In April, I will have the privledge of presenting a new design process model to participants in the ISPI conference in New York. As a preview, and as online support for the new model, I am going to be writing a series of entries to explain the new model’s origin and features. To start, I’ll share the model itself, then I’ll backtrack to the details.
The Learning Environment Design Model (LED) is a new way of looking at “instructional” design that focuses attention on creating a comprehensive learning environment rather than on creating discrete “instruction” on a topic. I believe that the model guides learning and performance experts to support emerging ways of learning, including more just-in-time and individually driven learning approaches, especially those using the internet.
Emerging learning and performance needs are at the heart of the LED model. “Emerging” is an important adjective here; it implies that we shouldn’t look only at a discrete set of learning objectives as we embark on design. We have to consider that these learning needs will continue to evolve over time, and our design response must account for that reality in some way.
The ADDIE Model of instructional design will continue to work, but it needs to be applied to the design of a comprehensive learning environment that can support these emerging learning needs. That environment includes training and educational activities, of course, but it also includes resources and tools, relationships and networks, and supervisor and company support
How we “do” design and development also changes as we move to learning environment design… it’s far more collaborative than we have been known to be in the past. We collaborate not only with other learning professionals to design, develop, and deliver, but we encourage collaboration between and among a network of others including the learners themselves, their peers and supervisors, and other experts who are – or who can be made – accessible in the learning process.
Our role as designers is to create a fertile learning environment up to and including ensuring that learning is applied on the job. While I don’t beleive we’re ultimately accountable for performance, as partners with our business leaders, we certainly contribute our part to enabling high levels of performance. And, in order to build an appropriate learning environment, we must understand both what the desired performance is, and the nature of the work environment in which that performance is supposed to take place.
In future posts, I’ll explain my thoughts regarding the need for a revised model of design, the critical importance of objectives, the nature of the learning environment we should look to design, and our accountability for the application space but not the performance space. I hope you’ll join in the conversation.