As part of the Modern Learning Leader Programme, Ross Garner of Good Practice focused on “What is instructional design”.

Right at the beginning Ross made sure that the focus of Instructional Design (ID) is on what the real problem is and making sure that the solutions are related to that.

And Ross used Star Wars as a good example, whereby Luke Skywalker needed to learn the force, and he didn’t do it through an e-learning module…

After an example where the solution was jumped to, Ross explained a modified version of Cathy Moore’s brilliant Action Mapping process for getting to the point of the business problem. Ross calls it “a safe collaborative space” to work on business challenges and solutions.

Below is Ross’ example of the Action Map as he might apply this when a client has asked for an e-learning course to cover the absence policy:

There was an interesting interaction during the session, about how L&D can use Action Mapping. There was a comment about using Action Mapping on our own and my focus was that it is collaborative – if we are using it on our own we aren’t using it fully and as designed!

How to design solutions

Ross strongly recommended Julie Dirksen’s book Design for how people learn. A great book to look at all sorts of different angles on this topic.

This is a page from Julie Dirksen’s book – there are also lots of photo’s and diagrams, a really visual book

Ross shared the performance gaps that Julie expands upon in her book, highlighting that training isn’t always the solution when there are other issues at hand.

Julie was on Colin Steed’s Virtual Learning Show some years ago, and this is a blog post with my notes.

And this slide showed some of the problems that Ross thought that instructional designers often make!

You can read my other Modern Learning Leader blog posts

What is a Modern Learning Leader?

The human condition

The human condition – faces and social learning

You can come along to the webinars and also the workshop too.

There is also a Twitter conversation on the #MLLeader hashtag.