Applied Improv Rapid Instructional Design


You are in front of the room. You are about to begin to teach, train, coach, lead, facilitate, moderate, mediate - bring the group through some experience in which they are going to learn. What comes next? Do you PLAN or PREPARE? Is there a difference? I say YES based on working with Thiagi from The Thiagi Group. He has collected ideas that combine being "in the moment" and "adapting on the fly" that create an exciting and engaging style of learning. There's more at the website

Here is a recent tweet stream that is a particularly helpful set of principles that you can adopt into any learning forum that you do.

  • #RID. An activity for using TEDTalk videos for teaching presentation skills.
  • #RID. Empower learners. Read Pearl Nitsche's "Talk Less, Teach More" and Donal Finkel's "Teaching with Your Mouth Shut".
  • Faster, Cheaper, Better (FCB): Approach to rapid instructional design (#RID). We Share a set of principles. Respond with skeptical remarks.
  • #RID Principle 1: Let the inmates run the asylum. Empower learners to take charge of their learning. Make them responsible and accountable.
  • #RID. Give choice to the learners. Let them determine what specific objectives they want to master and how they want to master them.
  • #RID. Learning styles could be all baloney but giving learners a choice in how they learn increases their motivational level.
  • #RID. Let learners become trainers. People learn effectively by training others. Use jigsaw approach to require and reward mutual learning.
  • #RID. Teach different groups of learners different units of knowledge or and steps in a skill. Let them teach other. Peer teaching rocks!
  • #RID. Teach different model, theories, and perspectives to different groups of learners. Let them jointly analyze scenarios and cases.
  • #RID. Let the learners test each other. Evaluating others’ performance using objective rating scale helps learners increase their mastery.
  • #RID. Let learners become instructional designers. Ask them to create posters, job aids, graphics, podcasts to enhance the training process.
  • #RID. Let this group of learners write advice and suggestions to future groups of learners on how best to master the training objectives.
  • #RID. Gradually convert your instructor-led training sessions into self instruction by using training materials created by learners.
  • #RID. Let learners generate content. Use activities that structure the collection, clustering, and sharing of best practices and examples.
  • #RID. Let learners generate questions on the content they learned. Embed these questions in quiz contests, board games, and final tests.
  • #RID. Let learners provide feedback. Let them evaluate each others' product by using objective rubrics. It improves everyone's performance.