Previewing Chapter 5 of An Overview of Training and Development

How can you distinguish myth from reality in the advice given to training and development professionals?

Learn how usable learning expert Julie Dirksen, masters learning research and applies the resulting insights into the programs she designs. Check out Chapter 5 of the newly published book, An Overview of Training and Development: Why Training Matters

More Issues Addressed by the second edition of Training Design Basics

Besides guidance on how to design training programs, what else does the second edition of Training Design Basics, now available from the ATD Press, addresses questions like these:

  • What’s the difference between a format and a medium?
  • What are the basic instructional strategies used in training programs?
  • What options exist for performance without training?
  • What is the assertion-evidence approach for preparing slides and screens used in instructional programs?
  • What is the instructional designer’s role in the implementation of training programs?

To order and receive more information about Training Design Bascis (second edition), visit The book is also available from,,, and

What else does the second edition of Training Design Basics address?

Besides guidance on how to design training programs, what else does the second edition of Training Design Basics, now available from the ATD Press, address?

Among the other questions addressed are these:

  • How does the amount of time needed to develop an e-learning program differ from the time needed to develop a face-to-face classroom program?
  • How do you present a needs assessment to sponsors?
  • What roles do scenarios and personas play in assessing needs for a training program?
  • What comes first: the course or the test?

To order and receive more information about Training Design Bascis (second edition), visit The book is also available from,,, and

What does the second edition of Training Design Basics address?

What does the second edition of Training Design Basics, now available from the ATD Press, cover?

Among the many questions it addresses are these:

  • How do you design a training program, whether it’s live or self-study?
  • Do you really have to complete every last step in the phases of ADDIE when revising an instructional program?
  • How similar are the activities in designing face-to-face and live virtual courses? Face-to-face and self-study programs?

To order and receive more information about Training Design Bascis (second edition), visit The book is also available from,,, and

Second Edition of Popular Instructional Design Book Now Available


(Alexandria, Virginia) The second edition of best-selling book, Training Design Basics Basics, by Saul Carliner is now available from the ATD Press.

Like the first edition, this new edition of Training Design Basics guides new course developers and instructors, and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and others who find themselves responsible for doing so, through the process of designing and developing their first training programs. In addition to explaining how to design face-to-face classroom and workbook-based courses, this new edition also addresses the design of two types of online courses: live virtual classroom and self-study tutorials. After introducing readers to guiding concepts of adult learning and human performance improvement and providing an overview training design projects, Training Design Basics explains how to analyze a project, then design, develop, implement, and evaluate the program resulting from the analysis. This edition of the book maintains the practical approach that made the first edition so popular, with additional insights arising from years of use of the first edition by practicing professionals. For example, unlike other instructional design books that primarily focus on the analysis and evaluation phases, this book continues to emphasize the design and development phases, along with practical guidance to course designers on the implementation of their courses. Worksheets for each phase of the process help readers apply the concepts in the book in their own instructional design projects, as does a companion website with other resources and advice.

Author Saul Carliner is an internationally-known expert on training and communication. He is an Associate Professor of Educational Technology and Provost’s Fellow for Digital Learning at Concordia University in Montreal. Also an industry consultant, Carliner provides strategic planning and instructional design services to organizations in Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Americas to clients such as Alltel Wireless, IBM, Lowe’s, Microsoft, ST Microelectronics, Turkish Management Centre, and several US and Canadian government agencies. His previous books include the award-winning Informal Learning Basics and e-Learning Handbook, and popular An Overview of Online Learning He has received the  Kenneth Rainey Award for Excellence in Research and Jay Gould Award for Teaching from the Society for Technical Communication, and the Alumni Teaching Award from his university.    He is a Fellow and past international president of the Society for Technical Communication, a past research fellow of ATD, and a past board member of the Canadian Society for Training and Development.

ATD Press is the publishing arm of the Association for Talent Development, the world’s largest association dedicated to workplace learning and development professionals. ATD’s members come from more than 100 countries and connect locally in more than 125 U.S. chapters and with more than 20 international partners. Members work in thousands of organizations of all sizes, in government, as independent consultants, and suppliers. Started in 1943, in recent years ATD has widened the profession’s focus to link learning and performance to individual and organizational results, and is a sought-after voice on critical public policy issues.

To order and receive more information about Training Design Bascis (second edition), visit The book is also available from,,, and

Even If It Feels Alright, It Might Not Be

In Learning Theories Gone Wild – Urban Myths that Hurt Your Learning Designs, Sharon Boller describes five common beliefs and practices that persist among instructional designers despite the fact that the research evidence contradicts it.  She also explains how to avert these practices.

Check them out at

Should Educators Place All of Their Learning Eggs in the Discovery Learning Basket?

The question is raised in the context of a major shift in the school curriculum in the context of Alberta in a recent article in the National Post. 

Among the concerns raised are two meta-analyses (studies of research studies) have shown that “unassisted discovery [learning] does not benefit learners.”

Unassisted discovery refers to learning that occurs without the intervention of teachers. This also plays a significant role in the informal learning that some people advocate for the workplace.

Unassisted discovery learning contrasts with assisted discovery learning, which includes scaffolding (providing various types of support so that learners can successfully achieve the learning objectives) and feedback, which provides learners with outside insights on their discovery processes.  Some assisted discovery learning also establishes a foundation of knowledge before sending students to discover.

Read more about the studies and the situation in Alberta at

A “Periodic Table of Instructional Design”

An enterprising instructional designer developed a visual representation of specific activities during the instructional design process that is inspired by the Periodic Table of Elements used in chemistry.

The table assumes that ADDIE is the basis of instructional design.  Within each of the activities of ADDIE, the author of the table identifies a significant number of activities that instructional designers perform.

A great example of both an infographic and ingenuity.

View the table at

Is Baltimore County’s Possible Investment in Educational Technology Really a Good Investment?

While perusing the Baltimore Sun, the newspaper of the city where I was born and raised, I came across a blog entry describing the attempts of the school system of my junior and senior high schools to launch a laptop program. 

The reporter cites a number of other laptop and tablet programs, some of which succeeded, others of which failed.

The reporter suggests some problems used to finance the venture: a “rob Peter to pay Paul” approach to budgeting.  Other school systems, like Los Angeles, are paying for their programs through bond referenda.  Years ago, I read a piece in USA Today questioning the wisdom of bond-based financing as the technology will have long been retired from use before the bonds are paid off, and new bonds will be needed to fund future generations of technology.

I was surprised that the reporter cites a general, anti-technology book by an English professor from Emory University in Atlanta, rather interview than one of the educational technology professors at local universities in the Baltimore area, for expertise.  The University of Maryland at Baltimore County and Towson State University both have good programs and internationally recognized experts in the field.  They have more specific expertise related to this initiative.

Check out the article at,0,1034541,full.story