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"Does Cerner have a unique instructional-design theory that is effective in the situations it is employed in?

Partners+ August 2013


What is an Instructional Design Theory? .. Error! Bookmark not defined. The BIG question ..................................................................... 2 Cerner's current model ......................................................... 3 ADAPT ..................................... Error! Bookmark not defined. Is the current model a theory? . Error! Bookmark not defined. Cerner's Learning Principles .................................................... 4 Principles as theory............................................................... 4 Choosing a new view ............................................................... 5 Hindsight is 20/20 ................................................................... 6 ................................................................................................ 7


Does Cerner have a unique Instructional Design Theory that is effective in situations it is employed in?
The final project for the Avila University Instructional Design and Technology course presented the Partners+ group with the following question: Does Cerner have a unique instructional design theory that is effective in the situations it is employed in? Usi ng Reigeluths framework to support our analysis, we began to look at the various models, processes and principles at Cerner to determine if they fit into Reigeluths framework for instructional design theory. The Partners+ group took a staged approach to the analysis. We started with high- level individual interpretations of Cerner instructional design theory in terms of Reigeluths framework, with references to personal experiences. We then moved into a series of much deeper group analysis of each portion of the framework and how it supports our conclusion.

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In the first stage of analysis, each team member offered an individual insight to how their experiences at Cerner had fit into Reig eluths framework. When loo king back on the individual responses, it was apparent that we cannot answer the Big Question without first answering what is instructional design theory? a nd what is not instructional design theory? According to Reigeluth, Instructional Design Theory is a theory that offers explicit guidance on how to better help people learn and develop. 1 Instructional Design Theory is NOT : Learning theories that focus on how people learn The instructional design process Curriculum focused Once we had a common foundation of how to define instructional design theory we looked at how Cerner s design process as a whole to determine where instructional design theory plays a part. Cerner has an approach to the design and development process that we call ADAPT. The ADAPT process provides a standardized, but flexible process for the design and development of measurable, outcomes-driven learning solutions. ADAPT has five phases, to: 1. Align 2. Design 3. Author 4. Publish 5. Track ALIGN: In the Align phase, the problem is clarified, the goals and objectives are established and the learners existing knowledge and skills are identified. DESIGN: In the Design phase, the learners experience is created and we explain how the learning will be acquired.

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AUTHOR: In the Author phase, the creation of the design is being implemented and the instructional materials are developed. PUBLISH: In the Publish phase, the learning solution is presented to the learner. TRACK: In the Track phase, the Learning effectiveness is measured. While ADAPT is a process, within this process are the Cerner Learning Principles: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Relevant Just-In-Time Real Time Learn by Doing Performance based

With the focus on how to best help people learn and develop, the Cerner Learning principles are the foundation of Cerners instructional design theory. We determined that Cerner s instructional theory lives within the Design phase of the ADAPT process.


The next step in our analysis was taking a much more in-depth look at whether Cerner s learning principles fit the criteria of Reigeluth s Framework to determine if they can be called instructional design theory. Included below are the criteria as listed by Reigeluth and clarifying questions that were provided to guide our analysis. GOALS: What is to be accomplished with this instructional design theory? PRECONDITIONS: What assumptions are necessary to guarantee success of meeting the stated goals? What are the appropriate situations where the theory helps? What are the limitations of the theory? VALUES: What research, theories and practice are valued within the theory? METHODS: Are instructional methods included in the theory and do they link to the intended outcomes?
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What tools are identified to increase critical thinking and ownership of content? What role does the instructional designer, teacher, or student play in the learning? What roles do context, content, assessment, and interactions play in the theory? Are the formations of interactions intentional and purposeful to increase learning? How do you know and in what way are these methods informed by learning theory? Are there supports in place to scaffold the learning? Where do they occur and how to they support learning? The Partners+ group used whiteboard sessions and discussions with Mark Eaton and Andria Strokes to come to the follow conclusions for each of the criteria included in Reigeluths Framework.


Did we list goals? Britney touches on the Why Now? Is that what we are calling our goals?

Drive results to support business outcome?


As a team, we looked to Catalysts Vision Statement and Mission Statement to determine what Cerner values in regards to learning. Catalysts Vision Statement: Cerner is the model organization for creating meaningful experiences within health and care. Catalysts Mission Statement: To build the Cerner health image by creating highperforming health care workforces and improving the healthy behaviors of our communities. From the Catalyst Vision Statement and Mission statement we identified three concepts that are valued by Catalyst.

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1. Meaningful experiences 2. High-performing health care workforces 3. Improving behaviors We see our learning principles connect to our vision and our mission because in order to create meaningful experiences we know that the learning must be relevant for each learner. Further, to create high-performing health care workforces we need to allow learners to learn-by-doing and assess learning using performance-based measurements. Improving healthy behaviors requires that learners build behaviors through real-time application and learning-by-doing. Having analyzed the relationship between our mission, vision and our learning principles, we have concluded that Cognitivism is the main theory that informs our practice of instructional design. We see that relevance is achieved by Cognitivism because this theory allows the learner to build associations within content and find personal relevance to make the experiences meaningful. We believe that our secondary learning theory is Constructivism , because we strive to provide learners with new concepts, and then allow them to develop their own conclusions or applications through the learn-by-doing method. For example, people may choose to improve their own health by using any number of recommended healthy habits; however that person will only achieve behavior change if they chose to learn-by-doing , and their success would be evaluated using performance-based measurements. In conclusion, our vision and learning principles indicate that we value Cognitivism and Constructivism as learning theories that inform Cerners instructional design theory.

Preconditions The preconditions of Cerners instructional design theory include

assumptions and limitations of the theory. Content relevance is the main assumption of learning at Cerner. Guiding how someone will learn without relevance as an assumed foundation defeats t he purpose of instructional design theory and conflicts with the basic definition. It is assumed that education that is created at Cerner holds content relevance as a standard foundation.

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The other precondition includes the limitations of the instructional design theory. Because learning is a collaborative effort at Cerner, we concluded that the major limitation of this instructional design theory is the misalignment of values. When working other internal and external clients, Catalyst associates are faced with the often limiting task of incorporating the clients values into the instructional design.

Methods As lifelong learners, we all own unique educational experiences.

There are three basic learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. When surveying any group of people, every learning style, or combination of learning styles, will be represented. The commonality among learners, is that we can all recall a learning experience that didnt work from us, one where we just didnt get it, where we struggled to stay awake, or where the drone of one more monotonous word, read from a boring presentation might push us over the edge. That is why the choice of methods we use needs to be well thought out and intentional. Our working definition of methods is: Ways to support and facilitate learning. When considering methods, it is imperative that the situations in which those methods should and should not be used be factored into any design decision. In the case of methods, if our Instructional Design Theory is our tool box, then Cerner Learning Principles are the various tool sets, take for instance a socket set. In a socket set there is a socket wrench, various sockets, and adapters. When using any one of Cern ers Learning Principles there are various methods that can increase the chance of meeting the goal. When choosing a method to use in any instructional design, it needs to be a good fit for the stakeholder and instructional goal, the group of learners that will be receiving instruction, and other possible situations that need to be addressed. Using the wrong size socket to tighten a bolt will not work, and using the wrong method to meet to goal of any given principle will also not work. For instance, addressing an educational need six months before that knowledge-base will be used, by building and requiring webbased training, will not meet the goal of the learning principle Just-In-Time.

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There are many method options. Some that are regularly employed are simulations, experiential learning opportunities, group work, and web based training. Instructional design theories are design-oriented, they describe methods of instruction and the situations in which various methods should be used, and the methods can be broken into simpler component methods, and using a well-chosen method increases the probability of success in instruction. Each of these methods should be selected with the values and limitations in mind. Design is a conscious act . -Rob Campbell


Conclusions : During our analysis we determined that our unique overall approach includes these elements. We utilize ADAPT as our standardized, but flexible process for design and development of learning solutions that are measurable and outcomes-driven. Our Learning Principles provide the explicit guidance on how to better help people learn and provide support during the design process. Using the 70/20/10 model provides us a blended learning approach.

We focused ou r analysis on our Learning principles. While Cerners learning principles are good solid foundations for instructional design theory they also provide enough flexibility for each situation that they are employed in. As designers we should draw from existing research related to learner-centered and collaborative learning environment to select which method would work best within our presented situation. Our conclusion is that Cerners learning principles all factor in different situations, methods, theories, and technology which has the characteristics of a good instructional design theory. As the Cerner workforce grows, its important that we have a solid instructional-design theory that supports our mission and vision.

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Our approach provides meaningful experiences to help create high-performing health care workforces and improving healthy behaviors. Recommendation : To build a common knowledge base and a common language about instruction.

The Partners + team would like to recommend that we improve our efforts around our already existing knowledge base. During our journey it was discovered that there was a range of understanding about Instructional Design Theory, Learning Theories and how th ey relate to Cerners Learning Principles. Learning designers would benefit from additional resources to broaden their knowledge and understanding of these and how they are applied into practical application. Cerner s current knowledge base is housed in the Learning Collaborative. The Learning Collaborative is a wiki site that has a collection of resources that were created to help aid in the design and development process. What we have found is that users find it hard to navigate and have often admitted to seeking out information elsewhere. We also think that it is missing some vital information that helps new designers start off in the right direction. Our vision in creating this common knowledge base would foster somewhat of a spiral learning approach for designers; where they might come into the site to find creative solutions that meet their current need but also sparks their interest and motivate them to return to the site as they continue to build their own knowledge base.

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Reigeluth, C., & Car-Chellman, A. (2009). Instructional-design theories and models volume iii. New York and London: Taylor & Francis, Publishers.

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