Kirkpatrick: The Proverbial Buddha??

In IPT 536 Foundations, we were introduced to Kirkpatrick’s 4 Levels of Evaluation.  His taxonomy is quite revered in the IPT world (kind of like a magical buddha).  Donald Kirkpatrick published a taxonomy  of criteria for evaluating instruction that is widely regarded as the standard for evaluating training

  • Level 1: Learner satisfaction
  • Level 2: Learner demonstration of understanding
  • Level 3: Learner demonstration of skills or behaviors on the job; and
  • Level 4: Impact of those new behaviors or skills on the job

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Creating a Level 1 Evaluation or Smile Sheet

This week in IPT 536 we were tasked with creating a Level 1 evaluation or “smiles” sheet.  Level 1 smiles give instructional designer insight into the participants “reaction” how effectively the content was delivered.  Level 1 evaluations are opportunities for formative evaluation (improvements) in subsequent training sessions.   By evaluating reaction, we can see “was the training motivationally appealing”.

In the previous we had to create a lesson plan applying Gagne’s 9 events of Instruction and Keller’s ARCS.  Since ARCS focuses on improving the motivational appeal, it has applicability to Level 1 evaluations in other words,  we are evaluating the participants reaction to the instruction. It was interesting to see that ARCS can be used in evaluations as well.

I have included my example from class (click the image for full evaluation). Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts on areas for improvement

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Teacher vs. Instructional Designer vs. Trainer

While surfing the internet, I was trying to find similarities between teaching and instructional design. I must admit when I  first started my graduate program, I thought teachers and instructional designers were the same but with a different name.   (  During my readings I found two interesting posts, one from Heidi Beezley, “Educators vs Instructional Designers – Tackling Some Questions” and another from Cammy Bean, “Instructional Designer: What’s in a name?“) I’ve learned that teachers, instructional designers, and trainers  all have the ultimate goal of creating the best learning experiences; however there is one major difference that teachers must face,  a client (students) who have various motivations (some of these clients hate your services, some love you, some just want to cause trouble).

Yes,  teachers and instructional designers have to don multiple hats but the one piece that makes instructional’  job a bit easier is the factor of motivation.  As  Beezley put it

Instructional designers and [trainers] are lucky enough to be working with people that care about their job, at least they probably do.  Since they care about bonuses, advancement, job security, etc. the audience of an instructional designer is already motivated to a certain degree to do their job well.  Plus the audience may truly love what they do.  They already have an interest in the topic and skills related to the performing their role. You can squander the motivational capital that the audience of an instructional designer brings with boring instruction, but for the most part the motivation is there and it is only possible to lose it. Educators are in a totally different boat.  Sure instructional designers still have to worry about creating instruction that is motivating and engaging.”

A teacher not only has to teach but they have to be an effective presenter (performer), facilitate student learning, manage classroom behavior, assess student performance, and design effective instruction that helps students make connections  and s/he must do this with 50-60 minutes with 20-35 students . Ultimately it is the  great teachers that use elements of instructional design,  understand the importance of facilitating  student learning in order to help them reach their own level of understanding,  and actively improve their instruction through formative and summative assessments, that deserve the label of a great teacher

In my new role as an instructional designer, my key focus now will be on improving an organization return on investment (ROI) by improving employee performance.   As William Ward so eloquently put “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” I think the same applies to instructional design too..

I hope to be a great instructional designer one day..

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Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Evaluation

As we know evaluation is a key part of Instructional Design — it is the only way to know whether our training program actually produced learning. Unfortunately, evaluation is also one of the parts of ID most frequently left out or short-changed.

This week in IPT 536 we learned about Kirkpatrick’s 4 Levels of Evaluation and created a Level 1 smiles sheet utilizing ARCS. Donald Kirkpatrick developed the  Four Levels Evaluation Model

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Applying Gagne’s 9 Event’s of Instruction

This week in IPT we are tasked with applying the Gagne’s 9 Events of Instruction to a classroom/lab-based instruction or on-the-job training (OJT) instruction or online instruction.

BACKGROUND: I chose to do a lesson based off of my experience using Prometheon whiteboards in the classroom.  During my maternity leave(Spring 2005), the training was given to select teachers who had an aptitude for technology.  (These classes would be the “testers” of the new technology.  Eventually, more whiteboard would be purchased and these select teachers would be the “experts” who would assist other teachers with lead in training, troubleshooting, and developing lesson plans.)  On my return, I learned quickly from “experts”, by trial and error, and watching online tutorials. This is my fictional account of how I think the training would have gone if I had been present.

REVIEW: Gagné 9 events explains instruction as “deliberately prepared and organized external events”.  The 9 events act as a instructional sequence. The 9 events also act as a taxonomy in order to help instructional designers orderly classify instructional events appearing the order in which the a classroom instructor would address them.

To view, click on the image below


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Best Friends: Kellers ARCS and Gagne’s 9 Events:

Our job as instructional designers is to great engaging, results-oriented training that provides opportunities for on the job application. This week in class our focus was Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction and Keller’s ARCS.  These two instructional design strategies provide crucial design elements that produce a learner-centered performance based product that will improve organizational performance.

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Mager and ABCD method: Writing behavioral objectives

This week in IPT 536 the focus was on writing behavioral objectives using the ABCD (audience, behavior, conditions, degree) or Mager method (performance, conditions, and criteria).  I must admit this was QUITE hard at first.  As a teacher I am familiar with the audience and behavior part of the objective but the conditions and degree were quite tricky.  It took review from my class mates, re-reading, practicing again, and few revisions to finally get the hang of it.

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Bloom’s Taxonomy and Writing Job Objectives

“Fight like you train and train like you fight.”
“Training and Job Performance is all about building bridges”

As a teacher, Bloom’s taxonomy was not a new concept. At the beginning of each class, I would have students read the objective “I will create a model of the layers of the sun”.   Just as in the educational environment, Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives are the key learning outcomes desired from the instruction allow us learning professional to create content accordingly to enhance and develop learner’s current cognitive abilities

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IPT…i’m lovin’ it


After graduating in 2004 with a B.S in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Tech, I joined the nationally acclaimed leader in educational change, Teach For America.  I enjoyed teaching so much that I stayed an additional 3 years past my two year requirement.  Realizing that I love solving problems, creating learning solutions, and applying technology, I decided to see what careers I could find in instructional design.  Upon review of the  skills of instructional designer, I realized that teaching has many similarities to instructional design

  • Setting standard-based goals
  • Conducting learner analysis
  • Creating learning objectives and activities)
  • Developing  instructional strategies/materials
  • Implementing instruction
  • Assessing learner performance
  • Using assessments for reflective feedback

After seeing these similarities and realizing that I wanted to transition into the corporate world, I decided to apply to the masters degree program in Instructional and Performance Technology (IPT) at Boise State University.  I was accepted as a masters degree candidate in August 2009.   What initially attracted me to the Boise State University IPT program was its progressive and dynamic commitment to equipping students with the knowledge and skills necessary to be effective practitioners and respected researchers in instructional technology. After having reviewed many online programs, the Masters program in IPT is matched by no other online Masters program and would be invaluable in helping me achieve an extensive and exemplary career .

Upon graduation from the Instructional and Performance Technology (IPT) program, my professional goal is to work in a corporate environment, designing educational or training instruction, either as an internal instructional designer within a larger company, or as part of a firm that performs contract work for other companies. Regardless of the different areas of instructional design, I feel competent and have interest in the full process of human performance improvement, from analysis, to design, development, implementation, and evaluation. Being able to act in a performance improvement capacity would also be a part of this goal, with particular interest in analyzing the different processes, systems, and people that make up a company.

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Taking the Plunge..Why I decided to blog

I’m not new to blogging.  During my teaching career in middle grades science, I created an educational blog for students, teachers, and parents called Adventures in Science .  I thoroughly had a blast sharing ideas with other teachers, providing opportunities for children to do science with their parents, and the opportunity to learn from other science teachers who love science and technology.

Therefore when I joined the IPT online  graduate program at Boise State, I knew this would be a wonderful opportunity to reflect on my learning, get exposure and converse with other graduate students in instructional and performance technology fields, gain insight into the minds of IPT professionals, and learn the ins and outs of IPT.

I look forward to seeing how this blog will change and grow over the years.  I would invite you to come along too and if you are a graduate student too..WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?   I read a great post by Drew Conway,  PhD graduate student, in political science that really got me excited about all the possibilities that blogging has to offer.. The name of the post is” Ten Reasons Why Grad Students Should Blog“.  Check it out and I think you will be blogging by the end of the day

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