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The ultimate goal of Instructional Design is to quickly and effectively teach people a new skill or system of thinking Elliot Masie editor of TechLearn Trends suggests all training is about behavioral stimulation that changes human beings on some level Masie 1998 p 14 This is a tall order to change human beings and therefore any professional instructor that accepts this challenge must ask plenty of fundamental questions first These essential questions are part of a process known as Needs Assessment This critical front-end work is going to 1 Provide information about audience capabilities and preparedness 2 Establish that indeed there is a need for training 3 Reveal information regarding the company culture An instructor needs this information to choose tools for the program the more you know your audience both customer and learners the more successful the program will be There are several need assessment models to follow but I will use The Zemke-Kramlinger Model of the Major Human and Organizational Factors that Affect People Performance in an Organization Their model asks hard questions in three different categories Performer Skills What Abilities What Skill Level Job Knowledge Objective Needs Company Support Objective Expectations Reward Punishment Feedback Support Corporate Culture History Mission Goals Strategy Tactics Plans Without this information the designer is only guessing Once a designer is confident the needs assessment has provided a solid foundation to start building a program different tools or media should be considered The variety of tools ranges from simple print to high tech satellite dish communication The American Society for Training and Development has published a book that outlines an eight-step process for assisting in selection of the proper tools The steps are as follows 1 Understand all the training tools available with the benefits and drawbacks of
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