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Instructional Systems Development Model

Solutions : Training  

Instructional System Develpment Model

Figure 2-X: We are currently applying the ISD Model to the IO IQT Course for AFIWC


In creating any training program, the first step is to understand why the course is being developed, what are the skills and/or learning to be achieved, at what level of depth, and so forth. Across all our training development efforts, the first step in our process is to understand the client's need(s), the timeframes they have to work within, and the level of understanding the students must have when complete.

Our work on the IWC IO Initial Qualification Training course began with exactly those goals. First we interviewed the clients and IWC senior leaders to identify their vision for the course and the results they desired. Then, we analyzed the knowledge level if the student population and the current courses/courseware available for IWC use. We assessed other operating procedures and models (such as the AOC) that would require interaction with any newly developed courses and determined what integration would be required with existing systems (PLATFORM, etc.). Finally we identified the interactions required with the 39th IOS, and other DOD relevant training courses to insure doctrinal compatibility before we moved to course Design.

This phase takes a look at all aspects of an existing or emerging training situation or program. The process is sized, as necessary, to match the scope of the training under review, including cost estimates, milestones, and schedule. If the recommended strategy includes a training system, then concept exploration activities are initiated in order to define the desired training schema. During these assessments, current and evolving instructional technologies can be surveyed and their training capabilities and effectiveness are determined. A cost benefit analysis across many dimensions can also be performed in order to identify Return on Investment (ROI). Tradeoff areas may include cost and other resource requirements; estimated training effectiveness; engineering risk; schedule implications; resources and training requirements; reliability and maintainability, and safety considerations.

We review all of information and provide a report which includes a complete description of the alternatives and a recommended solution with supporting rationale. The report is submitted to the client for review and selection of the alternative.


Course design begins with developing the overall objectives for the course and descriptions of the various techniques, methods, and instructional styles to be incorporated with the material. All initial course descriptions begin with achieving an understanding of the environment for class interaction, material to be presented, in what style(s), to what student audience(s), under what time constraints, and any other constraints that may apply to the training system. Additionally, alternative approaches to the design of the training are identified and evaluated, followed by a recommendation on the best approach.

In some cases, computer-based training (CBT) has been essential either for distributed training, or remote training opportunities or to simply to add flexibility to student learning/objectives. Our work in developing models and simulations for virtual environments has enhanced student understanding through creating visualization opportunities and accelerated learning through multi sensory learning techniques. However, more traditional lesson plan based training as well as CBT and CD-ROM multi media training in combination has proven particularly effective in our course designs.


Developing insightful courses with easy to use and descriptive supporting courseware is both especially rewarding and integral to student performance. In establishing the structure for courses and supporting elements, the selection of course content, presentation methods and learning objectives drives the course development.

For our work with 1st IO Cmd (Land), development of comprehensive scenarios and exercises were crucial to helping students achieve the application level of knowledge whereas with the initial training at the IWC was focused more on the awareness level with application reserved for advanced training courses.


Implementation of any course is based on the acceptance of the course by the students, instructors, and the owners of the course. Sufficient flexibility for adaptations and modifications to planned curriculums and course structures must be incorporated into the course design and development to enable shifts in focus and instructional perspective. As we have presented numerous IO and DOD systems courses across the team, our course flexibility is based on substantial experience in rapidly adapting courses to fit the level of knowledge that students and guest instructors have brought to our courses. Instruction in Deception, OPSEC, and perception management has been requested by and provided to various IO warriors as they have prepared for deployments to differing crises and contingencies. The differences in roles and responsibilities have often required the ability to shift course focus to match the student population. Our flexible implementation approach and the open course architecture design have enabled our responsiveness to all client requirements.


Since the process proceeds according to well specified and documented procedures, with well defined products at each stage, it is necessary to evaluate the emerging training product at each step, as depicted in Figure 2-X., detecting problems as they emerge, instead of discovering them much later, in a training product which doesn't work. In order to assess not only the student's absorption of the material, but the aptness of the course and courseware to facilitate learning, evaluations are essential. The objective of any course is to convey the desired material to the students. Courses and courseware should be, of themselves, transparent in the learning process and facilitate vice intrude in the learning process. Consequently, our approach to evaluation is to assess the substance learned by each student through pre and post training exams and to assess the success or failure of different instructional methods and materials based on the class make up and interaction as in place or distributed (or both) learning environments were employed. Attempts are made to determine which learning techniques worked best for which blocks of instruction and with what populations for course modification/adjustments.
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