Most companies have instructional systems design (ISD) programs
that are, at best, moderately effective in achieving both learning
and business goals and are not positioned well enough for the
future, according to a new research report from the American
Society for Training & Development (ASTD). The research
also found that while there are many challenges facing the world of
learning and ISD practitioners, the need for instructional systems
design still exists and will continue to as the field adapts to the
demands of the contemporary learner and a global workforce.
Instructional Systems Design: Today and in the Future, includes
a survey of major ISD practices and interviews conducted with
experts and business organizations. The Institute for Corporate
Productivity (i4cp) partnered with ASTD in the research. The study
reveals that the traditional classroom course, often reported as
being irrelevant, is still used by most organizations, with 97
percent of respondents saying they currently use the classroom to
deliver workplace learning.
Other key findings from the study include:
- 93 percent of participants believe ISD will become more
important in the future.
- Blended learning is being used by 69 percent of organizations
which means ISD experts must adjust to an increasingly diverse and
blended world of learning.
- 40 percent of respondents agree traditional ISD does not
prepare designers for today's learning environments.
- Popular tools used by ISD practitioners include Microsoft
PowerPoint and Adobe Flash and Photoshop - not software
traditionally designed for ISD.
- Most organizations expect social media technologies to become a
significant component of learning. Only five percent do not think
social media usage will increase over the next five years. Mobile
learning, social networks, podcasts, and wikis are the top four
tools being considered for use in the future.
- Metrics on the effectiveness of ISD are necessary to gain
credibility with senior leadership.
The report finds that many ISD professionals believe their
processes are not as effective as they could be and that indicates
a necessary shift in how practitioners approach the field. The
future of the profession lies in formulating instructional programs
or products for not only the classroom, but also for other learning
approaches like mentoring, coaching, online and offline
simulations, asynchronous and blended learning systems, mobile
learning, and serious games. This will require instructional
designers to have a broad range of competencies, and overcoming
resistance to new tools will be a necessary skill.
The report also suggests that change is necessary at the university
level where tomorrow's designers are prepared. Instructional
Systems Design: Today and in the Future provides a data-driven
foundation for course designers who wish to adapt to the changing
learning environment, and take advantage of new technologies.
The full report can be accessed via the ASTD Store. This report
is free to ASTD members.