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Vol. 4, No. 9     September 24, 2008    

You Get Great Results and...
"You'll be able to sleep at night." says Joanne Angell, a DSA client—Joanne needed a full service instructional design firm with a proven record for being on time and, yes, easy to work with.

At DSA, we don't just teach the processes of innovative instructional design, we actually do it, day in and day out. This gives DSA the experience and confidence needed to work with your subject matter experts to create great learning experiences. Check out how you can benefit from working with DSA's accomplished instructional designers. DSA is a three-time recipient of ISPI's Award of Excellence.

DSA Workshops
Many of you have been asking about the fall schedule for DSA workshops. The short answer is: we are focusing on our in-company and co-sponsored events, like The Instructional Developer Workshop, Dec. 3-5 in Orlando, sponsored by Training Magazine. You can get info and register at the Training events website.

The alternative is a good one: The Course Developer Workshop Online, with Dr. Paul Swan as your personal coach/facilitator. You work on your own project with expert feedback on your lessons. During the online workshops, you will be creating a design document for your own project. Learn at your own pace 24/7.

In-Company Workshops
If you have a group, why not consider organizing an in-company workshop, call Jane for details at 800-650-7465.

Crafting Instructional Strategies Online Course
To learn more about instructional strategies, don't miss DSA Associate Peter Honebein's upcoming online Crafting Instructional Strategies Certificate and save $100! The three-session online course starts on October 16, 2008. For full details follow this link.

To receive the discount, just register with Discount Code: "tme2a3" online at www.TrainingLiveAndOnline.com. (The Live + Online code is case sensitive and must be used in the "Discount Code" field.) This offer is good for new registrations only. Discounts may not be combined.

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A Hot Tip for OD Practioners, Project Managers, Change Executives and Consultants
Be sure to check out Results from Change, a free email newsletter from Being First, Inc. that provides proven tips, strategies and tools for leading and consulting to transformational change.

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Games, workshops, stories, freebies at Thiagi.com.

 

Today's Tip
Visualizing For A Better Needs Assessment

Dr. Darryl SinkIn our workshops and needs analysis studies we give the easy-to-remember mnemonic of:
M – A = D
The Model or Mastery Situation minus the Actual situation (current situation) equals the Differences (needs).
We call it the MAD model.

I was recently reminded of how important it is to really understand the actual or current situation part of the model when doing needs assessment. I picked up a very useful book about problem solving through visualization: The Back Of A Napkin; Problem Solving and Selling Ideas With Pictures by Dan Roam. Many of you may have already read it and probably every one of you have doodled on the back of a napkin.

Dan Roam puts the concept of understanding the current situation when solving a problem this way: he says "Sometimes a clear picture of the status quo is all that a project needs to get it moving." He also said we must go further though: "we need to find the answers."

Sound like needs assessment and needs analysis to you? It did to me.

What a great idea…after gathering all relevant materials and data on a problem or opportunity (e.g. introducing a new system or technology), get your team together and lay out the status quo visually, (perhaps on a white board).

The whole team can get into the act. The idea is to simplify and organize the problem enough to see what is wrong.  As we all know seeing the problem or opportunity clearly is an important place to start before deciding on causes and matching plausible solutions.

I recommend you give this a try the next time you are doing a needs assessment. Better yet — get a copy of the book and get your whole team involved. It is a fun and different way to LOOK at a problem or opportunity when doing needs assessment and needs analysis.

The Back of a Napkin; Problem Solving and Selling Ideas With Pictures by Dan Roam

'Til next time.

Darryl

Article © 2008 Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc.

Learning and Performance Tips

Welcome to Learning and Performance Tips
, a DSA newsletter for Instructional Designers and Performance Consultants. Each issue will include at least one proven tip to help you get the most out of your development and consulting efforts.

Did you miss out on a past issue? For access to all tips newsletters, send your top "Tip" to jane@dsink.com.

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Stay Competitive on the Job Market...
Get DSA Certified!
Earn University Credit with DSA Certification.
Get Credit For The Workshops You've Attended...

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Copyright, Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc.
Monterey, California

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