Now let’s apply this model to an instructional system. Here are the questions that must be
addressed at each of the five stages:
• GOALS - What are the organization’s objectives, goals, and standards? How can the course
contribute in measurable ways to achieving these? How can the effectiveness of the training
• INPUT - What “logistics” decisions must be made (who should attend, when, where, etc.)? What
knowledge, attitude, and skills does the learner need to be able to meet the objectives,
goals, and standards?
• PROCESS - How can the instruction be delivered most effectively? What methods and media need
to be part of the design? What is our partnership role in working with your instructors and
• OUTPUT - What are the desired outcomes? How will Action Plans be tracked? Do outputs reflect
performance at work and not merely on paper and-pencil tests? How will new behavior be
maintained back on the job?
• FEEDBACK - What follow-up exists? What kind of feedback will tell us if performance has
improved in the ways we specified, or if adjustments to the system need to be made? How can
we prepare the participant’s manager to recognize and reinforce the desired performance?
The systems approach requires a series of activities. Each one sounds easy enough. But more
often than not, breakdowns occur. Typically, a number of reasons, barriers, or constraints
exist that prevent an instructional system from having its full impact…on participants and
on the organization. We examine the more common ones with you in the implementation of our