Instructional Design in the Oil and Gas Industry

Project Drivers

Cost, time, and quality are the three main drivers behind any project, and finding the balance between these things is key to success, whether the project is developing a training program, designing and developing new software, or completing a well. If one is out of line, then the others suffer, resulting in missed deadlines, project scope escalating out of control, or costs skyrocketing. Awareness, process, and procedures can help find that balance where quality, time, and cost align to deliver a high qualityproduct that meets learner needs, is within budget, and delivered on time.

The ADDIE ModelCostTimeQuality

The traditional instructional design process follows five key phases:

  • Analyze: Determine the performance goal
  • Design: Shape how learners will accomplish the goal
  • Develop: Create the solution
  • Implement: Deliver the solution
  • Evaluate: Ensure quality

This process is known as the ADDIE model. In the traditional Instructional Design process, subject knowledge is transferred from the SME to the Instructional Designer. The Instructional Designer often goes out into the field for hands-on experience, observation, and to truly understand and digest the content so they can then create the learning.

Industry Challenges

The oil and gas industry is unique in that Instructional Designers typically do not go out into the field, do not have hands-on experience, or observe as SME’s in the industry do. The highly technical and highly specialized content across upstream, midstream, and downstream areas, and throughout the multiple disciplines, would mean that the Instructional Designer would need to spend extensive time learning the material, resulting in a very high cost and questionable quality. On the other hand, if the SME were to spend substantial time writing all the content, the cost would skyrocket, scope can increase, and there would be questionable instructional design quality.

Balanced Approach

IHRDC’s instructional design approach has the Instructional Designer drive the learning framework by focusing on the Learner; determining the structure, flow, performance goals and measures, and managing cognitive load. CostTimeQuality2The SME drives the content within the learning framework and scope. This process limits full knowledge transfer from SME to Instructional Designer enabling the team to focus on providing the right content within the right scope, allowing for a much more agile development. Further efficiency is gained with the use of Discipline Managers who validate technical goals and ensure high quality. Throughout this process, IHRDC utilizes a Learning Content Management System (LCMS), resulting in an efficient use of resources and content. As IHRDC matures in this model, the result will be more rapid and responsive learning development cycles.

3 Replies to “Instructional Design in the Oil and Gas Industry

  1. Thank you for the interesting post. At first glance limiting full knowledge transfer from an SME seems counter productive. However, the team (balanced) approach to designing and delivering content should yield a superior product, provided that there is close collaboration among the team members over the product development life cycle. Hopefully, initial costs associated with employing a team will be offset by greater efficiency in product development and a greater sales to satisfied learners.

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