Instructional Technology/Instructional Design/Rapid Prototyping

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Instructional Design is the systematic approach to the development of instruction through Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. This ISD model is known as the Instructional Technology/Instructional Design/ADDIE model. Each phase in this model is done in a linear method. Rapid Prototyping is an alternate approach to the traditional instructional design. A prototype is an early phase of a system that has the same key feature components of the "real" thing. In ID technology,allows greater flexibility in defining the goals and form of instruction at early stages.(Wilson & Cole, 1993) Designers may opt to use Rapid Instructional Design (or Rapid Prototyping) when the following are factors:

• Time
• Budget
• Environmental restraints

When instructional designers are confronted with these demands, the use of rapid prototyping methodologies "should reduce production time because: (a)using working models of the final product early in a project tends to eliminate time-consuming revisions later on, and (b)design tasks are completed concurrently, rather than sequentially throughout the project." (Jones and Richey, 2000) With RP, the steps are crunched together to reduce the amount of time needed to develop training or a product. The design and development phases are done simultaneously and the formative evaluation is done throughout the process.

Rapid prototyping can be used in situations to: test out a user interface, test the database structure and flow of information in a training system, test the effectiveness and appeal of a particular instructional strategy, develop a model case or practice exercise that can serve as a template, give clients and sponsors a more concrete model of the intended instructional product, and to get user feedback and reactons to two competing approaches. (Wilson, Jonassen, & Cole, 1993)

Techniques for Rapid Instructional Design

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George M. Piskurich(2000) lists the following rapid design techniques for instructional development in each phase of the ADDIE model:

1. Use retro assessment-ask the "right questions" to fill in the background on the program you are creating
2. Interview the top 10 people most and first for an organizational assessment
3. Perform a quick approach to a performance gap by

  • Identify the problem
  • Analyze the tasks and conditions of the job
  • Analyze the current performance level
  • Identify the causes of the problem
  • Identify the desired performance outcome
  • Identify the expectations of your training related to the outcome

4. Forego time-intensive interviews and focus groups of a training needs assessment
5. Use electronic bulletins instead of live meetings to collect data
6. Interview two at a time or use net-based surveys to gather information
7. Choose individuals who are not over-experienced to do a job analysis so that the information is not too complicated or use job descriptors that are well-detailed for job analysis
8. Spend a day observing a Subject Matter Expert (SME) at work and ask questions for task analysis
9. Videotape experts doing their jobs and analyze it for the component points

1. Use job analysis and distribute completed objectives and distribute
2. Keep formal reporting to a minimum-jot down what you need to know
3. Create a series of tests at various levels and distribute them to the trainees along with the objectives they are based on
4. Use logical sequencing of steps

1. Use existing polices, procedures, annual reports, magazine articles, pamphlets, etc. for training material
2. Use games that let you alternate the content for instructional use or use templates
3. Strip training of "nice to know" to "must know"
4. Short cut video production by taping short video clips of SMEs doing their work and describing the process
or tape a SME as he/she does the training process

1. Have reviewers or validators of the design meet as a group
2. Allow the trainers train the trainers

1. Evaluate only what you need to evaluate
2. Use performance checklists as a transfer evaluation to re-check performance

With Rapid Prototyping the ADDIE model is not used as designed. It typically has several steps merged together to streamline the process. Rapid Prototyping should not be used by a novice, because even though it cuts out steps of ADDIE, the designer still must have knowledge of the whole process.

Representation of the Rapid Prototyping model:

Advantages of Rapid Prototyping

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There are many advantages to using RP in instructional design. It allows for better communication between the designer and users because the needs are clearly expressed from the beginning. The user is able to offer immediate feedback which results in a better product. Its non-linear approach allows for more flexibility in the instruction and can catch problems early in the development stages. Moreover, RP reduces development time and costs.

Disadvantages of Rapid Prototyping

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Some people believe that rapid prototyping is not an effective model of instructional design because it does not replicate the real thing. They believe that many important steps of instructional design are forfeited for a faster, cheaper model. Many problems may be overlooked and result in endless revision. The developments in this field like the poly jet printing, printing actual metal and functional parts. The disadvantages of Rapid Prototyping is gradually reducing.

Piskurich, George M. (2000) Rapid Instructional Design. Learning ID fast and Right. San Francsico: Jossey.
Stokes, Jones Toni and Richey, Rita C. (2000) Rapid prototyping methodology in action: A developmental study. Educational Technology and Development, 48(2), 63-80.
Wilson, B.G., Jonassen, D.H., & Cole, P. (1993). Cognitive approaches to instructional design. The ASTD handbook of instructional technology, 21.1-21.22). New York: McGraw-Hill. Retrieved from on April 22, 2005.