Rapid Instructional Design Presentation Excerpts

Rapid Instructional Design Presentation Excerpts

Rapid Instructional Design – Presentation Excerpts
Faster, Cheaper, Better
/ Main point of presentation was Thiagi’s focused Faster, Cheaper, Better training design approach. He gave a handout with the procedure and principles of the approach.
© The Thiagi Group /
  1. Analysis. Do a 5-minute analysis.
  2. Metrics. Specify metrics for results [Something that is outside of training a business result].
  3. Test. Construct authentic final tests [relevant to business, problem-solving]
  4. Content. Collect content resources [do not create, but use already existing content resources]
  5. Iteration. Keep repeating and refining previous steps.
  6. Design. Select and design activities based on content resources.
  7. Delivery+. Deliver-evaluate-redesign-repeat.
  8. Improvement. Keep repeating and refining previous steps.

/ Was asked for Leadership Training on Thursday. On Monday, did pilot training class. Bought 30 different books on Leadership/Leadership Training from Amazon.com. Put in stack on table. Had 17 participants choose a book and in 20 minutes identify 6 guidelines/concepts they could go back and apply at work next day. Then partnered up and compared 6 items. If identical “triangulation.” If contrary, then example of “Situational Leadership,” because it depends on the situation, which applies. Then have partners join other set. Each person shared what their partner selected. Then group picked top principle/guideline for leadership from set.
Pointers Noticed
  • Warming up the audience, with humor and personal stories, can be especially important when speaker has a difficult accent.
  • Thiagi claimed that based on study that 4 minutes into Death by PowerPoint, 80% of attendees (college students) are daydreaming (having sexual fantasies).

Continued on next page

Rapid Instructional Design – Presentation Excerpts, Continued

© The Thiagi Group /
  1. Let the inmates run the asylum. Invite participants to generate training content and to conduct training activities.
  2. Content is abundant. Incorporate existing content in your training.
  3. It’s the activity, stupid. Don’t waste your time in designing content. Invest it designing training activities.
  4. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Use existing templates for designing your training.
  5. Go with the flow. Keep enhancing your training objectives.
  6. It isn’t over—ever. Keep continuously improving your training package.
  7. Show me the cash. Measuring external results is the only way to evaluate training [level 4 only]
  8. Face reality. Use authentic assessment for your final test and authentic activities during training.
  9. Open minds with open questions. Require and reward higher-order thinking in your training.
  10. Walk in all directions. Design your training concurrently and iteratively.
  11. Avoid analysis paralysis. Don’t spend more than 5 minutes for the initial analysis.
  12. Build the airplane while flying it. Design training while delivering it.
  13. Avoid the single approach. Blend everything in your training.
  14. Think outside the box. Use creative approaches in your training—and require creative responses from your participants.

Great Quotes
/ Thiagi motto: Take serious things playfully and take playful things seriously.
“I use data like a drunk uses a lamppost—not for elimination, but only for support.”
Closing Technique
/ He had us all stand up at end. Directed us to close our eyes. Then open them. Turn around. Make fist with hand and bring to chest three times. Then sit down.
He explained it was so when asked about the presentation, we could truly say: “He brought us to our feet; he opened our eyes; he turned us around; and he touched our hearts.”
RID Information
/ The information on RID is primarily from a presentation and handout by Thiagi (aka Sivasailam Thiagarajan, Ph. D.) at the Houston chapter’s monthly meeting. The meeting was on 2/27/07.
Thiagi’s System

Thiagi is a master of the art/science of training. He’s been at it a LOOOONG time (he worked with Skinner!).

Thiagi and his team design leadership, soft-skills, and technical training for instructor-led and web-based environments.

Thiagi presented numerous engaging activities and explained the method and purpose behind each while injecting a healthy and sometimes irreverent dose of humor.
/ Thiagi.com offers a number of interesting free resources, including the following:
  • Training Games: More than 100 ready-to-use training games.
  • Interactive Lectures: 36 different formats for combining structure and control with excitement and participation
  • Web Game Shells: Sample games using our web game shells (requires JavaScript and Flash)
  • Interactive Strategies: A glossary of 66 different approaches for improving performance
  • OQ: Online activities with open questions
  • Training Puzzles: Intriguing approaches to instruction
  • Email Games: A zero-budget approach to e-learning
  • Tips for Facilitators: How to be flexible and effective
  • Tips for Rapid Instructional Design: Faster, cheaper, and better
  • Articles and Handouts: From journals and conferences
  • Guest Gamers: Interviews with Designers and Facilitators
  • Short Stories: About growing up in Tamil Nadu
  • Links: Some of our favorite websites