Activity-Centered Instructional Design Model: An Analysis of Action Mapping by Cathy Moore by@onyawoibi

Activity-Centered Instructional Design Model: An Analysis of Action Mapping by Cathy Moore

This article explores -What is action Mapping? -How to Apply Action Mapping to training design -Common Misconceptions about Action Mapping -Features of Action Mapping -Scenario Design -Learning Persona -Tools for Action Mapping -Benefits of Action Mapping
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Celine “Oibiee” Aju

By 2032 I want to educate 100 out of school children in Nigeria using music, literacy and technology.

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Action Mapping by Cathy Moore is an activity-centered model of instructional design which focuses on what people need to be able to do rather than what people need to know.

It starts with the question, what measurable improvement do we want to see in the organization due to this training? When you start with that, you can then list what people need to do on the job to achieve this change—so you avoid jumping immediately to what they need to know and instead list what they need to do—and ask what makes it hard to do.

Table of Contents:

  1. What is action Mapping?

    1. How to Apply Action Mapping to training design
    2. Common Misconceptions about Action Mapping
  2. Features of Action Mapping

    1. Scenario Design
    2. Learning Persona
  3. Tools for Action Mapping

  4. Benefits of Action Mapping

  5. Thank you, Cathy Moore

What is Action Mapping?

Action Mapping can be defined as a streamlined process of designing learning solutions using a map. It is a combination of performance consulting and backward design, with a focus on real-world behaviors rather than assessment questions.

This model of instructional design can be used for developing e-learning solutions, corporate training among other learner-centered situations. At the heart of the action, mapping is analyzing problems and designing experiences that solve those problems.

How to Apply Action Mapping to Training Design

Step 1: Develop the project from the learner's need.

Step 2: Create a Minimal Viable Product that has a handful of activities on the desired subject matter to test how well the product serves the learners and achieves the learning goals.

Step 3: Have more than one subject matter expert and ensure they are involved in projects aimed at helping people do, not just learn.

This can be achieved by defining the goal, then identifying the actions needed to achieve the goal, followed by identifying why people are not taking the necessary actions. Once these are accomplished, design practice activities, then identify the minimum information people need to complete each activity ( if it doesn't directly support an action, do not add it to the learning material). All of this is visually represented using a map, similar to a mind map.

Common Misconceptions about Action Mapping

  1. Action Mapping was not created for academia. Cathy Moore developed this design model for the corporate world.
  2. This design model requires the presence and participation of more than the designer in the design process. Although it looks very much like a mind map, it is not a mind map.
  3. The action map is a visual representation of thoroughly researched and intentionally developed activities.

Features of Action Mapping

Scenario Design

Scenarios describe the stories and context behind why a specific user group engages with a specific product or service. They can be expressed using this formula:

User + Task + Context = Scenarios.

Thus, Scenario design is the process of capturing key interactions with a system, In simple terms, it is a backstory of action or aim that a user wants to achieve.

There are three types of scenarios:

  1. Task-Based Scenarios only state what the user desires to accomplish. It identifies the problem and focuses on tasks that will address the problem.
  2. Elaborated Scenarios focus on providing details on the user story.
  3. Full-Scale Task Scenario, report all the steps a user needs to take to accomplish a task.

In order to design a scenario, you need to identify what the correct thing to do is, why it’s hard to do, what the common mistakes are and why they are so tempting, and the consequences of each of these options.

Learning Personas

This fictional profile represents the target learner or group of learners for whom a learning experience is being designed. Although These can be very instrumental in developing activities for the course, Cathy emphasizes the need to differentiate a learning persona from the Marketing team's ideal client market description. However, very similar the techniques used for both vary widely in the achievement of aims.

Tools for Action Mapping

  1. Twine
  3. MindMeister
  4. Coogle
  5. Mindly
  6. MindMup
  7. Scapple
  8. Stormboard
  9. Ayoa

Benefits of Action Mapping

When Action Mapping is applied the materials produced are more focused, realistic, and compelling, the activities are engaged in, build the necessary habits needed to achieve the goal and there is no irrelevant information and the impact on the learner is more measurable.

Furthermore, it is an intuitive process making benefits easy to see. It leads to a more engaging learning experience, its builds competence in certain skills due to practice activities and it aligns with organization’s objectives.

Thank you, Cathy Moore

Although action Mapping was not created for academia taking an interdisciplinary approach to education system development, this activity-centered model of instructional design has provided many tools and practices which can be applied to classroom learning to improve the learning experience. Thank you, Cathy Moore, for creating a model which can be used to improve the learning experience of learners outside the workplace.

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