Scott's experience as CEO of three RTOs has exposed him to many ASQA audits and a decade of industry updates and changes. Scott understands that to be successful, RTOs must focus on quality, be adaptable to change, and ensure they focus on their learners first.
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Leading Effective Instructional Design in Vocational Education and Training
We often get asked about our instructional design process and how our learning resources provide such quality learning and assessment outcomes. This was my motivation for writing an article that shares our quality instructional design process. I hope this helps those wishing to embark on a course design and development journey, or those looking for insight into how we develop our quality training resources.
At Compliant Learning Resources we use the ADDIE instructional design model. This article will give you an in-depth understanding of how we apply this model to our instructional design process to vocational education and training.
What is the ADDIE Instructional Design Model?
ADDIE stands for Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, Evaluation. This model comprehensively covers all phases of the instructional design process. We have adapted it specifically to meet the instructional design needs for Australia’s Vocational Education System, however, it can be applied to instructional design for any educational framework. We hope this process will also assist you in developing quality resources for your organisation.
Phase One: Analysis
The Analysis Phase is effectively a research phase, to determine the best approach to designing and developing the course. This phase is often referred to as a training needs analysis in training organisations (RTOs).
- What is the Industry demand?
- What are the qualification packaging rules?
- What is the most common qualification packaging used in Industry?
- Who will be the Industry Subject Matter Expert/s to consult with in the design, implementation and evaluation phases?
- What are the Unit Requirements/Learning Outcomes? (Performance Criteria)
- What are the Assessment Requirements? (Performance Evidence, Knowledge Evidence, Foundation Skills and Assessment Conditions)
- Who are the learners and what are their characteristics?
- What is the timeline for project completion, and who is on the development team?
- Will units/modules be delivered in a clustered or individual unit method?
- What is the mode of delivery?
- Who is on the project team?
- What is the budget?
NOTE: Training organisations developing for a specific client or cohort may also have further questions they need to ask in order to meet their particular client or stakeholder needs.
Phase Two: Design
The Design Phase uses the analysis information from phase one, to inform the design of Learning and Assessment resources. Further depth of research and consultation is required for each component of the design stage. At Compliant we divide the design phase into Learning Resource Design and Assessment Tool Design. For each of these, we use the following processes.
Learning Resource Design
In this phase, we create a learning resource plan that outlines the structure and format of the learning content and includes:
- Subject matter analysis – Research subject in depth, consult with industry subject matter experts and build a subject matter resource reference list.
- Learning Objectives – determine the learning objectives or outcomes for each Unit/Module or Subject
- Learning Content Overview – An overview the learning resource content and structure developed in consultation with industry SME
- Available Media – identify any available media to support the learning content (websites, publications, videos, etc.)
- Learning Activities – Determine practical learning activities to meet learning outcomes and cement knowledge and skills learned
Assessment Tool Design
The outcome of the assessment tool design process is an assessment plan document. This document provides an overview of the assessment for the subject or unit being assessed. It provides the following information:
- Assessment Context and Conditions – What are the context and conditions under which evidence for assessment must be gathered? Here we determine:
- Equipment or material requirements for assessment
- Contingencies required
- Environmental conditions – Eg. Workplace or simulated assessment? What are the safety considerations etc.
- What is the industry or workplace context for assessment
- Supervision requirements (where necessary)
- Timeframes for completion
- Assessment Methods – An overview of the assessment tasks to be administered to the student is documented in consultation with industry SME. Observation, Evidence Portfolio, Questioning, Third Party Evidence or Product etc.
- Evidence Requirements – Determine the evidence to be gathered from the candidate. This includes who will collect the evidence e.g. a workplace supervisor would be responsible for collecting all third-party evidence, whereas the learner would be responsible for collecting a portfolio of workplace Determining who collects the evidence informs the instructions that will be required in each the assessment task.
Once the Learning Resource and Assessment Plan have been approved by both the Industry Subject Matter Expert, and Internal Project Manager, we progress to the Development Phase.
Phase Three: Development Phase
In the development phase, instructional designers create the learning content and assessment tools that were planned in the design phase. Every resource is validated by the industry subject matter expert and internal validation staff. Validation is a critical component of the development phase to ensure the final products will achieve ALL learning and assessment outcomes, and complies with ALL competency requirements identified in phases one and two.
Assessment Tools are Validated for Compliance to ensure:
- Candidate Instructions are clear and easy to understand. The candidate clearly needs to understand the tasks to ensure validity and reliability of their assessment outcome. Learner instructions must also include:
- What evidence must be included?
- How must the evidence be presented?
- How must the evidence be submitted? the evidence
- Assessor instructions (including assessment benchmarks) provide the Assessor with specific criteria to judge the quality of candidate’s performance. They must include:
- Instructions for the assessor to check the quality of evidence submitted (see rules of evidence below)
- Instructions for the assessor on how to judge the candidate’s performance against a clearly defined “expected standard of performance”
- Instructions on how to collate all evidence from multiple sources (assessment instruments) to make an overall judgement
- Assessment evidence meets all competency requirements including:
- Performance Criteria
- Performance Evidence
- Knowledge Evidence
- Assessment Conditions
- Assessment tool meets the Rules of Evidence:
- Valid: assessments directly relate to the competencies being assessed
- Sufficient: there is enough evidence to allow the assessor to make a valid judgement
- Authentic: the assessment evidence is the learner’s own work
- Current: assessment evidence shows currency of the skills and knowledge required
Any issues identified through validation are rectified, reviewed and once all issues are resolved, the learning and assessment resources go through a final quality edit. At the completion of the quality edit, the new course resources progress to the implementation phase.
Phase Four: Implementation Phase
For Compliant Learning the implementation phase includes publishing and marketing resource for sales and distribution to clients. This involves meetings with the instructional design team and marketing department to create action items that achieve successful marketing and product roll out systems and processes. This also phase includes everything required to take the learning resources to market, deliver the product to clients and processes to collect and evaluate client feedback.
In a training organisation, the Implementation phase would include developing procedures for rolling out the new course resources to RTO staff, trainers and learners. Trainers receive training on the new course resources, learning outcomes, method of delivery, and testing procedures. Procedures are developed and implemented to provide learners with new resources including processes to collect and evaluate learner feedback.
Phase Five: Evaluation Phase
The Evaluation Phase is all about ensuring a quality product that delivers quality learning and assessment outcomes. There are two types of evaluation that happen in our ADDIE instructional design model and these are formative evaluation and summative evaluation.
Formative evaluation happens as a quality review at each phase. Validation is an example of the summative evaluation that happens at the Development Phase. Formative evaluation often includes supervisor, SME or stakeholder evaluation and sign off at the end of each phase.
Summative Evaluation incorporates the collection and evaluation of feedback from learners and other stakeholders post implementation. Any issues or improvements identified in the summative evaluation phase feedback into the phase one and follow all phases of the process.
There are many different models for Instructional Design process, however, we have found this model to be the most effective for us. It produces quality outcomes that we can be proud of. We hope that this process will also assist you and your organisation in developing quality learning and assessment resources.