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Overview of the instructional design

Discuss about the Instructional Design Strategies and Development.

The purpose of the following report is to establish a relevant as well as fruitful training plan on behalf of a master trainer. More precisely, the present paper would establish an instruction or training design for giving appropriate training to a group of trainer, who are supposed to be a broad group of regional sales manager across the entire Asia.  Henceforth, the learners would be the specifically those regional sales manager who are in charge of providing trainings to their subordinates. Therefore, it is understandable that the main aim of the entire report is to design an instructional framework, which would guide the considered learners to achieve a coherent understanding about the importance of training session. Most importantly, the training would help them to identify the skill gaps among the subordinates or the specific needs to provide training to them.

However, it is significant to mention in the context that this specific instructional training would be employed for the regional sales manager of Singapore, which is considered as the hub of the South East Asia. Nevertheless, prior to map the instructional design, the report would highlight the problems related to the learning individual to signify the importance of the training. Following this framework, the paper would elaborate the context of the problem and would thereafter analyze the details of the individual learners. The design of the instructional program would be successful only when the attributes of the learners would be deduced from the context and the problems. According to Smith and Ragan (2005), to understand and analyze the learners, it is significant to identify their individual cognitive, physiological, affective and social characteristics. Therefore, in this following course the learners would be analyzed in the above-mentioned style (Dick et al., 2005).

In terms of portraying the instructional design process, the report would specifically sum up the individual steps or tasks involved in the instruction design and at the same time would explain the justifications for selecting them. The objective of this particular section is to propose the outline of the instructional training program that would be implemented upon the regional sales managers of the Singapore location (Reiser, 2001).

The initial process had been to analyze the learners’ attributes as well as the broad goals of the trainers. This process had been essential for the instructional design because without having a clear understanding about the motive of the training as well as about the key characteristic drawbacks of the learners, it would have been impossible for the master trainer to conduct the entire training (Khacahrem et al., 2005). On the other hand, it is to mention in the context that, an in-depth analysis of the goals and the learners’ attributes had helped the trainer in understanding whether the existing attributes will support the training procedure or not.

After having a detailed understanding about the learners and the training goal, under this title, the trainer had constructed the framework for the entire training process. The design procedure had been segmented in two broad ways – the first one is to developing the learning objectives and the second one is to design or anticipate the outcome. The purpose of the second segment had been to build numerous ways for assess the learning or training procedure. These steps had been essential for the trainer as per the fact that they have assisted to conduct the training in a proper way.

Analysis of the factors influencing the design

In terms of development, the trainer had firstly followed the step to facilitate learning, which had been accompanied by numerous resources for training. Through this step, the trainer has predominantly procured a training room with learning materials in hope of providing a flexible yet accomplishing learning atmosphere (Reigeluth 2013). It is needless to mention in this context that this particular step has been possibly the most significant as well as essential for the entire design process as without constructing a learning atmosphere, the objectives of the trainer would not be probably achieved (Dijkstra et al. 2014). 

Through this step, the master trainer had finally implanted the constructed training program. Without the final implementation, it was not possible for the trainer to accomplish the goal to train the regional sales manager. However, it is to state in this section that the implementation process itself involves three individual steps, which are – feedback acquisition from the learners, re-group the learners based on the feedback and thereafter move to a new training lesson (Cook et al., 2013).  

This is probably another key part of the instruction design process, which has prioritized factors like – reaction of the learner and the specific learning difficulties or outcome of the learners. Based on these factors, the master trainer had evaluated the outcomes of the instruction design process and had come to realize whether the design had been fruitful or not.

The regional sales managers are entrusted with the duty of boosting the sales growth of an organization. Hence, if the managers lack the important business skills and the professional expertise required for successfully selling the products, and wining the credibility of the consumers, the organizational success of the company will be at stake. Usually, it has been observed that most of the traditional training sessions and programs meant for grooming the professional skills of the sales managers mostly offer generic coaching classes, that intend to enhance the leadership skills of the managers (Savery, 2015). However, it has been observed that the regional sales managers usually do not have any kind of generic function, and hence the training programs should preferably focus on the training of management jobs, that are relevant to the functions of the job of a sales manager.

Present research skills have shown that most of the training programs usually focus on the training of the front-line salespersons, which ultimately fail to address the professional needs of the sales managers of an organization. Of all the Instructional Design Models, the model being used here is Gagne’s taxonomy model is being deemed to be the most important one. However, while considering this design, certain factors should be considered (Dijksatra et al., 2014). The major problem while training the trainers of the sales managers to be encountered lies in the lack of awareness of the trainees about the ulterior goals and objectives of their profession .Hence, the second stage of the Gagne’s taxonomy model- the task of informing the learners will play a vital role here. It can be assumed that the trainees are unaware of the importance of the communication skills and other soft skills required for training the employees in Singapore (Gagne 1985). Hence, as a trainer it is important to engage the trainees in role-play activities so as to enhance the communication skills, so that the sales managers can be trained about carrying interaction with the consumers. Besides, the web-based courses, along with the seminars and the workshops, should also be used for developing the interpersonal communication skills of the trainers, that is the regional sales managers (Heerrington et al., 2014).

The instructional design model chosen here especially revolves around the idea of developing the verbal information, intellectual and cognitive skills and the attitudes of the trainee. However, a sales person is also required to possess the communication skill that should not only be confined to the skills of verbal communication, but must also include the persuasion skills. A sales person is assigned with the duty of winning the trust of the consumers, and hence his words should necessarily be credible enough to convince the consumer to buy a product or avail the service offered b the organization. Besides, the training on the motor skills indeed is redundant as far as the duty and job role of a sales person is concerned. Another major problem that is likely to arise from the implementation of this instructional design is that the performance of the trainees will be evaluated, and the feedback to the individual trainee will be sent. However, the process of providing individual feedback to each of each of the sales managers can be a time intensive process.

Sales management of an organization forms an integral part of any organization, as it accounts for the high share of profitability earned or loss incurred by the organization. In case an organization intends to improve its sales output, it must also ensure that the salesperson skills are being possessed by the respective salespersons of the organization. Hence, the context of the training program to be conducted is to ensure that the sales representatives of different organizations of Singapore are being equipped with proper sales person skills that they can use for training their subordinates later.

It has been observed that an efficient team of sales professionals is responsible for ensuring the organizational success of a company. However, most of the sales persons are not capable enough to handle the demands of the consumers, or meet the monthly sales target. Hence, it is highly important that these employees are being trained so that they can possess as well as successfully apply the most critical sales management abilities. Some of the important salesman skills such as comprehensive knowledge regarding the ways of handling the sales pipeline, or sufficient expertise in sales coaching as well as sales leadership are completely absent in case of most of the salespersons (Bates, 2014). Since the sales persons do not possess the required skills and the professional expertise as required in their fields, it is highly important to train both the experienced as well as the newly promoted salespersons.


Since training each of the salespersons of an organization is a cost-intensive investment, the training program intends to train and groom the skills of the sales representatives, so that they can train and develop the sales person skills of their subordinates. However, since the training to the sales persons is thus imparted in an indirect way, this particular training program intends to focus on salesperson skills to be required by the salespersons as well as the training skills which will be used by the sales managers for training their subordinates.

Since the product that the sales persons are expected to promote and market is new, Trinium, a special kind of suture used for wound closure, it is important that the sales persons are able to win the faith of the potential consumers. While introducing a new product in the market, the salespersons are required to have the capacity of building rapport with the consumers, understanding their requirements and putting forward the unique features characterizing the product. Hence, the rapport building skills, active listening skills as well as inter-personal communication skills of the consumers is required to be developed. This is the wide context against which the salesperson skill developing training program will be initiated.

The learners who are to be trained through this training program consist of the regional sales managers of Singapore. Some of the learners possess certain skills while some of the learners lack the same skills and possess a different set of important skills. After evaluating and assessing the skills and the expertise of the employees, it has been observed that the learners enrolled in the training program can be mainly divided into two categories- the learners who possess sales management skills but are lacking in the soft skills, and the learners who possess the soft skills. It has been noted that most of the learners, being professional sales representatives are adept in rapport building skills, the strategic prospecting skills or time management skills. Hence, these sales representatives will be able to impart proper training in these fields to the respective subordinates. However, on the other hand, some of the trainees possess the soft skills, such as behavioral skills, communication skills, reflective skills as well as the persuasion skills necessary for promoting and selling a product (Johnston & Marshall, 2016). This is the reason why role-play activities have been incorporated in the training program, as the skills and expertise of the two groups of learners can be interchanged for their benefits. However, another very important thing to be noted about the learners here is that since the learners are the sales managers, primarily assigned with the duty of evaluating the performance of the sales men, the product knowledge is lacking. However, since Trinium, the product to be introduced, is a new product to be introduced in the market, it is important to keep the sales representatives as well as the sales persons well-informed about the benefits of the same. A comprehensive knowledge about the product, its unique attributes as well as the strongest features is important, that however, is lacking in case of most of the learners.


In case we follow the learning framework of Smith and Ragan, the physiological, affective and social characteristics of the learners should be followed as well. The physiological characteristics of all the learners is almost the same, as each of them belong to an age group of 30 to 35 years, while the affective skills are mostly positive in case of most of the learners, as each one is willing to enhance their grooming skills. The cognitive skills especially the informative skills are absent in case of the trainees. Besides, the business acumen skills are also absent in case of the trainees.

The task of imparting the training programs here is being implemented on the basis of the needs and requirements  of the sales men. It has been observed that the salespersons usually require two kinds of skills- the skills related to the business acumen, and the soft skills. Hence, accordingly, the training programs will be arranged so as to help the sales managers gain an insight into the two kinds of skills. For the first skill, that is developing the business acumen skills, lectures delivering programs as well as interactive sessions will be used. On the other hand, for developing the sot skills the web-based seminars and different kinds of workshops will be used.

The taxonomy used by Gagne will be used for the task. Hence, the five different kinds of learning outcomes will be evaluated among the trainees that include the verbal information, intellectual skill, cognitive strategy, attitude and the motor skill. A teacher must train the trainee after defining and phasing the expected learning outcome, and accordingly should choose the Taxonomy. Since Gagne’s Taxonomy is being used here, the task is meant to address the motor skills of the trainees. As far as the motor skills of the trainees are concerned, the trainer will intend to guide the trainees about the desirable body language that they should possess. For example, the trainee should possess a refined style of conduct and he should be upright in his ability to respond to the query or doubts of the consumers. The motor skills will consist of the soft skills of the trainees as well, such as his style of communication with the clients. Once the motor skills are being properly acquired by the learner, the next step involved here is attitude. The trainees will be trained and later evaluated on the basis of their attitudes towards the knowledge gained (Wynn, 2015). The attitude is an internal state of learning of the trainee, and hence it is important that the trainees are willing to embrace the knowledge acquired by them. The trainees must have a positive emotional attitude towards the subject of training, and should try to develop their knowledge by actively engaging in different learning programs. The positive attitude of the trainees will be created, by making them aware about the principal benefits as well as the importance of these benefits, in the profession of a sales man. Next, the verbal information skills of the trainees will be developed and evaluated. These skills will include the important communication skills as well the skills of possessing and conveying knowledge to the clients. Hence, the training will not only focus on developing the interpersonal communication skills of the trainees, but will also ensure that the trainees (sales men) are well-informed about the products they are selling in the market. Again, once these skills are being successfully acquired by the trainer, the next skill is the cognitive skill, that includes the demo skills of the sales persons, or his problem-solving and decision-making capacity. The last but not the least skill that should be developed is the intellectual skill, that will help the trainee increase sales, assume leadership roles or manage self-performance and allotted time.


For developing the motor skills, verbal information skills and the soft skill of the trainees, different seminars and workshops will be arranged, that will help in enhancing and refining the soft skills of the trainees, making them resourceful enough to deal with the expectations of the clients. Again, the trainees must also have a positive attitude towards the subjects of training, and hence training sessions that will involve fun and interesting interactive sessions, or role-play activities will be incorporated in the training programs. The cognitive and intellectual skills of the trainees will be developed by delivering lectures about the important skills and expertise of a sales person, and later the sales managers will be asked to engage in the role-play activities that will help to evaluate the depth of their knowledge (Hughes et al., 2013).

Conclusion

Once the training program is being successfully implemented by incorporating the seminars, conferences as well as the interactive sessions, the knowledge and he expertise gained by the trainees will be evaluated. The evaluation of the trainees will be done based on the performance during post-training period, as well as the opinions of the training as expressed by them in the specific self-assessment forms. Accordingly, the feedback will be provided to the trainees, based on which the trainees will continue their training or will work on their weak areas.

Reference List:

Bates, A. (2014). Instructional design for distance learning. Instructional Design: International Perspectives II: Volume I: Theory, Research, and Models: volume Ii: Solving Instructional Design Problems, 369.

Cook, D. A., Hamstra, S. J., Brydges, R., Zendejas, B., Szostek, J. H., Wang, A. T., ... & Hatala, R. (2013). Comparative effectiveness of instructional design features in simulation-based education: systematic review and meta-analysis. Medical teacher, 35(1), e867-e898.]

Dick, W., Carey, L. & Carey, J. O. (2005). Conducting a goal analysis.In The systematic design of instruction (Sixth Edition). Chapter 3 (pp. 38-59). Boston, MA: Pearson

Dijkstra, S., Schott, F., Seel, N., & Tennyson, R. D. (2014). Instructional Design: International Perspectives II: Volume I: Theory, Research, and Models: volume Ii: Solving Instructional Design Problems. Routledge.

Gagné, R. M. (1985). What is learned – Varieties. In The conditions of learning and Theory of instruction. Chapter 3 (pp. 46-69). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston

Herrington, J., Reeves, T. C., & Oliver, R. (2014). Authentic learning environments. In Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (pp. 401-412). Springer New York.

Hughes, D. E., Le Bon, J., & Rapp, A. (2013). Gaining and leveraging customer-based competitive intelligence: the pivotal role of social capital and salesperson adaptive selling skills. Journal of the Academy of marketing Science, 41(1), 91-110.

Johnston, M. W., & Marshall, G. W. (2016). Sales force management: Leadership, innovation, technology. Routledge.

Khacharem, A., Zoudji, B., & Kalyuga, S. (2015). Expertise reversal for different forms of instructional designs in dynamic visual representations. British Journal of Educational Technology, 46(4), 756-767.

Reigeluth, C. M. (Ed.). (2013). Instructional-design theories and models: A new paradigm of instructional theory (Vol. 2). Routledge.

Reiser, R. A. (2001). A history of instructional design and technology: Part II: A history of instructional design. Educational Technology Research and Development, 49(2), pp. 57-67

Savery, J. R. (2015). Overview of problem-based learning: Definitions and distinctions. Essential readings in problem-based learning: Exploring and extending the legacy of Howard S. Barrows, 5-15.

Smith, P. & Ragan, T. (2005). Instructional analysis: Analyzing the learner. In Instructional Design (Third Edition), Chapter 4 (pp. 57-74). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.)

Wynn, G. W. (2015). The effects of a salespersons’ credibility on other salespersons and sales managers. In Proceedings of the 1987 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference (pp. 353-358). Springer International Publishing.

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