Guy Wallace ( and John Swinney (

  When discussing ISPI in relation to other professional societies, session participants commented that the experts (i.e., those conducting research, writing books and articles, and expanding the overall field of performance improvement) belong to and are involved in ISPI.

by Andrea Moore, Track Chair for Innovative Forums

There are many answers to this question. Could it be the return of the “skort?” Or how about pierced heels? What about cloning your pet? All of these may be true, but I’m referring to the new and exciting, Innovative Forums.

What’s this, you ask? Well, it’s an exciting new venue for presenting information about HPT for the 2003 International Performance Improvement Conference & Expo April 11-15, in Boston, MA. We’re looking for a few good men and women to express cutting-edge, state-of-the-art concepts using alternative strategies. These alternative strategies could include, but are not limited to, plays, games, simulations, mock courtroom trials, improvisational skits, magic acts, and even pantomime (with subtitles so your participants get the right message).

I think the best way to describe this new presentation medium is to call it the “Wacky Track.” Wacky Track pretty much sums up what we’re looking for as well as the types of presentations that do not fit the bill. Let’s do a little test:

Innovative Forum material or not?

  1. PowerPoint slide show describing an evaluation project with high amounts of audience participation.
  2. Demonstration of a web-based training tool, providing exercises that the audience completes.
  3. An Elvis impersonator using HPT phrases as new song titles.
  4. A panel of experts debating behaviorism versus constructivism, with a Weakest Link-type or Chris Matthews Hardball-type moderator.

By now, I think you have the picture. But one important message that should be remembered, we’re still in the business of HPT. While this track is fun and wacky, we won’t lose sight of our overall goal: HPT is the systematic approach to improving productivity and competence. Just keep that phrase as your mantra and let your creativity and imagination explode!

Download the guidelines today and begin preparing your proposal for the 2003 Conference. The submission deadline is July 26, 2002. If you have any questions, contact Ellen Bodalski Kaplan, ISPI Senior Director of Meetings, at for more information.

Answers to the Innovative Forum material or not?

  1. No, although it is likely fine in the regular presentation tracks.
  2. Not quite, since there is no unique or “wacky” flair.
  3. You bet. Especially if one of the songs is, “You ain’t nothing but an EPSS.”
  4. Absolutely, and I personally would love to see this one!



The International Board of Standards for Training, Performance and Instruction
(ibstpi) recently revised its set of competencies for instructors and is seeking validation of this revised set by instructors and trainers from around the world. The Board has developed a survey to determine the extent to which the competencies reflect the skills most critical to instructors and trainers in both face-to-face and online settings.

If you are willing to be a part of this validation study, please go to where you will find detailed directions and the survey itself. If you would prefer to fill out a paper version of the survey, directions are available on the site to download the Adobe Acrobat version to complete and mail or fax it back to ibstpi.

If you have trouble accessing this survey online and would like a printed version sent to you, please contact Meng Fen Hsieh at or Barbara Grabowski at 814.863.7380. It would be helpful if you could complete the survey by August 15, 2002. If you have any questions, please contact ibstpi’s President Tim Spannaus at or ibstpi’s Vice President of Research Jim Klein at

Please visit for more information about the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance and Instruction.


by Deborah Voosen and Dr. Karen Johnson

Call to Action

This is an invitation to all interested professionals working in the field of performance improvement who have outstanding workshops to offer their colleagues. As you plan to attend the 2003 International Performance Improvement Conference & Expo in scenic Boston, consider making history by submitting a proposal to present a pre-conference workshop. Share your expertise with your colleagues by becoming part of their conference experience. Pre-conference workshops are an integral part of ISPI conferences and serve as a BIG draw. About 25% of the conference attendees attend a pre-conference workshop.

Download the guidelines, and submit a proposal to present a Pre-conference Workshop for ISPI 2003. Proposals will be accepted until July 26, 2002.

Tips for Success

  • Topic and Audiences: Workshops are skill exchanges that must be performance-based and highly interactive. A variety of workshops are selected to meet the range of interests and skill levels of attendees (basic, intermediate, advanced, all). Workshop topics in 2002 included competency identification, measuring results, business focused systems, e-learning, process improvement, and cultural due diligence, which is essential for successful mergers and acquisitions. Topics range from the fundamentals to those that are innovative and state-of-the-art.
  • Criteria for Submission: Workshop attendees pay additional fees for the workshops, so they have high expectations and expect and deserve a significant return on investment. Workshop presenters must demonstrate that their workshop will meet the evaluation criteria when submitting their proposals. Workshops must be piloted and perfected before the conference—at local chapter meetings or mini-conferences, or as public- or client-sponsored workshops.
  • Compensation: Workshop presenters participate in revenue sharing from the workshop and part of your effort contributes to the financial strength of ISPI.

Our goal is to encourage proposals from a wide variety of people on a wide variety of topics so that ISPI can offer 2003 attendees a choice of outstanding pre-conference workshops. New this year is the option of presenting half-day workshops or shorter experimental seminars—over breakfast or lunch—prior to the conference.

Submit your proposal today and make a lasting contribution to the profession of improving Human Performance. If you have any questions, contact Ellen Bodalski Kaplan, ISPI Senior Director of Meetings, at for more information.



Once again, it is time for the membership
of the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) to determine the future direction of the organization by nominating those members that you feel have the qualifications, experience, and vision to lead our Society. Up for nominations this year are the President-elect and three Board members. They will join the President, two continuing Board members, and the non-voting Executive Director who make up the eight-member Board.

The duties of the Board are to manage the affairs of the Society and determine the strategic direction and policy of the Society.

Brief Job Descriptions
The President-elect assumes the Presidency of ISPI for a one-year term at the conclusion of his/her one-year term as President-elect. The President-elect’s efforts are directed to assuming the Presidency and assignments are designed in preparation for that transition. The President-elect serves to provide continuity of programs, goals, objectives, and strategic direction in keeping with the policy established by the Board of Directors.

Each Director on the Board serves a two-year term and is a leader in motivating support for established policy. He/she serves to develop new policy and to obtain support for ISPI’s programs. A Director should provide an objective point of view in open discussions on issues affecting the membership and profession. He/she should thoroughly analyze each problem considered, vote responsibly, and then support those actions adopted by majority vote. Individually, each member of the Board is considered a spokesperson for ISPI and represents the integrity, dedication, and loyalty to established policy.

The deadline for nominations is August 30, 2002. If you would like to nominate someone, please send the your name and contact information along with the nominee’s name and contact information to Be sure to indicate the Board position you are submitting for in the Subject line. If you are interested in additional information on the nominations process, click here.


  Member participation is important — submit your nomination today at

The International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) would like to congratulate the list of professionals below who have taken advantage of the exemptions available during the grandparenting period and received the designation of Certified Performance Technologist (CPT). Apply today to receive your CPT. Visit for more information.

  • Joe H. Harless, Georgia, USA
  • Allison Rossett, San Diego State University, California, USA
  • Harold Stolovitch, HSA Learning & Performance, California, USA
  • Susan Meyer Markle, Retired, Illinois, USA
  • P. Kenneth Komoski, EPIE Institute, New York, USA
  • Sivasailam Thiagarajan, QB International, Indiana, USA
  • Wellesley “Rob” Foshay, Plato Learning Inc., Illinois, USA
  • Roger Addison, ISPI, California, USA
  • Judy Springer Steele, Retired, Minnesota, USA
  • Richard E. Clark, University of Southern California, California, USA
  • Margo Murray, MMHA-The Managers’ Mentors Inc, California, USA
  • Ronald Zemke, Performance Research Associates, Minnesota, USA
  • Stephanie Jackson, Vanguard Consulting, California, USA
  • Donald Tosti, Vanguard Consulting, California, USA
  • Peter Pipe, Peter Pipe Associates, California, USA
  • Geary Rummler, Performance Design Lab, Arizona, USA
  • Roger Kaufman, Florida State University, Florida, USA
  • Philip Tiemann, Illinois, USA
  • C. Glenn Valentine, The Cortex Group, California, USA
  • Fred Wells, The Wells Group, New Mexico, USA
  • Ogden Lindsley, Behavior Research Company, Kansas, USA
  • Judy Hale, Hale Associates, Illinois, USA
  • James L. Moseley, Wayne State University, Michigan, USA
  • Joan Dessinger, The Lake Group, Michigan, USA
  • Darlene Van Tiem, University of Michigan, Michigan, USA
  • Tawnia L. Christensen, Merchant Link LLC, Maryland, USA
  • Erica J. Keeps, HSA Learning & Performance, California, USA
  • Karen R. Preston, Walgreens, Illinois, USA
  • Miki Lane, MVM Communications, Canada
  • Dian K. Castle, New Orleans Consulting, Illinois, USA
  • Darin Phillips, Pennzoil-Quaker State Co., Texas, USA
  • Jan-Peter Kastelein, Pioneer Spirit (Europe) B.V., The Netherlands
  • Richard D. Kutzner, Fleet Training Center, California, USA
  • Domingo R. Sola, EdD, Fleet Training Center, California, USA
  • Rebekah L. Harris, Media Workshop Inc., Illinois, USA
  • Jeffrey N. Loube, Odyssey Consulting Ltd., Canada
  • Roger D. Chevalier, PhD, ISPI, California, USA
  • Curt LaLonde, Carlson Marketing Group, Michigan, USA
  • Jim (Mo) Moshinskie, PhD, Mo, etc. Consulting, Texas, USA
  • Tony Moore, Moore Performance Improvement Inc., Ohio, USA
  • Diane M. Harris, Diane Harris & Associates, Canada
  • Antonio R. Biggs, Williams Gas, Kentucky, USA
  • Cynthia S. Wehmer, AT&T Broadband, Colorado, USA
  • Doughlas P. Kevilus, Sr., ILD Telecommunications Inc., Texas, USA
  • Andrew Hartnett, Symmetry Consulting Inc., Pennsylvania, USA
  • Dennis C. Nichols, BWXT Pantex, Texas, USA
  • Diane C. Zurkiwskyj, EDS, Michigan, USA
  • Carol M. Panza, CMP Associates, New Jersey, USA
  • Mark W. Phillips, USAA, Texas, USA
  • Walter J. D’Ambrosio, Eli Lilly & Company, Indiana, USA
  • Bryan McGuire, Eli Lilly & Company, Indiana, USA
  • Kenneth Silber, Northern Illinois University, Illinois, USA
  • Patricia A. Patterson, Agilis Consulting Group, Arizona, USA
  • Clare Elizabeth Carey, Department of Defense, Hawaii, USA
  • June L. Fair, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC, USA
  • D.N.B. Singh, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, India
  • Eric C. Pfefferkorn, Olympic College, Washington, USA
  • Larry W. Carlile, A.T. Kearney, Texas, USA
  • Elizabeth Hennessey, PlainTech, Illinois, USA
  • Donna Roberts-Luttrell, PlainTech, Illinois, USA
  • Deborah Fruge Titus, Williams Gas, Texas, USA
  • James Momsen, Genesis 10, Wisconsin, USA
  • Khaled M. Shehabi, Saudi Electricity Co., Saudi Arabia


PerformanceXpress is pleased to announce a new feature, beginning this month. Performance Marketplace is a convenient way to exchange information of interest to the performance improvement community. Take a few moments each month to scan the listings for important new events, publications, and services. If you would like to post information for our readers, contact ISPI Director of Marketing, Dan Rudt at or 301.587.8570.

Conferences, Seminars, and Workshops
Internet-Based Performance Improvement Institute, October 7-25, 2002 Principles and Practices of Performance Improvement is coming to your computer! Participants have raved about this class. Find out why. No bags to pack, no airline delays! Just solid performance improvement.

Instructional Design Workshops, In-House and Public — Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc. (DSA) workshops include: Designing Instruction for Web-Based Training, The Instructional Developer, The Course Developer, and The Criterion-Referenced Testing. Special pricing for courseWriter Software to DSA graduates.

Performance-Based Instructional Systems Design Conference — September 26-28, 2002, Chicago, Illinois. Take away valuable hands-on solutions to your most critical challenges in Instructional Systems Design. Return to your employer/clients with the tools needed to improve performance and deliver success.


Books and Information
CD-ROM Set with 185 Hours of Performance Instruction — Cutting-edge, workplace performance improvement presentations recorded at the recent ISPI Annual Conference. Purchase the Conference CD-ROM at a new, low price and receive substantial savings on ISPI Conferences, Institutes, and Publications.

Report Available: Incentives, Motivation & Workplace Performance: Research and Best Practice — Sponsored by ISPI, funded by the SITE Foundation. The purpose of the study was to cut through the conflicts and controversies regarding the use of incentives to improve performance.

Professional Opportunities
Speaker Opportunity, Deadline July 26 — Do you have workplace performance improvement information to share? Consider speaking at ISPI’s next annual meeting. Join 1,500 of your peers in Boston, Massachusetts from April 11-15, 2003, and wow them with your presentation.




ISPI is looking for Human Performance Technology (HPT) articles
(approximately 500 words and not previously published) for PerformanceXpress that bridge the gap from research to practice (please, no product or service promotion is permitted). Below are a few examples of the article formats that can be used:

  • Short “I wish I had thought of that” Articles
  • Practical Application Articles
  • The Application of HPT
  • Success Stories

In addition to the article, please include a short bio (2-3 lines) and a contact email address. All submissions should be sent to Each article will be reviewed by one of ISPI’s on-staff HPT experts, and the author will be contacted if it is accepted for publication. If you have any further questions, please contact


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PerformanceXpress (formerly News & Notes and Quick Read) is an ISPI member benefit designed to build community, stimulate discussion, and keep you informed of the Society’s activities and events. This newsletter is published monthly and will be emailed to you at the beginning of each month.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact April Davis, ISPI’s Senior Director of Publications, at

1400 Spring Street, Suite 260
Silver Spring, MD 20910 USA
Phone: 1.301.587.8570
Fax: 1.301.587.8573