The Instructional Systems Development (ISD) model is a useful tool for creating training programs aimed at addressing specific gaps in knowledge or skills in a variety of settings, including companies and organizations. In this paper, the degree to which the ISD model is followed in an organization will be discussed, and the causes and effects of non-adherence will be considered.
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Generally speaking, the ISD model is followed in the organization in question, but not to the full extent. All the five phases of the model (that is, Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation) are present in the process, but the utilization of specific steps involved in each of these phases is not always carried out completely.
For example, some problems often emerge at the second stage, that of Design. While the company carries out the needs analysis, job analysis, and target audience analysis appropriately and seems to usually be able to correctly identify the problems and needs existing within the firm, there are often problems when it comes to deciding which skills should be learned. Consequently, this has an adverse impact on all the following stages. For example, at the stage of development, at which point the training materials are created, it is possible that some materials will not directly correspond to the problems that were previously identified, or will not allow for addressing them in an effective manner. At the stage of delivery, employees may not learn all the needed skills, or sometimes they feel that what they are being taught is not adequate for resolving the currently existing situation. Finally, at the stage of evaluation, the measures employed to assess the success of the recently implemented program might lack validity, thus not always properly measuring the intended outcome.
It is possible to assume that the second step is not always implemented appropriately because the individuals who create instruction and learning materials are different from the workers who actually do the job, and they may sometimes lack an insider’s understanding of the problems in question. Therefore, they develop materials and training programs to deal with a problem with how they see fit, but their view is not always the most effective or practical one.
Unfortunately, the results of not adhering to the ISD model tend to be negative for both individual workers and the organization as a whole. For example, individual workers may put effort into learning the new materials and skills, and then find out that these skills are not as helpful in their work as they had expected, which causes disappointment. Another example: the workers can from the very beginning tell that what they are being taught will not help solve the existing issues, but the management insists that the training program should be delivered, which causes dissatisfaction. For the company, one of the outcomes is the decreased productivity of the employees, which results in both suboptimal training and employee dissatisfaction.
It is possible to recommend the HR department in this company to pay more attention to the adequacy of the proposed training program to the goals and needs which were identified in the Analysis phase. It can also be strongly advised that the materials and training programs should be developed by individuals who have both theoretical and practical experience of dealing with the identified problems (for instance, IT specialists should be taught by other IT specialists, but not by, e.g., managers).
On the whole, the organization in question does not follow the ISD model in that it does not completely adhere to the second step (Design) and sometimes creates non-appropriate instruction for its employees. This results in adverse consequences for both the workers and the company in general. Therefore, it is recommended to pay more attention to designing instruction if the organization’s workforce is to become more effective and efficient in the future.
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