BLUERIDGE has designed, developed, implemented, and evaluated education and training materials in numerous venues, utilizing appropriate yet innovative delivery systems and instructional strategies. Our instructional design team is experienced in several Instructional Systems Design (ISD) models, but the Dick and Carey and the United States Air Force (USAF) models are most frequently employed. These models use classic ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation) methods and serve as a guide for our design efforts; however, we are not prescriptively tied to any model’s step-by-step procedures. Instead, our team consists of seasoned Instructional Designers who recognize that context – customer needs, the learning environment, the performance situation, and resources — drives design.
Our team has employed an assortment of training techniques using various delivery methods, from completely self-paced, online training such as web-based self-help courses for veterans, to traditional face-to-face user familiarization training for three large military logistics depots. Importantly, however, we are guided by the fundamental understanding that training techniques and delivery systems must be congruent with the learning context, the performance context, and instructional outcomes; otherwise, training effectiveness is sacrificed.
Our approach to efficient, successful education and training begins by first analyzing the customer’s educational needs and creating comprehensive, observable, and measurable instructional objectives. Notably, these objectives will reside at a certain level of learning. At that point appropriate strategies are selected:
• Presentation strategies are often associated with lower, mostly cognitive, levels and include techniques such as lectures, panels, briefings, skits, and debates.
• Interaction strategies are associated with intermediate learning levels and include techniques such as discussions, the Socratic Method, buzz groups, and brainstorming.
• Action strategies are associated with the highest learning levels and include techniques such as case study, projects, simulation, and role playing.
Our team recognizes that similar categorizations exist in the affective and psychomotor domains of learning and that any design effort could include one or several strategies. With appropriate strategies selected, our instructional designers must also choose delivery methods to ensure mastery of instructional outcomes, whether complete instructor involvement (face-to-face training) or online, E-Learning is required.