National Center for Chaplain Development has embarked on revamping and utilizing the latest academic research on curriculum development that employs current brain research and the utilization of adult learning models which include student centric modalities. One such modality is Instructional System Design (ISD) that incorporates the ADDIE model.
ADDIE is an acronym for Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. This model guides you through the process of creating effective educational courses and materials for your audience. While there are variations of this model in the industry, the concepts are the same.
As a professional educator, ADDIE is more than just an acronym. It is a blue print for success. Analysis is the most important step in the process. It helps you to determine the basis for all future decisions. A mistake that many beginners make is not conducting a proper analysis at the beginning. It is this analysis that helps you identify your audience, tasks, expected learner outcomes, priorities, constraints, and other important points that will be useful in the design process.
Unlike prior trainings that you may have gone through, the intent of ISD using ADDIE is to first focus on designing the curriculum and THEN fitting the content to the design. The content employed is ONLY that which is required based upon the training needs analysis performed. This is an important concept to understand. Most training today in chaplaincy (and other fields) revolves around lecture based, "death by powerpoint" content models.
Current theories on adult learning which employ research on brain theory, indicates that adult modalities need to be relevant to the audience, actively involving them in the learning process so that they discover new knowledge through learning activities that are specifically designed, that are experiential in nature and are modeled by the trainer. This type of educational model REQUIRES that the trainer has completed an accurate needs assessment to determine the tasks (skills or knowledge) that are required for the expected learner outcome, and an understanding of both the content to provide the skills and knowledge AND the process of adult learning.
The Design Phase is the brainstorming step. This is where you use the information obtained in the Analysis phase to create a program or course that meets the needs of your customer or audience. There are many forms of the design process and it can be very tedious at times.
The Develpment Phase focuses on building the outcome of the design phase. This process consumes much of the time spent in creating a sound educational program or course. It includes various steps such as initial drafts, reviews, re-writes, and testing. For larger corporations, this phase can involve numerous individuals to include subject matter experts (SME), graphic artists, and technical experts. For eLearning courses, this phase could require additional assistance for managing server space and technology.
The Implementation Phase includes more processes than simply presenting the materials developed. While the concepts and materials have been tested throughout the process, the implementation phase can uncover topics that require further development or re-design work. The processes for this phase vary based on the size of the organization, the complexity of the program or course, and the distribution of the materials. This includes such concepts as test pilots, train-the-trainer sessions, and other delivery methods to present the materials, marketing, revision planning and more.
The Evaluation Phase plays an important role in the beginning and at the end of the process. Evaluation objectives reflect much of the discoveries found in the Analysis process. These discoveries include the objectives and expectations of the learner. When looking at the process, you must avoid the thought that it is structured in a chronological order. Rather, the ADDIE Model is a continuous circle with overlapping boundaries. Of all of the process phases, the evaluation phase is the least understood.
National Center for Chaplain Development's goal is to optimize training for maximum effectiveness, ensuring that the greatest amount of learning takes place within certain defined constraints. This process involves developing course materials that map to the overall course goal and course outcomes; articulating learning outcomes for each lesson or module that support the course outcomes; and incorporating the principles of adult learning and Instructional System Design (ISD) throughout curriculum development. The instructor is guided by the course goal, course outcomes and lesson learning outcomes when developing course materials.
Courses shall be structured in an INTERACTIVE format such that the learner is actively involved in the learning experience, rather than a passive recipient of information. The training shall include a combination of instructional strategies such as lectures, facilitated discussions, group exercises, videos, case studies, and the like.
National Center for Chaplain development utilizes the four levels of Kirkpatrick’s Evaluation (reference Evaluating Training Programs, the Four Levels, Donald L. Kirkpatrick), and trains to a minimum of Level Two which is defined as the participant acquiring added skill and knowledge as a result of the training, which must be demonstrated in the classroom, and confirmed by the instructor. Additionally, National Center for Chaplain Development recommends Bloom's Taxonomy of performance levels when crafting learning outcomes, Dave's Taxonomy for psychomotor skill development and Krathwhol and Masia for Affective learning. Additionally, expected learning outcomes must be written as observable, measurable and performance based having the audience, behavior, conditions and degree clearly stated.
Before revising, developing or presenting any training program targeted at adult audiences, it is first useful to gain an appreciation of the difference between child-centered learning and adult- centered learning. Almost all of us have experienced 12 or more years of education as children and many of us have experienced additional years of education as young adults. The educational models fixed in our minds are the pedagogical models-- the art and science of teaching children--drawn from those experiences. As adult trainers, it is easy for us to teach as we were taught rather than implement good adult learning principles.
We know the following things about adult learners:
Adult learning concepts-- combined with an understanding of the training need-- suggest the following approach to course design:
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