Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Action Mapping, What Is It?

Cathy Moore is the original author and owner of this concept.  She explores the complexity of instructional problems and presents a holistic approach to designing instructional goals and activities for learning.  Although her presentation uses the language and ID methodology for business, you will easily understand her intuitive design concepts for getting to the root of the learning problem. 

Action Mapping Explained

image To get a full perspective on Action Mapping Ms. Moore has provided a wonderful resource on her web site at you can also view a short video clip where Cathy distills the process down to a more concise description here .

Action Mapping is one way to brainstorm the activities and content that you want to include in your training without a lot of development expense. In terms of Instructional Design, this is typically a process for creating a design document.


The Traditional Course Design Process

www. Traditional course design is a process whereby an instructional analyst and or designer analyze an instruction problem then provides a proposed solution.

This solution is called a design document; a road map describing an instructional problem, and the proposed solution(s) recommended by an Instructional Designer.

Design documents typically include the following:

  1. The integration and alignment of business and training goals to the actual instructional design solution
  2. An analysis and measurement of internal vs. external resources
  3. An in-depth timeline mapped to the resources and budget analysis
  4. The design, development and implementation process
  5. Recommendations for updates and evaluations


Is Action Mapping an Option?

Action mapping is action driven; which means it does not rely solely on measurable success based on a learner’s ability to successfully pass a test or participate in a discussion. Action Mapping also includes uses the following processes:

  1. Identify the Business Goal. In our case, this is the UCO which defines the administrative learning goals for the course. We convert the UCO into course level instructional goals.
  2. Identify what students need to DO, to achieve these instructional goals. These become those measurable tasks; activities, discussions and assignments, etc. in an online course.
  3. Design the tasks around the learning.
  4. Identify the information and resources learners need to complete the task

How it works for NLU

In OIT, our course design and development strategy uses a combination of both of these processes to assist faculty in the planning, design and development of their online courses and programs. Each opportunity provides us with a unique solution based on sound instructional design principles and practices.

Ms. Moore’s approach for analyzing an instructional problem and defining a learning strategy is called Action Mapping. As an instructional analyst, my job is to investigate and explore various methods of instructional design and development practice – the concept of Action Mapping is intriguing and when integrated with traditional instruction design practices, it provides a truly comprehensive and effective process for designing learning.

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