Synopsis: DOD Handbook on Instructional Systems Development

Note: This is part two in a series of synopsis from articles and documents that I have read regarding instructional design.

Source: DOD; Brad White
Source: DOD; Brad White

Department of Defense (2001, August 31). Instructional systems development/Systems approach to training and education (Part 2 of 5 parts). Washington, DC: Department of Defense.      MIL-HDBK-29612-21.

The Department of Defense (DOD) Handbook serves as a guide for solicitations of evaluations of training or responses to training solicitations. Instructional designers are urged to follow the instructional systems design (ISD) and systems approach to training (SAT) prescribed in the handbook; however, the actual sequence of events can be altered if deemed necessary. ISD and SAT both use the systematic process of analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation process for producing an effective and efficient outcome.  The SAT is geared toward the system functions such as management, delivery, and support. Therefore, SAT focuses on mission analysis: collective tasks, job analysis, individual task analysis, and training task analysis. While the ISD generally focuses on the development of instructional programs; it does recognize that instruction is not always the solution. Part of the ISD/SAT process is to determine if noninstructional solutions are possible.

A major component of the ISD/SAT process is continuous improvement. The formative evaluation begins during the analysis phase and continues throughout the design and development. Furthermore, it is carried over into the field trials and into full implementation through a procedure for process improvement. Steps include defining the problem, analyzing the cause, identifying solutions, implementing and monitoring changes, institutionalizing these changes, and repeating the continuous improvement cycle.  A simple way to monitor a process is through the chart it/check it/change it stepwise process. The DOD suggests using the Shewhart Cycle as part of the ISD/SAT for quality assurance. The cycle is very basic with four steps in the process: plan an approach, do the activity, check the results, and act on the results. It is an iterative process.

In my opinion, I appreciated the simple language and the various definitions provided by the DOD Handbook. I felt like I could follow these guidelines to respond to a solicitation for training by a military branch. I noticed that the military used the acronym of ADDIE (analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation) to describe the ISD/SAT components but did not use the term, as ADDIE is not an ISD model. I plan to use some of their clear definitions for my course work. Moreover, I am interested in obtaining the rest of the parts of this manual for future reference, especially their media specification requirements.

Author: teacherrogers

Content developer, instructional designer, trainer, and researcher

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