A search on Google™ for “blended
training solutions” yields almost 600 results. A search for “blended performance
solutions” yields nine results. Which is the hotter topic?
The debate among training experts these days is decidedly
within the world of blended training. Blended training solutions use
an effective mix of training approaches (e.g., instructor-led training,
web-based training) to provide the most effective training solution.
As trainersand you can count yourself in this
company if you help develop employee skillswe are missing the point.
We need to look beyond blended training solutions to blended performance solutions if we are to truly impact
performance in a sustained and significant way.
A blended performance solution includes a broader spectrum of performance
enhancing interventions. In fact, a blended training solution might
be one component of the
overall performance solution.
Blended performance solutions means choosing the most
effective solutions to address the five elements impacting performance:
expectations and feedback: Sometimes the reason people aren’t performing as desired is because
they don’t know what they are supposed to doexpectations
were never clearly set. Sometimes they may have performed as they
to but aren’t any longer because they were never given feedback.
tools, and information: These are the things people need to have in order to perform. Sometimes
it’s a faster computer or a job aid. Sometimes it’s information, or
easier access to that information.
flow design: Sometimes performance
isn’t as it could be simply because the way the work is carried out
could be improved. For example, reducing the number of hands involved
sometimes improves performance.
and motivation: We all work for
different reasons but most of us like to be recognized for doing the
work well. We become motivated to work harder. Sometimes the simplest
solution to increased performance is a pat on the back.
and knowledge: Sometimes, performance
can only be improved by increasing the capability of the people
performing the job. Trainingincluding instructor-led, web-based,
computer-based, and self-pacedcan
all be effective in increasing the skills and knowledge of employees.
A potential clienta call center manager for an
insurance companyrecently was looking for blended training. In
meeting with him, it was evident that 1) his e-learning vendor had made
promises about e-learning that just weren’t real, and 2) his people weren’t
performing as well as he would like. His answerblended training.
In our initial meeting, John explained
how the training and development plan developed with the e-learning
provider, while doing
a lot to reduce costs associated with trainingspecifically time
and travelproductivity hadn’t changed much.
I asked John what non-training issues
might be causing poor performance, such as unclear expectations/metrics,
lack of tools
or information, poor work flow design, or even lack of recognition/motivation.
He wasn’t willing to entertain potential solutions outside of blended
As standard practice in a case like this, I recommended
a two-phase approach to his solution. Phase Two would include developing
the blended training he was looking for; Phase One would include a business-based
needs analysis to confirm the reasons for poor performance. At the end
of Phase One, we would submit a recommendations document with appropriate
suggestions and next steps.
After a series of interviews with
the manager and several exemplary employees, and a half-day of observation,
it became clear that
the biggest obstacle to performance wasn’t training at alleven
blended training! On any given day, almost 25% of the staff was absent,
late, or had to leave early. And the reason they weren’t fired was because
this group had been created from volunteers from other parts of the company
in response to the company’s need for additional
telemarketers. In an effort to create more sales, the company had shuffled
resources to create this focused group responsible for inbound calls
and, recently, outbound follow-up calls.
In order to “be fair” to the new
group, management was more flexible in enforcing the simple metric
of being present than they
might have normally been.
Our recommendations document included
blended training since it appeared that selling skills were increasingly
not at the level that they would need to be for successbut only
as a longer-range solution. For the immediate future, we suggested that
management set clear expectations regarding timeliness and then follow
up appropriately with some type of recognitionmonetary or non-monetaryfor
those who meet or exceed expectations, and corrective action for those
When questioned about our recommendations
a training vendor not recommend training?”), we explained that blended
training in the immediate future would not have helped; in fact, it may
have made matters worse by giving an additional excuse for being off
the phone. If we created a blended training solution and it didn’t address
the performance problemand we were sure that it wouldn’tour
training may be blamed.
The saying, “To a hammer, every problem looks like a
nail,” applies. To every training vendor, every performance problem looks
in need of a training solution, especially a blended training solution.
We found 600 of these blended training hammers in a
single swoop on the Internet. With all the hype these days on blended
training solutions, it is no wonder that performance continues to fall
short of expectations.
Want real change? Try a blended performance solution!
Terence R. Traut is the president and COO of Entelechy,
Inc., a company that helps organizations unlock the potential of their
people through performance consulting and customized training programs
in the areas of sales, management, customer service, and training. He
may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The saying, “To a
hammer, every problem looks like a nail,” applies. To every training
vendor, every performance problem looks in need of a training solution,
especially a blended training solution.
Ann Parkman is president of CEP, Inc., a firm that
helps clients worldwide improve performance to meet business goals and is
provider of Robert F. Mager’s workshops and publications. Ann is also
a past president of ISPI and may be reached at aparkman@CEPworldwide.com.
She talked with us this month about her predictions for the next two
to three years.
Top Three Predictions
Ann sees performance improvement professionals working
more closely with operational executives in
organizations than we do at present. Line managers are increasingly
interested in improving performance because they now recognize that
their employees make or break the achievement of business goals. This
is a refreshing departure from the common thinking that technology
makes the difference between success and failure.
For some time, HPT practitioners have known the value
of demonstrating return on investment (ROI) for every project, but few
of us have bothered. Now, there is evidence of client demand for ROI
information for performance improvement work. While we will never
be asked for performance measures in terms of Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels,
our clients will want to know the business results we achieved. This
is not nearly as intimidating as we may think. After all, ROI is based
on data that our clients are already collecting. If there is a real business
need to improve performance, we can measure it.
As we move into the future, job and workforce changes
will impact HPTers and our organizations in
several ways. For one, as we’ve read previously in this column, some
of the simplest jobs are routinely outsourced or automated, leaving
only the most complex positions in place and raising the required skill
level for the existing workforce. (For more information, click here to
read the interview with Dana Robinson in July PX.) Added to this is the imminent departure of the baby
boomers with their considerable expertise and years of experience.
Their retirement will create a severe talent gap in the general labor
pool. It will likely fall to performance improvement professionals
to either skill up inexperienced workers or propose other interventions
to close this gapa formidable challenge and, at the same time,
an exciting opportunity.
Why These Predictions
Already, organizations are showing
interest in increased partnering
between line and staff functions. This
shift has occurred in the last few years and has become a necessity
as senior managers realize that most tasks that can be automated have
been, and new employees still need skills to perform. (For more information,
click here to
read the interview with Paul Harmon in August PX.) A question for many organizations is: where will
skilled new workers come from? As required entry-level skills rise
higher (remember all that outsourcing and automation?), hiring managers
face skill deficits in entry-level candidates that must be addressed.
And, at the executive level, the broad business view is focused on
the talent gap that retiring baby boomers will create.
The terrorist acts of September 11, the wars in Afghanistan
and Iraq, SARS, Enron, and other scandals have caused executives
to be more conservative in running their organizations. They are concerned
about the internal workings of their firms and want guarantees that whatever
they invest in will show value. While the purse strings may be more difficult
to loosen in this environment, the opportunities for performance improvement
initiatives are extraordinary, as long as we can demonstrate ROI for our work.
How Organizations Will
With closer links to internal business partners, performance
improvement has moved closer to having a seat at the table. In some organizations,
like ISPI Patron member Saudi Arabian Oil Company, performance practitioners
are assigned to business units so that common tools and approaches can
be efficiently deployed. This creates true cross-functional teams where
real partnerships are forged between the business and performance improvement.
As for ROI, we will move beyond
activity to measuring results from a business perspective. When we
launch a project, we will
truly “start with the end in mind” and build in our measurements as we
design our approach.
Implications for CEP
At CEP, Ann and her staff are
making a concerted effort to work more closely with their clients’ business side rather than focusing
solely on the training group. CEP’s consultants are doing more with ROI,
measurement, and evaluation. Rather than asking if the client would like
to include these, CEP is making them standard elements in their work
So What Should We Do?
The gap in the talent pipeline
that Ann predicts is a very real issue for the future of the organizations
we serve. We’d
like to know what you, our readers, are experiencing as your clients/organizations
grapple with this challenge, and what suggestions you have made or considered.
Share your thoughts by emailing us
at the addresses below, and we will publish your ideas in a future TrendSpotters.
If you have any predictions about the future of HPT
that you feel would be of interest to the PerformanceXpress readership, please contact Carol Haig, CPT, at email@example.com or
Roger Addison, CPT, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As outsourcing becomes more popular, one of the most
important sets of tasks the performance consultant carries out is the
selection of learning and performance vendors. The tasks include identifying
potential resources, verifying capabilities and track records, maintaining
an expanding database of resources, matching resources to specific project
requirements, and in some cases, actually contracting for services.
Because interventions can differ markedly, the nature
of the resources the performance consultant outsources will also differ
in many ways. Nevertheless, some general criteria apply for selecting
external resources regardless of specialty or type. The following table
provides a list of these criteria with explanations and suggestions for
verifying how well a resource meets each of these.
resource must possess qualifications and demonstrate knowledge/skill
to perform. These may include technical, content,
or process competencies sufficiently advanced to allow the resource
to perform with minimal support.
- Review qualifications (e.g., certifications,
degrees) for credibility.
- Verify past performance via references.
- Verify work samples.
- Conduct performance-based interviews using interviewers
with relevant backgrounds.
Track record: The
resource should be able to provide references and examples of
previous work. Length of time performing the
required work and evidence of success with similar projects are
important elements of this criterion.
- Verify references and previous clients for process
and outcome success.
- Review work samples.
Verify professional organizations and informal network
for work experience.
Verify any awards or recognitions received for accomplishments.
for large projects, the persons or groups selected must be able
to supply sufficient human and material
resources to complete the job within the specified time frame.
- Verify size of operation.
- Verify quantity and quality of human and nonhuman
resources to determine if these are sufficient for the job.
- Verify availability of resources.
Knowledge/Experience working with the industry: Previous experience with, or sound knowledge of, the industry
makes it easier for the resource to come up to speed on the
project. Although not always essential, this type of experience
can also decrease length of the learning curve.
- Verify past performance to identify work experiences
Interview to determine knowledge of industry.
- Verify industry references for quality of work.
Cost: Similar resources
may vary considerably in cost. However, higher-priced resources
may be worth additional expense
due to capability, experience, and less rework. Cost, all other
things being equal, is a factor to consider.
- Benchmark costs with other organizations or professional
groups. Select and compare cost estimates.
- Discuss costs with desirable vendors and verify flexibility.
- Compare cost to quality of output.
must have confidence in the resources they engage for their projects.
In addition to qualifications and
experience, resources that project competence and present information
clearly are usually viewed as more credible.
- Interview to determine how well the resource projects
- Performance test in role-play situations that are
confrontational and demanding.
- Verify with previous clients degree of perceived credibility.
Table 1. Criteria for Selecting Learning and Performance
While cost is often a major factor in the selection
of learning and performance vendors, it should not be the sole basis
on which decisions are made. If you receive a proposal that is considerably
more costly than others, it is worthwhile to determine why. Is the
solution being offered more expansive than the others? Do technology
drive the price up? While one cannot infer that a higher price will necessarily
yield a higher quality product/service, it is also true that a price
that is dramatically different than others may be a result of misunderstanding
the need, inaccurate assumptions, or varying project conditions. Finally,
when reviewing costs, place greater emphasis on value than on price.
In addition to the general criteria
listed in the table above, consider other selection criteria specific
to a project, such as quality
of the proposal, feasibility of proposal time lines, or responsiveness
to your organization’s needs.
Key to the selection of appropriate learning and performance
resources is the quality of the client-generated Request for Proposal
(RFP). The more information you can share with prospective vendors with
respect to the project background, target audience, project goals, constraints,
budget, deadlines, etc., the more specific the vendor can be in responding
to your needs. Generally, high-quality RFPs result in high-quality proposals.
Providing ample time to do a credible job in proposal development also
usually results in a better quality of proposals you receive. Being accessible
to clarify points and provide details perhaps overlooked in the RFP can
make the difference in obtaining proposals that are meaningful and allow
you to make the wisest decisions.
Harold D. Stolovitch and Erica
J. Keeps share a common passiondeveloping people. Together
they have devoted a combined total of more than 70 years to make
learning and performance
both enjoyable and effective. Their research and consulting activities
have involved them in numerous projects with major corporations worldwide.
Harold and Erica are the principals of HSA
Learning & Performance Solutions LLC,
an international consulting firm that specializes in the application
of instructional technology and human performance technology to business,
industry, government, and the military. They are co-editors of the Handbook
of Human Performance Technology and
co-authors of the Engineering
Effective Learning Toolkit (2003). Harold
and Erica may be reached at email@example.com.
While cost is often a major factor
in the selection of learning and performance vendors, it should
not be the sole basis on which decisions are made.
During a recent chapter event in Atlanta, one of the
participants wanted to know if there was an HPT Hall of Fame. I said, “No.” The participant asked, “Why not?” I thought for a moment
and came up with a brilliant response: “I don’t know!”
So, let’s pretend for a moment
that you have been asked to nominate a candidate for the HPT Hall of
Fame. Click here to go
this month’s Open Question (OQ) page and record your nominee for the
HPT Hall of Fame along with a brief explanation of your reasons for nominating
this individual. You may submit more than one nomination. And remember,
this is a make-believe exercise and is not officially sanctioned by ISPI.
Your Mom Results
In our previous OQ, we asked you to write
a letter to your mother explaining your job as a performance consultant.
a total of 29 entries. Our panel of judges had great difficulty coming
up with a consensus winner. So, we recommend that you click here and check
out the original set of entries and decide for yourself. Here are the
results from the reluctant panel:
Remember how you taught me to
tie my shoe? How much time it saved the family in getting out
the door in the morning because
you could do other things. Well that’s pretty much what I do now.
When an organization has something they want to be able to do that
people doing new things or doing the same things better (like get
out the door faster), I help them think through different approaches.
First, we set a goalget out the door faster, maybe
in setting a time limit, say 15 minutes faster than the hour it takes
us now. Then we look at what people are doing. If I am too young to learn
to tie my shoe, there is no sense in trying to teach me. They must be
able to do it first. Then we check to see if people have been told to
tie their shoes, and that they get “stickers” and other rewards for doing
it. And maybe demerits for when they don’t tie them. We also look at
alternatives. Could we give them shoes with Velcro straps or loafers
instead? Finally we look at the skill of tying shoes and how best to
We work out a way to get people
excited about tying shoes, like “see how all the big kids can do it,” demonstrate
how to do it, and then give opportunities to practice. We might also
books to practice on after the session. AND lots of stickers for getting
Then I help the organization to pick out alternatives.
- Ready: Do
they have the physical ability to do it? This is where the
waiting comes in for kids.
- Willing: Are
they rewarded for doing it? Could it be easier to do? This
is where the sticker and loafers come in.
- Able: Do
they have the skill to do the task? This is where the teaching
We pick out some ways to help,
and then watch to see if it made a difference. (Getting ready
time is reduced, kids are happier
because they can tie their shoes like the big kids, grown-ups are
less stressed.) So there you have it, Mom, aren’t you glad you asked?
Almost Tied for First Place
Submitted by Paul Trapp
Human Performance Technology is very much like what you do to Dad.
Your goal has always been to
make him into a better
husband, better father, and basically a better man. You clarify your
expectations and goals when you give him your honey-do list every Saturday.
When something’s not done right, you find a way to let him knowlike
when you dump the laundry on his lap when he’s watching football. You
sometimes use carrotsyou know what I mean, Momand sometimes
sticks. And you practically invented the idea of continual improvementhow
long has it been, 30 years, and you’re still working on him! And oh,
yes, you’ve made it clear to Dad and all of us over the years that you
love him, and all your efforts are for his own good. That’s what I do
in a nutshellmake sure there’s clear goals and expectations,
clear communications, plenty of feedback, lots of carrots and sticks,
of opportunity to learn, all wrapped in love and caring.
Award for Brevity (Tie)
I am just trying to save the world, one company at a
Submitted by Paul W. Venderley
In a nutshell, I help people discover a way to excel
at their jobs.
Special Award for Taking the Poetic License
by Kelly Krimmel
In this ever changing world,
When into the workplace I’m
Getting humans to perform better,
Is the mission I define by the letter.
HPT, human performance technology,
Can certainly a challenge be,
But there exists a process model,
I use to approach problems at full-throttle.
To start, I define the
goal I seek,
Consider that performance peak,
Then, analyze where we currently stand,
The gap between, is what I must
Once the gap is clearly defined,
Finding the cause next comes to mind,
Is it a lack of tools? incentives?
A cause analysis can provide substantiation.
With a cause duly revealed,
An intervention I’ll be prepared
Next, implementation requires thought,
Is the solution new workflow?
Finally, I evaluate,
Did performance improve, and was it great?
This last step the model
With the performance problem in amends.
I, as the practitioner of HPT,
Can make improvement, certifiably,
And with this rhyming model ally,
I also further the goal of my society,
Did you know that ISPI members can
now share information on bulletin boards located in the Communities Forums section
of the Society website? Questions and comments have already been posted
on forums about membership, certification, HPT, international
issues, and research. In addition, a forum has been created for the 2004
Annual Conference in Tampa. ISPI members with vast experience attending
and presenting at ISPI’s conferences have volunteered to review this
forum and respond to your questions. Have
you wondered what an HPT Institute will do for you? Are you thinking
about attending a pre-conference workshop but can’t decide which one
suits your specific needs? These are just two of the questions you could
to those members
most knowledgeable about ISPI’s largest educational opportunity in 2004.
What Is My ISPI?
My ISPI is the newest component of ISPI’s Internet resources.
This website addition has been created to provide a safe and secure
place for processing personal information, membership renewals, and
credit card transactions, as well as moving purchases through the registration
and orders procedures more efficiently. Information contained within
this part of ISPI’s website is protected by a 128 bit SSL Certificate
issued by VeriSign, which is currently the highest level of encryption
security offered commercially. My ISPI is
actually a sub-section of www.ispi.org, and can be distinguished
from the public sections by its website address: http://performance.ispi.org. When you
see this website address, you will know you are on My ISPI.
You can find My ISPI from
the Society’s homepage. Links on the homepage that will take you to
these new features include: My ISPI, Bookstore, Conferences Plus,
and the Member Directory. You can click here to
visit the My ISPI homepage
to learn more about its features, which includes login information
if you have not yet visited.
The window to apply for the Certified Performance Technologist
(CPT) designation under the Grandparenting provision will close October
31, 2003. If you have six or more
years of experience designing, developing, and implementing performance
improvement solutions, you may be eligible to be Grandparented.
What is a CPT?
The certification, Certified Performance Technologist,
was developed by ISPI and is endorsed by ASTD. The certification recognizes
people who have proven through their work they are proficient in the 10 Standards
of Performance Technology. The first four Standards are principle
based. You have to show that in your work you:
- Focus on results
- Take a systemic view
- Add value
- Partner or collaborate
with clients, colleagues, and other specialists
To satisfy the remaining six Standards, you have to
show that you follow a systematic process that includes:
- Conducting needs assessment
- Doing a cause analysis
- Designing the solution
- Developing some or all
of the components of the solution
- Implementing the solution
- Evaluating the impact
of the solution
Employers and clients have been asking for standards
and criteria to help them identify professionals with proven
experience in training, development, and performance improvement. At
the same time, members of ISPI and ASTD have been asking for a designation
that will distinguish them in the marketplace. It was in response to
these concerns that ISPI commissioned the development of the certification.
What does it mean to be Grandparented?
Up until October 31 of this year, more experienced performance
improvement professionals have an opportunity to apply under the Grandparent
provision. The requirements are:
must have at least six years of experience designing, developing, implementing,
and evaluating solutions that improve human performance.
must describe your work and specifically address how you have satisfied
each of the 10 Standards of Performance Technology at least once. The work must have been done within the last 10 years.
client/supervisor must attest to the accuracy of your description
of what you did, that you are the one who performed the work, and
that you met each of the Standards.
must sign the Code of Ethics.
must commit to the re-certification requirements.
- You do
not have to be a member of ISPI
or an affiliated organization. Nor do you have to complete the institutes
or an academic program.
What are the benefits of applying under the Grandparenting
You have to submit less documentation,
and you pay a reduced fee.
What do you get once you are certified?
Once you achieve the certification, you will have a
credential that distinguishes you
in the marketplace.
How do you begin the process?
and study the Standards.
the projects you want to use to demonstrate that you have satisfied the
the client/supervisor who can attest to your work.
your documentation and get the attestation.
the Code of Ethics.
your application with the fee to ISPI.
How do you learn more?
For more details about Grandparenting, the regular process,
and re-certification, visit www.certifiedpt.org.
Judith Hale, PhD, a Certified Performance Technologist,
is a long-time member and past president of ISPI. She is the author
Certification, and Performance
Consultant’s Fieldbook. Her
new book Performance-Based Management: What Every Manager
Should Do to Get Results will be out this month. Judith has been a consultant
to management for more than 27 years. She specializes in assessment
and performance analysis. Judith was awarded a BA from Ohio State University,
a MA from Miami University, and a PhD from Purdue University. She may
be reached at Haleassoci@aol.com.
you interested in attending ISPI’s 42nd Annual
International Performance Improvement Conference & Exposition,
April 18-23 in Tampa, Florida, but are unable to afford the conference
registration fee? If you are
willing to attend pre-assigned sessions or workshops, are open to
monitoring sessions you may not have selected on your own, and are
able to distribute
and collect evaluation forms and assist ISPI presenters, send your
name, complete mailing address, phone, fax, and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ISPI will significantly reduce
the conference registration fee for all conference volunteers. Volunteers
will be responsible for their own travel, hotel, and other costs associated
with attending the conference. Volunteers are assigned on a first-come,
first-served basis. Full-time students are strongly encouraged to apply
and will be given priority status. ISPI will contact you regarding
your assignment this month.
Who receives an ISPI Award of Excellence?
Cingular, Capital One, CEP
Press, University of Toyota, Walgreens…and members like you!
Submit your ideas, innovations,
programs, or training tools by the October 24, 2003 deadline,
and you could be on your way to earning the recognition you deserve.
For more information or to download the submission packet, click here or contact Ellen Kaplan, ISPI Senior Director
of Meetings at 619.224.4900.
This month, we’re doing something different. We will
take a break from our regular categories to share some “@corns” found
amidst the leaves of the Internet that we at I-Spy find of use and interest. Please keep in mind that any listing is for informational
purposes only and does not indicate an endorsement either by the International
Society for Performance Improvement or me.
Earth is here
[Australia] so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe
and she laughs with
Douglas William Jerrold (1803-1857)
The theme for this month’s column
is Harvest. Autumn has arrived and in the
northern hemisphere animals prepare for winter by gathering berries
and nuts. Performance technologists
can also use this time to gather “cyberries” and “nets” that can be of
use in the future. This month we will share some websites that can help
boost performance through quick, small treasures of information that
change even more frequently than the weather. Here are a few frequently
What time is it?
In the world: http://www.what-time-is-it.com/. This
is the net’s most complete database of world time.
In the US: http://www.time.gov/. This public service is
cooperatively provided by the two time agencies of United States: a
Department of Commerce agency, the National Institute of Standards
and Technology, and its military counterpart, the US Naval Observatory.
Readings from the clocks of these agencies contribute to world time,
called Coordinated Universal Time. The time maintained by both agencies
should never differ by more than 0.000 0001 seconds from UTC.
Can you spare any change?
In the world: This full version
of Universal Currency Converter®,
the world’s most popular currency tool, allows you to perform interactive
foreign exchange rate calculations on the Internet, using live, up-to-the-minute
Of course, I still like the “I-Candy” I find, so here’s
one for us cyber-squirrels:
The Earth Science Picture
of the Day (EPOD) highlights the diverse processes and phenomena
which shape planet and our lives. The EPOD is supported by a grant
from the NASA Goddard Directors Discretionary Fund in collaboration
with the Universities Space Research Association Earth System Science
Education program. Avid readers may note that this project evolved
out of the Astronomy Picture of the
Day website referenced in the November 2002 I-Spy column.
And, lastly, in October 2002, we had First Frost already!
Until next time, enjoy the change
of seasons as you reap the rewards of what you have saved in time,
money, and our planet’s
resources through informed use of the Internet. See you in the November
issue of PerformanceXpress!
When he is not Internet trawling for ISPI, Todd Packer
can be found improving business, non-profit, and individual performance
through research, training, and innovation coaching as Principal Consultant
of Todd Packer and Associates based in Cleveland, Ohio. He may be reached
In April of this year, the International Society
for Performance Improvement released Instructional Systems Design
Revisited, a collection of articles focusing on instructional
design from Performance Improvement journal
from January 1998 through August 2002.
publication of this collection is timely. Many practitioners have raised
questions in the literature
about the utility of the instructional
design process both for meeting today’s time demands and for creating
multimedia products. This book offers answers to these questions in the
section on new instructional systems design (ISD) containing notable
articles by Tennyson, Clark, Sink, Wallace, Merrill, and Sugrue. You
will encounter new models of instructional design; faster, better, and
easier adaptations of the ADDIE process; a deeper look at the steps within
the process; and new perspectives that make ISD current, vibrant, and
ready to use.
Other articles in this collection reflect issues that
have our current attention, such as new media. No less than 14 articles
touch on technology and range from demystifying the hype to
specific guidance for creating good computer-based instruction. Barritt
even ventures into the new land of learning objects and describes how
they, too, affect instructional design (ID).
You will also find a great number of articles on analysis.
This emphasis is a tribute to our systematic methodology. This section
starts with an article that provides a review of needs assessment literature
with recommendations as to when to use a particular model. But note that
none of the articles are solely about assessing training needs. All focus
on the broader picture of performance analysis and measuring the performance
gap. Of course, the performance analysis may uncover a skill or knowledge
deficiency that will lead to a training solution.
Fast forward to the section on training
design. In this section, you will find valuable prescriptions that
advocate and incorporate
a cognitive approach. Silber and van Merriënboer focus on ID methodologies
that train problemsolving. Clark’s article on the four architectures
of instruction integrates cognitive research and practice along with
prescriptions on their use.
You will also find numerous articles
on evaluation and return on investment. This large number probably
reflects a push to incorporate
measurement of resultsone way or anotheras a routine part
of our practice. Binder and Sweeney provide a good primer on measurement.
Stolovitch and Maurice give us a model and case study for calculating
the return on investment for training interventions.
It is instructive to see what has
been written about and what hasn’t in the last few years. What’s to come in the journals
ahead? There will undoubtedly be more articles on the subject of new
media. Each mediumwhether it’s asynchronous classroom, synchronous
classroom, web self-paced learningmakes different assumptions about
the audience. Each needs to be designed with these assumptions in mind,
requiring different levels of interaction, “foolproofedness,” and support.
It would be helpful to see more articles on these themes as technology
What about design in general? What makes good training?
How do we continue to motivate, engage, make authentic, allow success
in, inoculate against obstacles, extend, and transfer training? These
issues are still at the heart of what we do and are always timely.
And then there’s research. The link
between theory, research, and practice has always set us apart from
other fields. Performance
Improvement should be the major conduit
where we publicize and transform research into best practices.
I believe you will find this collection of articles
useful. It is an up-to-date view of our field that affirms our roots,
stretches our thinking, and provides guidance for our work. To purchase
your copy today, click here.
This is the 19th issue of Measurement
Counts! I’ve been writing about why and how to measure in
simple practical terms for the better part of two years. I’ve been
suggesting that we: 1) must put more attention into identifying countable behavior, accomplishments, or business results that
represent important outcomes; 2) actually gather those counts over
time; 3) use these measures to decide how
things are going; and 4) share/communicate graphed results with our
colleagues to enable mutual, continuous improvement. What could be
simpler than that? We actually make it a lot more complicated than
it needs to be.
If You’re Presenting at a Conference
By the time you receive
this, the September deadline for proposal submissions to ISPI’s 42nd Annual
International Performance Improvement Conference & Exposition, April 18-23 in Tampa, Florida will
have passed. Still, there is a lot of time between now and the conference,
and one special audience for this column are those planning to present
sessions and workshops in Tampa. I challenge you to present some data!
Another audience is anyone who plans to submit proposals to any of the
other performance improvement conferences such as ASTD,
I challenge you to present some measures
when you make claims and formulate your presentations. Even if you
don’t have any data
yet, between now and April you can capture some measures. Whatever you’re
doingbe it program design, development, implementation, or simply
ongoing performance systems workyou ought to be interested in its
effectiveness and value. So identify some things to count, count them
regularly, and decide how it’s going.
If You’re Putting Together an
For those who like to write their communications to colleagues in the form of publications, see
if you can include more (or some) measures of behavior, accomplishments,
or business results in the next article, chapter, or book you publish.
If we can’t support our methods and claims with simple data, why should
anyone read our writings?
As practitioners of human performance
technology and members of ISPI, we claim to produce valuable results
for our clients.
Let’s prove it! And more importantly, let’s show how we use data in an
ongoing way to navigate to optimize results, make decisions, and alter
our approach to produce the best possible outcomes. Imagine if more of
us could demonstrate such effectiveness and continuous improvement to
one another, and to our clients! That should be one of our most important
goals as professionals.
Check out GOT RESULTS?
If you need examples, check out the
new and improved GOT RESULTS? section of
ISPI’s website (if you didn’t do so last month when I urged you to).
If you’ve looked at those examples, consider how you could capture and
use some measures of your own that would wind up in a GOT RESULTS? case.
There’s got to be a way.
Send Me Your Problems
There are lots of different things
to write about in this column. But it’s been going long enough now
that we need more reader input. I challenge you to email me with measurement
suggestions, and examples. I promise to be responsive, blunt, and occasionally
humorous with my comments. It would be great to have a big range of examples
and questions to choose from in the months ahead. Your input would help
make the column more relevant to you.
Next month I’ll use examples that readers submit. And if
you haven’t been reading this column from
the beginning you can catch up by clicking on the back issues link toward
the bottom of the scrollable navigation bar to the left.
identify some things to count, count them regularly, and decide
how it’s going.
In 1962, ISPI was born from
passions of six researchers in San Antonio, Texas. Over the
years, the ISPI’s
research focus has differentiated it from other associations and
enabled it to engender the most valuable information and the most talented
people in the performance improvement field. Investing in good research
pays off, and the Society recognizes this truism every year with its
research grant program.
The Research Committee this year
had an incredibly difficult task. More proposals were submitted than
ever before and the quality
of the proposals rose significantly. Using a sophisticated rating system
that measured the research quality and practical value of each proposaland
reviewing each proposal without access to the author’s name or credentials
to ensure fairnessthe research committee recommended four proposals
for acceptance to the Board. With the Board’s strong concurrence, the
M. McGee and Alyce M. Dickinson, Western Michigan University
Title: The effects of individual
and group monetary incentives on high performance
(Yonnie) Chyung, Boise State University
Title: An investigation
of motivation-hygiene profiles in e-learning
A. Conn, University of Northern Colorado and Northern Arizona University
study investigating how human performance technology competencies
are integrated into educational
technology master’s degree programs
H. Beck, Georgia State University
Title: A comparison of
workplace and classroom instructional design skill priorities
The winners have 14 months to complete
their research but are encouraged to finish the bulk of their work
by next spring so
that they can report on their results at the Annual Conference’s Research
Exchange Session, one of the most anticipated sessions, reprising last
year’s very popular and provocative event.
In addition, the Research Committee would like to thank
its anonymous reviewers and acknowledge the hard work of its members.
ISPI Past President Dr. Roger
Kaufman, CPT was awarded The United States Coast Guard
Meritorious Public Service Award in recognition
of his retirement and many contributions to the Coast Guard during his
28 years at Florida State University, that included 20 years guiding
and mentoring Coast Guard graduate students in the Performance Technology
advanced education program. The award was made at the Coast Guard’s Third
Annual Human Performance Technology Workshop held from September 3-5,
2003 in Williamsburg, VA.
We at ISPI would also like to
add our congratulations to Roger as he retires from Florida State University
and look forward
to the many contributions he will continue to make to the field of human
performance technology. ISPI and the Coast Guard have enjoyed a long
and productive relationship in which both organizations and their members
have benefited. Roger’s contributions are just
another example of the impact he has had in his career.
ISPI has partnered with
the American Productivity and
Quality Center (APQC) to bring the Certified Performance Technologist
(CPT) designation to their 450 corporate members and to bring their
PowerMARQ™ gap analysis metrics to ISPI members. Through
PowerMARQ, ISPI members will soon have access to more sophisticated
ways to measure present levels of performance and be able to compare
those levels to industry averages. PowerMARQ allows users to input
their organization’s data into the database and assess their performance
against other organizations using more than 200 process metrics. The
comparison allows organizations to easily identify performance improvement
opportunities. To view the press release announcing the alliance, click here.
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 employment opportunities. To post information for our readers,
contact ISPI Director of Marketing, Keith Pew at email@example.com
Impact Learning by Robert O. Brinkerhoff and Anne
M. Apking provides the conceptual framework for the HILS® approach
and is complete with integrated tools and methods that training
practitioners can use to help their organizations achieve increased
business results from learning investments.
ISD Revisited is
a select collection of 56 articles from ISPI’s Performance
Improvement journal focused ISD as practiced in the 21st Century.
This compendium, with an introduction by Allison Rossett, provides
a fresh perspective on ISD, presenting current thinking and
Seminars, and Workshops
L. Sink & Associates, Inc. is offering the following
workshops: Designing Instruction for Web-Based Training, Chicago,
October 13-15; Instructional Developer Workshop, Dallas, October
20-22; Criterion-Referenced Testing Workshop, Dallas, October
27-28 and Chicago, November 10-11. Visit www.dsink.com for
details and to register!
today for Thiagi’s online
course “How To Design An
Effective Training Game In 10 Minutes” $25. Great content,
exciting activities, online games, and personal feedback. The
next online session is October 15-31. For more details, visit www.thiagi.com.
So you want to be a CPT? If you have the experience,
have the time, ProofPoint Systems has your solution. You provide
the information, and ProofPoint does the rest. Not sure what’s
involved? Call 650.559.9029, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to get
and Career Resources
Online CareerSite is your source for performance improvement
employment. Search listings and manage your resume and job applications
Newsletters, and Journals
Learning Officer Magazine Let CLO deliver the experts to
you through Chief Learning Officer magazine, www.CLOmedia.com,
and the Chief Learning Officer Executive Briefings electronic
newsletter. Subscriptions are free to qualified professionals residing
in the United States.
Online Buyers Guide offers resources for your performance
improvement, training, instructional design and organizational
Power to Get Results. Martin Training Associates provides workshops,
services, and products that focus on developing hard and soft skills
in project management. Our methodology is universally applicable
to any project and project team type. Visit
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
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
- The Application
to the article, please include a short bio (2-3 lines) and a contact email
address. All submissions should be sent to email@example.com.
Each article will be reviewed by one of ISPIs on-staff HPT experts,
and the author will be contacted if it is accepted for publication. If
you have any further questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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are reading someone elses PerformanceXpress, send your complete
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and you will be added to the PerformanceXpress emailing list.
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and keep you informed of the Societys activities and events. This
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you have any questions or comments, please contact April Davis, ISPIs
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