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Vol. 6, No. 1 May 2010

Professional Development Tips
Upcoming Events

Coming up June 10-11

Instructional Design: Reinforcing Fundamentals and Providing Advanced SkillsPresented by Darryl L. Sink, Ed. D. Sponsored by the ISPI Chapter located in Charlotte, NC

Presentation at the evening meeting on June 10. One day workshop on Friday June 11, 2010.

On Friday, June 11th, you're invited to spend an exciting day with one of the true masters in the field of Instructional Systems Design, Dr. Darryl Sink. Dr. Sink has created this workshop especially for those who want to gain fundamentals as well as advanced techniques in instructional design. While only a one-day workshop, you will come away with specific tools and techniques that you can use right away back on the job.

Register also for the June 10th regular chapter meeting and Darryl's presentation on ISD: Faster/Better/Easier

Registration and information for both events at

Online anytime: DSA's The Course Developer Workshop Online

Here's your chance to get work done while you learn.

You will be able to make courses that are practica l, competency-based, and interesting. Get one-on-one guidance and feedback as you work through your own project from your expert facilitator, Dr. Paul Swan.
View Demo at

DSA's Award Winnning Custom Designs Defining Success

DSA has extensive experience in managing and developing complex projects from conceptualization through analysis, design/development, evaluation, production, and implementation. DSA is in its 29th year of creating great learning experiences. So, with that much experience under our belts, what are some of the factors we look at in defining a successful engagement?

  • Did we meet the business/organizational need?
  • Did we meet the individual needs of the learner?
  • Were the learners motivated to use the training? Did they perceive the training as a great learning experience?
  • Did we exceed the expectations of our immediate client? DSA always takes a value-add approach.
  • Did we manage the change process with the client so the transfer occurred?
  • Did we work in a cooperative way so that we were easy to do business with?
  • Project management: Were we on time and within budget?
  • Does the client prefer DSA for repeated engagements? Are we invited back?
  • Did we understand and meet the client's definition of success?

Take a look at the strategic intitatives in your company, then call Darryl at 800-650-7465 (Free!) to see how DSA can match your definition of success.

In Company Workshops

Have a group? Let us come to you!
We offer a program of co-hosting and co-marketing our workshops if you have a very small group (under 10 pe ople). The advantage: you will get your people trained at your site, and others benefit. Call Jane today at 800-650-7465 for details.

Top Ten Tips

Really Fast Storyboarding for E-Learning Projects
Useful Instructional Methods
Teaching Concepts: Combining Science and Creativity
The Job Aid: A Reliable, CHEAPER Alternative
Criterion-Referenced Checklists: The Workhorse of Evaluation
Writing Worthwhile Objectives
Interview Analysis: Faster, Easier, More Accurate
What's The Meaning Of That Idea? Analyzing and Teaching Concepts
Authentic Activities to Enhance Transfer of Skills, Part 2
Objective-Based Tests: Better and Faster!

Boost Your Professional Development:

Try something new on each project

Dr. Darryl Sink

Taking small steps that can occur while doing your everyday work is a great way to build your skills and make your instructional designs more effective at the same time.

When I first started my career, I worked with faculty at a community college as a full time internal instructional design consultant. Through the Dean of Instruction, the faculty was funded to work with me by providing them released time from teaching one of their courses for one or two semesters. Together we would build a new course or redesign an existing course to be more individualized and creative (a large movement at the time).

The main goal was to produce a great course as an end product. Another goal was to help the faculty member learn the process of instructional design so they would be able to use the ID process to design and develop other courses on their own.

As a result, I did a lot of coaching as well as helping the faculty member design or redesign their chosen course. It really worked. Not only did we get a great course developed, but also, in almost all cases, we had advanced the faculty member's skills so they were able to be self sufficient.

But wait, what about my own professional development? You may often find yourself asking this same question.

Here is what I did:

I decided to learn a new technique or approach myself on each project. I looked for an opportunity to create at least one type of activity or approach that I had not tried before for each project. That's right, just one! For example, one structured role-play, one simulation, one case study, or one instructional game. While it was always designed to make the faculty member's course better, it was also a great way to build my own repertoire of skills and experiences.

Here's my recommendation on how to proceed and how I might be able to help you with this endeavor.

First, look for the opportunity. Ask yourself what would really make the learning experience a great one for the learner? Ideally, this should be something you haven't done before. This requires that you break out of doing things the same old way–that is, the familiar and comfortable way.

Second, find a creditable source(s) that explains the technique or approach and most importantly how to do it. This is where I might be able to help. I have collected procedures for developing different learning approaches and techniques for years and I am happy to share them upon request.

Third, develop a prototype with your content expert or team, and test it out on a very small number of learners, or even some of your colleagues, to debug the approach or technique. This is your first time at this technique or approach; so don't be surprised if you need to go through a tryout and revision cycle 3-4 times.

Finally, carefully implement the approach or technique and document it for your own future reference and to share with others. I think this is a fun and great way to build your professional repertoire of creative instructional design approaches and techniques. It works for us all, beginner or experienced developer.

Until next time,


P.S. Would you like to receive some additional examples of approaches? Email Darryl Sink at with the subject line "More Approaches."

Article © 2010 Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc.

Learning and Performance Tips

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Copyright 2010, Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc.
Monterey, California


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