Agile Instructional Design

What is Agile Instructional Design

Are you thinking about becoming a CLP Content Author and contributing content to the CLP? Or, maybe you already are a Content Author and would like to learn how to build a better, educationally sound content that targets performance support learning for your audience. Successful content starts with sound instructional design. Often Content Authors struggle with getting started and designing the perfect content. But instructional design does not have to be an arduous process. Whether you are creating a Knowledge Park resource or a Learning Activity, the CLP’s Agile Instructional Design Process can help you document your ideas, design effective learning resources, and evaluate your content for missed opportunities without the fuss of creating a time-consuming project. This resource offers the process and tools for the CLP’s Agile Instructional Design Process.

The Approach

Successive Approximation Model SAM Model - Agile Instructional Design

When you begin to think about creating content, remember the work is an iterative process. The Agile Instructional Design image represents a simple Successive Approximation Model or the SAM Model. It’s a loop that includes Analyzing/Evaluating, Designing, and Developing. The iterative loop allows you to evaluate the product as you move through the design and development process. The process will enable you to find areas for improvement right away rather than reviewing the entire product at the end, eliminating any surprises in the final review. 

When beginning the project, you will Analyze the audience’s needs and identify the goals for the resource. For Knowledge Park pages, this may be in the form of covered topics since a Knowledge Park page is just that: one page. For Learning Activities, this may be in the form of learning objectives. You will want to work with your team to agree on the goals and objectives. Next, you will identify and Design the content in a draft state and, once again, come to an agreement with your content team on the design. Once your design is in place, you can move to the Development phase. You will want to prototype the look and/or feel, the media, and the actual copy of the content for at least one topic or learning objective. Once you have completed this initial cycle, you are well on your way to a successful product.

Once you have completed your prototype, in the agile process, you will follow the model again only this time, instead of analyzing the audience’s needs, you will enter an evaluation phase of the first draft of your content. If you are creating a learning activity in the CLP, you may want to design and develop the entire first section to ensure you and your team agree on how the design will look and flow for a section. That is the beauty of the agile instructional design method; you can continue to use the agile process with each section until the entire content is built. This process also applies to Knowledge Park pages. Think of your Knowledge Park resources as a series of topics, for example: how this page is designed. The content can pass through cycles with each topic or, if you and your team feel comfortable with the evaluation of the first topic, you can build out all the other topics and pass through the agile process in just a few iterations.

 Tools for the Agile Process

The CLP team has created a set of tools to help you and your team onboard quickly to the agile instructional design approach. The Agile Instructional Design Worksheet allows you and your team to capture specific information about your audience, learning objectives, content structure, and metrics for measuring learning outcomes in your CLP learning resources. The Instructional Worksheet is the #1 starting place in the agile process. To get started, open the Agile Instructional Design Worksheet and follow the instructions on the first page.

Agile Instructional Design Tools

During the Development Phase, you will use the CLP’s built-in content templates. The good news is that all of the Content Development Templates (e.g., Learning Activities, Knowledge Park resources, etc.) are already built in the CLP platform! The Agile Instructional Design Worksheet has been designed to leverage these system templates. Each Content Template has been designed with Section 508 in mind; this means that if you’re developing content directly in the CLP, it’s already accessible and 508 compliant! Whether you are creating News Posts, Knowledge Park resources, or micro-learning using the Learning Activity Builder, you can use the simple-to-use platform templates. The CLP Team even offers a 2-hour hands-on workshop to help you build out your first Learning Activity! Training sessions are also offered on an as-needed basis for technical training on using the other templates (Knowledge Park resources, News Posts, and Training Courses); reach out to the CLP team at clp@nps.gov to indicate your interest in one of these sessions!

The Guided Evaluation Form for CLP Learning Activities and Guided Evaluation Form for CLP Knowledge Park page are used to capture feedback from your stakeholders, program team members, and reviewers. These forms have been created to allow you to map your instructional design to the evaluation forms quickly. It takes the guesswork out of the “how and what do I evaluate?”  for your reviewers. It also has some standard evaluation questions to align with measuring the outcomes and ensure alignment to the learning objectives. The instructions for conducting a guided evaluation are located throughout the forms.

But Wait! There’s More…

What is CLP Video Starting Slide

To support our modern NPS workforce, “training” is not enough. Research tells us we learn:

  • 70% of what we know through job-related experiences;
  • 20% from interactions with others; and
  • 10% from formal educational events or “training.”

Here are some great resources to help you learn and use the Agile Instructional Design model and CLP Tools: 

  • Watch the video to fully understand the approach to how the CLP helps to bridge these learning gaps.
  • The CLP team is also proud to offer the Content Authoring Training Series, which supports the Agile Instructional Design methodology. Take Design and Development classes, and learn how to maintain your valuable content successfully.
  • Knowledge Park pages are typically organized by topic. The topics are typically organized by using the header formatting tool to separate and call out the topic names. Learning Activities offer the ability to create a structured learning path using sections and lessons as an organizational tool. This type of resource requires a clear instructional path and should be aligned to performance goals. To learn how to take advantage of the agile instructional process and tools to develop an educationally sound learning activity, take the Design a Learning Activity, Learning Activity (coming soon!).
  • Finally, the CLP team is here to support you. Please feel free to contact the CLP team at clp@nps.gov if you have any questions about getting started using the CLP. 

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